Diagnosis and Syphilis Treatment in Queens, NY
If you’re at risk for infection, STD testing is a good idea. Our STD testing center in Queens is equipped to diagnose and treat a variety of sexually transmitted infections and their symptoms. At Choices Women’s Medical Center, we offer a variety of gynecologist services to address female reproductive health and have a fully staffed STD clinic available if you suspect syphilis or another infection.
Symptoms of Syphilis
The disease presents in four stages, but symptoms may not present for years. Plus, symptoms typical of each stage do not always occur in the same order. Syphilis is transmissible via unprotected sex, even if the carrier does not have any symptoms.
Primary syphilis: Small, painless skin sores, often inside the vagina or rectum, form and heal within 3 to 6 weeks.
Secondary syphilis: The second stage begins 2 to 10 weeks after you see the first sore.
The symptoms include:
- Skin rash with small, reddish-brown sores
- Oral, vaginal, or anal sores
- Swollen glands
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle aches
- Extreme fatigue
The symptoms will eventually go away on their own. However, if you don’t seek treatment, they will continue to come back, perhaps for up to a year. You will remain infectious whether symptoms are present or not.
Latent syphilis: Individuals with the disease may or may not go through this “hidden” phase. Symptoms may not reemerge again for several years, and sometimes they never return.
Tertiary syphilis: The final and most severe stage, this can involve a variety of severe complications, which may not occur for 10 to 30 years after you’re first infected.
- Neurological problems
- Infection of brain/spinal cord membranes
- Blindness or visual impairment
- Heart valve disease
- Inflamed blood vessels
- Personality changes
How to Test for Syphilis
Testing for the disease involves a physical exam. A doctor will check for rashes on your skin or sores called chancres. Another dependable means of STD testing is a blood test. To diagnose syphilis, a medical laboratory will check for antibodies that fight the syphilis bacteria, or it might also test fluid drawn from a sore.
Syphilis STD Treatment Options in Queens, NY
At any stage, syphilis can be successfully treated with penicillin, an antibiotic. Our health clinic provides a single dose if the initial infection occurred less than a year ago. Specialists at our women’s health center will recommend additional doses if it’s been over a year.
Other than antibiotics, there are no other cures. Syphilis cannot be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter medications. There are women’s health concerns for those who are pregnant because the STD can be deadly to an unborn child.
Otherwise, treatment is usually simple. Side effects may include fever, headaches, joint or muscle pain, and sometimes nausea and chills. Most of the time, these don’t last more than a day. Additional blood tests and exams may be conducted by doctors at our Queens women’s healthcare clinic. Follow-up tests help confirm you’re responding to the treatment and can determine whether you are cured or not.
For more information on syphilis diagnosis and treatment, and our general women’s health services in Queens, NY, book an appointment with Choices Women’s Medical Center online or call 718-786-5000.