What is Syphilis: How Do You Get Syphilis in Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a natural process in which the mother accompanies the baby’s daily development and is prepared for her arrival; in addition, the mother shares everything with the baby, from the nutrients ingested even the humor, since sometimes the baby feels joy and also the stress of the mother. However, since mother and child are strongly connected in this period, it is also possible to share serious illnesses such as syphilis and AIDS. If you want to know how to get syphilis in pregnancy, read this article with all the information you need to help protect your baby.
What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Also called hard cancer, syphilis has been known since the 15th century and for a long time has ceased to be a public health problem because of the few cases found. Nevertheless, in the 21st century, syphilis, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases, has returned to be a very commented matter, since the development of new contraceptive methods the majority of the population stopped being worried about the use of condoms, the only contraceptive method that prevent disease.
Symptoms of Syphilis in Pregnancy:
Unlike most diseases, syphilis has 3 phases with quite distinct symptoms, but easy to recognize. The stages and symptoms of syphilis in pregnancy are:
Primary phase – The first stage of syphilis generates a hard lump that eventually becomes a painless ulcer with hard margins and a transparent secretion, due to this initial symptom of syphilis, which appears around the 4th week after the infection, the disease is also known like hard cancer. The lump may appear on genitals, mouth, hands, anus, mouth and sinuses, depending on where the infection occurred.
Secondary stage – The second phase of syphilis may take up to 2 months after the end of the disappearance of symptoms of the first stage to appear, this stage is characterized by the appearance of reddish spots and also by new brown lumps. In addition, new symptoms such as pain in the head, body, throat, fever, vomiting, navels that can appear throughout the body and loss of appetite can cause malnutrition.
Tertiary phase – The last stage of syphilis can take up to 40 years to appear after the infection if the appropriate treatment is not done, in addition the last phase of syphilis is also the most severe, in which there is destruction of the tissues infected by the bacterium. The destruction of the tissues can generate paralysis, dementia, alteration of the reflexes, that generates lack of control of the body, heart failure, aneurism and personality change.
Syphilis in Pregnancy:
Syphilis can be transmitted during pregnancy because the bacterium that causes the disease has the ability to cross the placenta and reach the fetus, when syphilis is transmitted to the baby is called congenital syphilis, that is, that is acquired before birth. When syphilis is transmitted early in pregnancy, the baby suffers from severe consequences such as malformations in the elements of the face, in the brain, and in more serious cases can be born lifeless by insufficiencies generated by malformations. The later the baby comes into contact with the syphilis bacteria during pregnancy, the lesser the consequences are, to know if your baby has been infected it is possible to make tests to count antibodies with the baby still inside the uterus.
Syphilis: Normal birth or cesarean delivery?
Many mothers have questions about syphilis and the choice between a normal birth or a cesarean birth, as it is also possible that the baby is contaminated during childbirth, especially in normal births when there are wounds in the mother’s vagina.
To avoid contagion during childbirth the best choice is cesarean section, which decreases the likelihood of the baby coming into contact with contaminated tissues. Besides this doubt, another very common among mothers is about breastfeeding, however, mothers with syphilis can breastfeed without generating risks to the baby
Treatments of Syphilis in Pregnancy:
Treatment of the baby with syphilis should be started as soon as possible by the injection of aqueous penicillin and procaine penicillin for 10 consecutive days when the mother has not had the disease treated prior to the birth of her baby. If there is only a suspicion that the baby was infected and the mother started treatment for syphilis early in pregnancy or before fertilization, treatment is also necessary as a precaution with the use of benzathine penicillin.
Be that as it may, if you are pregnant and have been infected by syphilis, make an appointment with an obstetrician as soon as possible so that your situation and that of your baby are evaluated, thus reducing the chances of contagion and, if the contagion has already occurred , the treatment can reduce the consequences suffered by the fetus.
Does syphilis have a full cure?
Yes! Syphilis, despite being a very serious disease, has a cure and its treatment is carried out by injections of penicillin, a very powerful and effective antibiotic against the bacterium that causes syphilis. The injections are provided free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS), but for this it is necessary for the patient to go after the treatment as soon as possible, once they begin to suspect the contagion, since there is no chance that the disease will just go away as is the case of milder diseases such as influenza.
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