Who wants to imagine that something so fun and loving could take lives? Yet millions have died from sexually transmissible diseases such as AIDS as well as one that has been around for many years: Syphilis. Taking a look at the cause and symptoms of Syphilis can help you catch it in an early stage and possibly prevent permanent damage and even death. Don’t think it cannot happen to you. It’s happening to plenty the world over.

Syphilis goes through 4 different stages. In the early stages, the symptoms are subtle and can be missed. Syphilis is a bacterium and can be cured in its early stages with antibiotics. It becomes quite complicated in later stages as it begins to make itself known. By then, real damage can be done that is not treatable. There is no shame in having regular sexual checkups. If you are single, enjoying one partner or more can keep your peace of mind intact by practicing safe sex and going for routine checkups. Your doctor will be happy to advise you in the ways of practicing safe sex and staying well.

Syphilis begins as a sore. These sores or lesions are found in the genital area and in the mouth. Direct contact will result in spreading the infection. Syphilis is not spread in any other way. It does not live on toilet seats or door knobs and is not harbored in a bathroom towel. The first symptom is a sore in the exact place in which the direct contact was made. It’s called a chancre, painless and small. It will go away on its own within 3 to 6 weeks. That’s it! That’s the first symptom of stage one! Blink and you may miss this episode all together!

The second stage begins two to three months after the first phase with the introduction of a rash on the palms of the hands that does not itch or the soles of the feet. The rash may appear on other areas of the body as well. Flu like illness will accompany the rash and includes fever, fatigue, sore throat and headaches. There may be weight loss and lesions in the mouth and genital area.

The third stage is latent and has no real symptoms though diagnosis can certainly be made through a blood test. The last stage of Syphilis is deadly. The bacteria can, at this time, invade the brain, the eyes, heart, nervous system and other parts of the body and cause mental illness. The cycle of Syphilis has been known to take 30 to 40 years. One can be ill and spreading it and never know it. Syphilis can pass from mother to infant during birth, but treated properly, can be erased with no ill effects to baby.

The best way to prevent Syphilis is to be faithful to one partner and them to you. Not easy tasks for a lot of people. Consult your doctor for the best ways to stay healthy!