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What is Syphilis ?
Syphilis is an infectious bacterial disease that is transmitted sexually, through the blood or through the placenta during pregnancy. This infection can affect several organs. Syphilis can be spread through unprotected sex, even oral sex. It can also be transmitted by blood contact with contaminated material.
The disease progresses in different phases.
The first phase is the silent incubation. This period determines the moment between contamination and the first symptoms. This can last an average of 3 weeks and can extend up to 3 months. During this time, you will see pinkish patches which are painless, but which become hard and let out clear liquid. Syphilis therefore causes very contagious ulcerations in the mucous membranes. This can occur both on the genitals but also extra-genitals such as the lips, tongue, tonsils and even the anus.
The second phase occurs between a month and a year after risky sex. At this point, the bacteria cause numerous contagious lesions. What changes from phase 1 is that the lesions are now accompanied by headaches, fatigue and numerous lymph nodes.
The last phase turns out to be the most serious and only happens if no treatment has been prescribed. After a few months or years, neurological, heart, digestive and kidney problems can develop. Only positive point, in quotes, the patient is no longer contagious at this stage.
If you would like to know how to protect yourself well against syphilis and other STDs / STIs, you can watch our video How to put on a condom?
To learn more about other STDs / STIs you can watch all of our videos on the subject, such as What is trichomoniasis?