The symptoms of syphilis usually begin with a small sore on the penis or vagina. Up to six months after the initial symptoms occur, you may experience flu-like symptoms, such as aching and shivering.
If it is not treated, the infection can eventually spread to major organs in the body and can lead to heart problems and dementia.
Syphilis is detected using a blood test. It can be easily treated during the early stages using a course of antibiotics for two weeks. It can also be treated during later stages of infection but any damage to the heart or nervous system may be irreversible.
Need to speak to someone?
If you need further advice, or if this page hasn’t answered your questions then get in contact with your local bSHaW Sexual Health Clinic for a friendly chat.
Call 0300 303 2880 to book an appointment or return to the homepage for information on all bSHaW services.