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Syphilis Test London
Syphilis is a treatable but highly infectious sexually transmitted disease that can stay in the body for many years without being detected if you don’t take a syphilis test london. Most of the initial symptoms of syphilis are often confused with other diseases and conditions like psoriasis, making the syphilis test vital in diagnosing the presence of the bacteria.
What is Syphilis?
Syphilis is a highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. The infection can be hard to diagnose, mainly because most people don’t show any symptoms in the early stages. Without treatment, syphilis can cause serious damage to multiple body systems, including the brain.
There are four stages of a syphilis infection;
The first two stages of syphilis are the most infectious. When in the latent (or hidden stage), the disease remains active but doesn’t often cause symptoms. The tertiary stage is the most destructive to your health.
Syphilis testing is used if you have symptoms that suggest you have the infection. A Syphilis test london is also recommended to screen for the disease in certain groups of people at increased risk of contracting the infection.
The test is conducted using a sample of blood, a sample of spinal fluid or a swab of the fluid taken from a syphilic sore.
How Do You Become Infected with Syphilis?
The only way to become infected with syphilis is through direct contact with the syphilis sores. These develop over time in the mouth, anus, vagina and penis.
The infection is primarily transmitted sexually. You can contract it through oral, anal or vaginal sex. You can also contract syphilis through direct genital-to-genital contact.
Babies can contract syphilis if their mother has an untreated infection. This is called congenital syphilis. Syphilis is also transmitted through blood transfusions, although this is extremely rare.
You cannot contract syphilis by sharing a toilet, using another person’s eating utensils or wearing another person’s clothing. The bacteria that cause syphilis can’t live for very long outside the human body.
Although anyone can contract syphilis, some people have a higher chance of contracting the infection than others. These include;
- People who have sex with multiple partners without a barrier method like a condom
- People who have HIV
- People who have partners with syphilis
Why Might You Need a Syphilis Test?
You should consider getting a syphilis test for several reasons;
- Diagnosis – You should consider getting a syphilis test if you have signs or symptoms that might suggest you have contracted the infection. Syphilis can cause many symptoms, so your healthcare provider may recommend testing even when the symptoms are severe to confirm or rule out syphilis. In the case of diagnosing, you will need two tests: the initial screening and a confirmatory test.
- Screening – Screening tests for the infection in people without signs or symptoms of a syphilis infection. Groups at a high risk of contracting the infection benefit the most from screening tests, and those likely to transmit the infection to others.
- Monitoring – Another reason to get syphilis test london is for monitoring reasons. If you’ve been previously diagnosed with syphilis, testing helps to make sure you are responding to the prescribed treatment. Physical and laboratory blood tests can be used to confirm a response to treatment.
What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?
Syphilis symptoms vary depending on the stage of the infection;
The primary stage is characterised by painless syphilic sores (chancre). The sore is small, round and painless but highly infectious. It’s usually around the site where the bacteria enter the body. Most people may not notice they are sore, but it is usually inside the mouth, genitals or rectum. Some people might also present with swollen lymph nodes and nothing more.
Common symptoms of secondary syphilis may include;
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Aching joints
- Hair loss
Eventually, these symptoms will go away whether treatment is received or not. But without treatment, the person still has syphilis.
In the latent or the hidden stage, primary and secondary syphilis symptoms disappear. During this stage there are no noticeable symptoms at this stage. However, the bacteria is still in the body and active. This stage could last for years before progressing to tertiary syphilis.
This stage of syphilis can be life-threatening with numerous symptoms, which include;
- Loss of hearing
- Memory loss
- Destruction of bone and soft tissue
- Mental health conditions
- Heart disease
- Neurological disorders like meningitis and stroke
- Neurosyphilis (infection of the brain or spinal cord)
- Syphilis Test London
Benefits of Getting a Syphilis Test
- It helps your healthcare provider diagnose syphilis before any symptoms appear.
- Preventative care for pregnant mothers infected with syphilis to prevent congenital syphilis
- Facilitating correct and effective treatment of the infection
- Preventing transmission to others by making carriers of the infection aware that they have syphilis
- Preventing the destructive late-stage of the disease
A syphilis test can save you from years of suffering without knowing you have the infection. Syphilis can stay silent in the body in the latent stage for many years before transitioning into the tertiary stage. Taking the test can help diagnose syphilis and start treatment early to prevent the progression and transmission of the condition.
Syphilis Test London FAQs
How much is a syphilis test London?
The Scan Clinic offers a comprehensive sexual screen that tests for sexually transmitted diseases, including Syphilis. The cost for the sexual screen is £199. However, if you’re looking for the syphilis test only, you can contact our clinic for accurate pricing, bookings and appointments.
How does stage 1 syphilis look like?
Stage 1 of syphilis is the primary syphilis stage. It occurs about 3-4 weeks after contracting the bacteria. The stage is mainly without any adverse symptoms save for a small, round sore called a chancre that occurs around the site where the bacteria entered the body.
The chancre is painless but highly infectious. The sore remains for 2 to 6 weeks, but most people don’t realise it exists. During stage 1, the individual might also experience swollen lymph nodes.