The Signs and Symptoms of Primary Syphilis

After becoming infected with syphilis, there is an incubation period between of 9 to 90 days (the average being around 21 days) before the first signs and symptoms of the disease appear. Each stage of syphilis has characteristic symptoms, but any particular sign may or may not be present.

Signs and Symptoms of Primary Syphilis

The primary stage of syphilis typically begins with a sore (called a “chancre”) on the skin that initially exposed to the infection — usually the genitals, rectum or mouth. The sore has been described as feeling like a button: firm, round, usually measuring half an inch across, and not tender to the touch.  Many people will never see the chancre or know it is there because it can be hidden within the vagina or the rectum. Swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin may occur, but the nodes are not usually tender either.

Infected individuals do not usually feel ill in the primary stage of syphilis, and the chancre heals spontaneously after 4 to 6 weeks. This is a problem because the syphilis has not gone away. Syphilis continues to spread throughout the body.

Because the apparent signs of Syphilis can be hidden and then go away everyone should get tested, ideally you should refrain from unprotected sex (at a minimum) then retest in 3 weeks.  If you do that and you are clean after three weeks then you have nothing to worry about.

But remember, just because you are acting in a responsible manner doesn’t mean everyone else is.  A negative test from yesterday does not mean that the person doesn’t have syphilis and cant infect you, it has a window period and unlike HIV Syphilis is HIGHLY contagious during sexual activity.

64080cookie-checkThe Signs and Symptoms of Primary Syphilis

The Signs and Symptoms of Primary Syphilis

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