Syphilis in Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Find out in detail about syphilis in pregnancy. Here you will learn about the signs and symptoms of syphilis along with its causes, treatments and prevention plans.

Syphilis in Pregnancy

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease. Its causative agent is a bacterial microorganism, a pale treponema. Let’s consider the disease in more detail, starting with the methods of diagnosis for syphilis in pregnancy. Then we shall learn about how and why syphilis actually occurs during pregnancy.

Analysis of Syphilis in Pregnancy

To diagnose syphilis in pregnancy it is wise to initiate the therapy process early. The analysis of syphilis in a pregnant woman is done at her very first to the gynaecologist during registration.


The methods of diagnosis can be conducted in several ways, some of which are as follows.

  • RIF or immunofluorescence reaction, establishes the disease at the initial stage.
  • PCR or Polumerase Chain Reaction helps to identify the presence of DNA pathogens in the blood. This is the identifying pathology before the appearance of the clinical picture.
  • RPHA or the reaction of passive agglutination help to identify the disease at any stage of development.
  • ELISA or enzyme immunoassay helps to establish the stage of the pathological process. It is assigned as an additional study.

  1. False Positive Analysis for Syphilis in Pregnancy
  2. The phenomenon of a questionable analysis of syphilis in pregnancy is not uncommon. In order to rule out the false result or the false positive after the first study a RIBT is prescribed. RIBT is a reaction to mobilization of pale trypanomas. The following are included among the reasons for a possible erroneous result as per doctor’s orders.

    • chronic pathological processes in connective tissue;
    • heart disease;
    • infectious processes in the body;
    • recent vaccination;
    • diabetes.

  3. Positive Analysis of Syphilis in Pregnancy
  4. A positive test for syphilis in pregnant women is an indication for re-examination. In case the agent is found for the second time in the blood sample then it is considered serious. In this case a comprehensive examination is prescribed. This involves determining the concentration of antibodies and the stage of the disease. Based on the results obtained, an individual course of therapy is developed. With the timely start of treatment, it is possible to exclude the progression of the disease and to bear and give birth to a healthy child.

Effects of Syphilis on Pregnancy

Studying the influence of syphilis on pregnancy, the doctors came to the conclusion that the time of the beginning of the therapeutic process is important.

Effects of Syphilis

If a disease is detected at the stage of pregnancy planning or at its beginning, it is possible to completely eliminate the negative impact of the pathogen on the fetus. It should be borne in mind that syphilis during current pregnancy causes an imbalance in the level of hormones in the body of a future mother. As a result, the risk of development increases and it includes.

  • premature delivery;
  • spontaneous abortion;
  • threats of miscarriages.

In addition, the process of bearing a baby in women with syphilis is often accompanied by anaemia and late toxicosis. A great concern of doctors is the possibility of infecting the baby from the mother as pathogen penetrates the placenta. The chances of giving birth to a healthy baby are highest for those pregnant women who are treated early. Early here means up to 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Consequences of Syphilis in Pregnancy

A disease such as syphilis during pregnancy requires a specific course of therapy. And this therapy needs to be started immediately after the diagnosis. In this case, one can avoid the sad consequences, among which are.

Consequences of Syphilis

  • miscarriage;
  • premature delivery;
  • stillbirth;
  • the death of a newborn in the first hours of life;
  • severe developmental malformations;
  • the birth of a baby with congenital syphilis.

Remember such consequences can be easily avoided by immediate treatment of syphilis. Just consult a doctor at the earliest sign and you will be fine.

Mother to Child Syphilis

Syphilis in pregnant women is fraught with the development of a similar disease in the baby.

  1. Signs of Wounded Congenital Syphilis
  2. Signs of a wounded congenital syphilis are recorded immediately after the baby’s birth. Some of these signs are listed as follows.

    • damage to the skin;
    • prematurity;
    • defeat of bones;
    • liver disease;
    • diseases of the nervous system.

    Such children gain weight very slowly and are restless constantly. They sleep badly and are in a constant state of anxiety. They cry a lot and make sharp piercing cries. Often this disease leads to a fatal outcome. This is due to the disrupted process of development of the respiratory system even at the intrauterine stage of development.

    Sometimes the crying is so bad that the mother can’t bear it and starts crying as well. This is the time when parents need help the most. Patience is the key during those times.

  3. Signs of Late Congenital Syphilis
  4. Late congenital Syphilis

    Late congenital syphilis can be diagnosed 2 years after the birth of the baby. However, more often it occurs in the range of 7-14 years.

    Before this age, no manifestations of the disease of the mother can be seen in the child. However, in later years some signs may appear and you need to lookout for those. So, here are some possible signs of the late, congenital syphilis.

    • damage to the hearing aid;
    • eye diseases;
    • loss of teeth.

Treatment of Syphilis in Pregnancy

Treatment of syphilis during pregnancy is carried out twice.

treatment of Syphilis

The first course is carried out in a hospital, immediately after the detection of the disease. The second is prophylactic and is performed on an outpatient basis after reaching the 20-24 week period.

For therapy, penicillin preparations are used like Ceftriaxone.

Treatment of syphilis in pregnant women is carried out individually. The doctor determines the type of drug, its dosage frequency and duration of use. This way the risk of harming the child is minimum and the mother gets treated at the same time.

Preventing Syphilis in Pregnancy

Preventive measures in the event of the onset of gestation are aimed at early diagnosis of the disease. It is aimed directly, so it is possible to reveal the latent syphilis at pregnancy. The expectant mother surrenders three times for analyses of this kind during the entire period of bearing the baby. Particular attention is paid to identifying the disease at the planning stage of conception as its prevention time. To avoid infection and exclude syphilis during pregnancy here are some recommended doctor’s advice.

  1. Use means of mechanical contraception to be exact use a condom.
  2. Avoid casual sex.
  3. If suspected of infection, treat the genitals with chlorhexidine immediately after the act.

Again, we would urge you to get check out regularly as preventing syphilis in pregnancy is better than the cure. Keep in mind syphilis in pregnancy can harm the unborn baby as well. So, one must use every tool necessary to prevent syphilis at any cost.

Important Tips

Here are some of the important tips you should remember to treat and to prevent syphilis in pregnancy.

  1. When planning its best to get checked up both mother and father for any and all sexually transmitted diseases.
  2. When pregnant, you should avoid casual sex altogether. However, if that can’t be done then one must practice safe sex.
  3. You should also get tested in the initial weeks of pregnancy. This way you know for certain that you don’t have syphilis
  4. If at any point you suspect of infection then treat it immediately as per doctor’s advice.

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Syphilis in Pregnancy: Causes, Treatment and Prevention