Syphilis is a very infectious sexually transmissible infection (STI). You can get syphilis from having unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, or close skin to skin contact with someone. Unprotected sex is when you have sex without a condom, or an oral dam.
Syphilis normally starts as a painless ulcer or sore on your vagina, penis, anus, or mouth. As many as 50% of people have no symptoms, and wouldn’t know they had syphilis unless they got a blood test to check.
If syphilis is left untreated, it can cause damage to the heart, brain, and spinal cord.
Syphilis can be passed from a pregnant person to their pēpi through the placenta. It can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or infection in the pēpi if it’s not treated.