When should you be screened?
Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists maintain that all pregnant women be screened for syphilis at the first prenatal visit, after they are exposed to an infected partner, and at the time of delivery. There is some discrepancy between organizations as to the type of screening test that should be done, though the differences in outcome are minor.
The dangers of syphilis is that it is easily passed from mother to child during the pregnancy. Approximately half of these fetuses die shortly before, or shortly after birth. Infants that survive birth often have failure to thrive, rashes or lesions on various parts of their body, deformities, and bone lesions.
Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, specifically penicillin. It is a very effective treatment, and in the vast majority of cases can prevent the complications listed above.
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Knowledge is power. It’s very important for each of us to understand what our options are, and what evidence supports each option. Preventing diseases before they start is often the most efficient way to be healthy, and this starts by screening for the diseases that are appropriate for us depending on age, gender, and other factors. Download our app to go through a short list of questions, and receive a personalized list of the appropriate screening recommendations for you. More information about each of these tests is provided through the app, so that you can stay informed and educated.
Here are a few studies which give insight into the efficacy of screening and early treatment for syphilis. Feel free to contact us for more information about the matter, we would be happy to provide more information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Congenital syphilis—United States, 2002. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep2004;53:716-9. [PMID: 15306757]
Wolff T, Shelton E, Sessions C, Miller T. Screening for Syphilis Infection in Pregnant Women: Evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement. Ann Intern Med 2009;150:709-716.
American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2007.