Congenital syphilis is a form of syphilis that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes it on to her child during pregnancy - this can often have major impacts on a babies health; at times causing stillbirth, prematurity, and other congenital deformities [1].

See also: Syphilis: Causes and Symptoms


How does congenital syphilis affect babies?


Although there has been a global decrease in the number of congenital syphilis infections, there were over half a million cases in 2016 - making it one of the most preventable causes of stillbirth globally [2].

The way congenital syphilis affects a baby ultimately depends on how long the mother has had the infection, though some ways include [3]:

  • Deformed bones
  • Severe anemia
  • Enlarged liver and spleen
  • Jaundice
  • Brain and nerve problems
  • Meningitis
  • Skin rashes

Can congenital syphilis be treated?


Treatment for congenital syphilis depends on the baby’s medical evaluation. While some may need antibiotics over the course of a few days, for others - one injection may be all they need [4].

See also: Can Syphilis be Cured?


Can congenital syphilis be prevented?


One of the best ways to prevent congenital syphilis is by ensuring the mother doesn't have syphilis [5].

In order to do that, there are a few recommended steps that can be taken, these include:

  • Get a syphilis test at your first prenatal visit
  • Use protection correctly
  • Regularly screen your sexual health

See also: Can a STI go Undetected?


One of the safest ways to prevent congenital syphilis is by staying in the know with regards to your sexual health. This can be done with your local doctor or from home at a time that suits you.

LetsGetChecked’s range of STI tests check for some of the most common STIs with online results available in 2-5 days. Our medical team will be on hand to help every step of the way and a prescription will be provided in certain cases should you receive positive results.



References


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congenital Syphilis. Online: Cdc.gov, 2017
  2. World Health Organization. WHO publishes new estimates on congenital syphilis. Online: Who.int, 2019
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congenital Syphilis. Online: Cdc.gov, 2017
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Congenital Syphilis. Online: Cdc.gov, 2017
  5. World Health Organization. WHO publishes new estimates on congenital syphilis. Online: Who.int, 2019