Everything You Wanted to Know About Syphilis and Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

by | 03/05/20 | STIs

Now here’s an STI that isn’t so common anymore – thanks to antibiotics. That doesn’t mean you should dismiss it though!

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria called Treponema Pallidum. This bacteria can spread through skin-to-skin contact, vaginal fluids and from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth.

How will I know if I have it?

Syphilis usually starts with a painless ulcer on the vulva or penis, but sometimes the ulcer can be hidden internally on the vaginal walls or cervix. If you have an internal ulcer, it’s highly unlikely you will ever find out you have it, especially because it doesn’t cause any pain.

This painless ulcer can stay there for 3 to 12 weeks, then it will slowly heal and disappear. It is interesting to note that it will disappear whether you receive treatment or not! After that happens, you won’t be able to tell you have Syphilis without a test.

Even if the ulcer is gone, you can still pass the infection on to someone else.

Did you know?

Having Syphilis can increase your risk of getting HIV 2-5 times, and makes passing on HIV so much easier.

The reason why we worry so much about leaving Syphilis untreated is because of the complications. It can cause damage the heart, the kidneys and the brain if left untreated for many years when it progresses to different stages of severity. These stages are: Secondary Syphilis, Latent Syphilis and Tertiary Syphilis.

How do I protect myself from Syphilis?

Syphilis is spread from skin-to-skin contact, vaginal fluids and semen. This means that you need to use barrier methods such as dental dams, gloves and condoms to protect yourself and your sex toys.

If you would like to know more about how to protect yourself from Syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, you’re in luck! I have created a Mini eBook called The Ultimate Guide to Safe Sex for Women Who Love Women. AND I’m giving it away ABSOLUTELY FREE for a limited time only!

Inside this guide you will find everything you need to know and more! It contains all my tips and tricks that will keep sex fun AND protected.

Ultimate Guide to Safe Sex for Women Who Love Women


How do we test for Syphilis?

In order to test for Syphilis, all we need to do is a simple blood test. A blood sample is taken and sent for tests called RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin) and TPHA (T. Pallidum Haemagglutination).

What is the treatment for Syphilis?

There are a few different ways to treat Syphilis. One option is to get an intramuscular injection of Benzathine Penicillin. The other option (for those wanting to avoid needles) is to take oral Doxycycline tablets for a few weeks. All in all, simple and easy to treat!

Take home message

Syphilis isn’t as common as it used to be, but it’s still going to be around for the foreseeable future. The bad news is that women CAN spread it to other women, it’s not something that is limited to heterosexual couples.

The good news is that is really easy to test for and completely curable.

Here's what you need to know about syphilis

Make sure to share this post with your family and friends if you think there’s a good chance it could help them too. Thank you!

Disclaimer: This blog consists of only my opinions and doesn’t reflect the opinions of the Department of Health of South Africa or The Southern African Sexual Health Association. All information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but it’s possible that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. While I am a registered medical practitioner, I am not YOUR doctor. The information presented on this blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as professional medical advice. If you rely on any information presented, it’s at your own risk. Please consult a professional before taking any sort of action.

You May Also Like…

Your Guide To Safer Chest Binding

Your Guide To Safer Chest Binding

If you’re transgender, non-binary, genderfluid or simply want to minimise your chest size, you may be interested in chest binding. While chest binding is generally considered to be safe and can be very gender affirming for those who do it, there are important health risks and safety tips you need to be aware of to avoid possible health complications.

Gender Affirming Voice and Communication Therapy for Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals

Gender Affirming Voice and Communication Therapy for Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals

Gender affirming voice and communication therapy can have various goals depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. Some may want to feminize, masculinise, or neutralise their voice and communication style. Others may want to enhance their vocal health, flexibility, or confidence. Some may want to explore different aspects of their gender expression through voice and communication.

Feminising Hormone Therapy: The Important Stuff

Feminising Hormone Therapy: The Important Stuff

Feminising hormone therapy is just one of the options available that allow people assigned male at birth (AMAB) to feel more comfortable in their bodies, relieve gender dysphoria, and/or change the way they look and sound to better match their gender identity. Here’s everything you need to know about it…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This