What is Syphilis?

Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI), is caused by Treponema pallidum. This bacterium is only transmitted during close contact with infected sores. Although syphilis is currently much less common than the other STIs, if it is untreated, it can have severe effects: women can pass this to their unborn foetuses.

There are three stages to syphilis development:

  • Stage 1: Vaginal/penile sores/ulcers, which last for about 2 weeks.
  • Stage 2: A sore throat/skin rash, with the rash disappearing after a couple of weeks. The symptoms then “hide”, sometimes for many years, and without any further ones developing.
  • Stage 3: This is the serious infection phase, involving nerve damage and memory loss.

A simple swab (taken from an ulcer) or blood test will identify syphilis. Early diagnosis leads to treatment which is straightforward (a course of antibiotics). This prevents the infection from developing any further. A syphilis consultation with your IPSA Medical doctor would entail:

  • A sexual history review
  • A personal STI risk assessment
  • An examination of the sores/ulcers that have appeared recently

Syphilis Testing: £120

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Sameday (Walk-in) GP

It is often quite difficult to book appointments with your NHS GP at a time that suits you. Your symptoms might have already faded, or you might have recovered by the time of your NHS GP appointment.

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