Syphilis, a contagious infection caused by Treponema pallidu bacteria and is primarily transmitted through sexual contact. Congenital syphilis is also a possibility for those expected mothers with syphilis. It results through trans-placental transmission of the bacteria to the baby.This transmission can be at any stage of pregnancy and may result either in death or multiple organ problems affecting ears, eyes, liver, bone marrow, skin, bones, and heart. Syphilis may also increase the chance of stillborn pregnancy. However, if one may have or suspect to have syphilis, there are certain precautions that can be taken during pregnancy period to limit the chances of the baby contracting congenital syphilis.
First of all, it is necessary to get tested with the primary health care provider and take the necessary precautions regarding the prenatal health.
Some symptoms of syphilis during pregnancy include:
Syphilis can be easily treated with antibiotics unless the treatment begins at the early stages of pregnancy. The rate of infection during pregnancy in cases of untreated syphilis is very much high, in 40% fetal death rate in infected infants.
In case of survived babies, early symptoms of syphilis may occur during the first 2 years and late signs during the first 2 decades of life. If recognized early one can have a safe and happy pregnancy as long as one maintain the treatments and get regular care for syphilis.
It is always advised to take necessary precautions to promote the health of mother and baby, even if there are less chances for congenital syphilis if treated in early stages. The precautions include:
With adequate maternal treatment and good prenatal care the chances of the baby contracting syphilis is eliminated. Anyway, it is highly recommended that the mothers infected with syphilis to have their babies tested regularly until testing is conclusively negative.