Syphilis is a venereal disease transmitted by bacteria. It is one of the four most important sexually transmitted infections (along with chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV). No need to worry! Because syphilis can be treated as well as prevented by regular testing.
Before we get to your syphilis home test, here are a few facts about syphilis:
💡 Did you know that syphilis is the oldest STD in the world?
💡 Syphilis infection also increases the risk of contracting HIV
💡 Syphilis infections are reportable (reporting is anonymous)
💡 In Germany, there are currently about 8800 new cases per year (source: RKI)
Syphilis is contracted through the mucous membranes or the bloodstream. How can the bacteria enter the body?
The syphilis pathogens are located in the mucous membrane or syphilis ulcer and are "rubbed" from one mucous membrane into the other during sex.
Here, a condom is often not used, which facilitates transmission.
Use of contaminated syringes increases the risk of syphilis infection.
During pregnancy, the bacterium can be transmitted to the child in the womb and leads either to the death of the fetus or to severe physical and mental malformations of the child. For this reason, syphilis is routinely tested for during prenatal care.
💡 Good to know: Condoms offer very good protection. However, in rarer cases, the pathogen can also penetrate the skin past the condom (in the case of skin injury), e.g. at the base of the penis.
How can I tell if I have contracted syphilis? The symptoms of syphilis are often inconspicuous or non-specific, so that they are not noticed by the affected person.
Generally, however, syphilis infection usually proceeds in 3 stages. The special thing is that the transitions between the stages often run completely without symptoms.
➡ Period: 3-6 weeks after infection
➡ Often results in skin ulcers that come out at the entry site about 3 weeks after sex (e.g., vagina, penis, anus)
➡ Swollen lymph nodes
➡ Period: 4-10 weeks after infection
➡ Fever, fatigue, feeling of illness
➡ Loss of hair
➡ Skin rash (palm, foot, trunk)
➡ Wart-like skin changes on genitals and anus
➡ Period: 3-4 years after infection
➡ Changes in the vessels
➡ Organ damage and neurological damage
Stage 3 rarely occurs nowadays - usually syphilis is diagnosed and treated earlier!
💡 Good to know: Not everyone affected goes through all stages. Sometimes a phase is skipped or occurs unnoticed and without (noticeable) symptoms.
Syphilis? No spoilsport in your exciting love life! With s.a.m Health you get regular security for your sexual pleasure. Our STI test kit offers you the opportunity to test yourself for syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV in one convenient test at home. So you can be completely safe!
People with an active and varied sex life
Men who have sex with men are at greater risk of infection
To reliably detect a syphilis infection, you should wait about 10 weeks (diagnostic window). This is because the pathogens are not detectable immediately after infection.
If symptoms are present, the costs are usually covered by the health insurance.
Whether the tests are free of charge or have to be paid for varies from region to region. It is best to find out about the offer and the possible costs on the respective website.
You can buy this test at the pharmacy. Unfortunately, this type of test is not so reliable in the result. Be sure to read the instructions beforehand.
With us, you can do your test at home and send your samples to a lab. You will receive an explanation about the use of medically trained staff by phone before your first test kit. The evaluation of your samples in the laboratory is done according to the latest standards. If the result is positive, we will be there for you and tell you what to do next.
After a syphilis infection, antibodies are formed. Tests such as TPHA and TPPA can detect the pathogens in the blood for life. If these tests are negative and the last risk contact was at least ten weeks ago, syphilis is not present.
For individuals with a previous syphilis diagnosis, there is another test that responds only when the infection is active. The RPR test detects antibodies that occur when syphilis infection is active and requires treatment.
A reactive screening test (TPPA or RPR) does not necessarily mean a reliable syphilis diagnosis. Therefore, it is important to have a confirmatory test performed in a doctor's office or at the health department after a positive screening test (also for s.a.m. health). In the mother's pregnancy file, the syphilis blood test is called the LSR test and is part of the standard examination.
And how do you get rid of syphilis now? A syphilis infection is treated with antibiotics. For this purpose, the drug is injected directly into the muscle.
And sex? Yes, we know sex is awesome! But until the treatment is completed, you should rather abstain from it.
💡 Attention: A confirmed syphilis diagnosis must be reported. The laboratory reports the infection pseudonymously to the Robert Koch Institute without mentioning the names of the affected persons.