In the UK syphilis infection is relatively uncommon. However, in recent years the numbers of cases diagnosed in men and women has increased.
The condition is especially significant in pregnant women where infection can cause miscarriage, still birth, or foetal abnormality.
Who gets syphilis?
Anyone who has sex can get syphilis. People most at risk are those having unprotected sexual intercourse (i.e. not using a condom), those with more than one sexual partner, and those who change partners frequently.
How do you catch syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection. It is caught through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal intercourse or genital contact with an infected partner.
An infected person may have no symptoms, but still transmit the infection without knowing.
Syphilis cannot be caught by casual contact (toilet seats, swimming pools and saunas).
A pregnant woman with infectious syphilis can pass the infection to her foetus via the placenta or during birth.
Do you have Symptoms?
If you have symptoms you should get yourself tested to avoid infection developing and from transferring it to someone else.