Congenital Syphilis

congenital syphilis treatment

Protect yourself and your baby

When you are pregnant, your medical provider will complete many routine tests, ranging from ultrasounds to blood tests. These screenings help ensure you have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. One of those screenings, completed at your first prenatal visit, is a syphilis test.

Congenital syphilis is on the rise in San Diego County. This disease occurs when a parent with syphilis passes the infection on to baby during pregnancy.

Congenital syphilis can cause:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Early birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Death shortly after birth

Babies born with congenital syphilis may have:

  • Misformed bones
  • Low iron
  • Liver and spleen problems
  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Brain and nerve problems, like blindness or deafness
  • Brain swelling
  • Skin rashes

The good news is that syphilis is curable.

Syphilis doesn’t always have symptoms, so it’s important to get tested even if you don’t think you have it. If you test positive, your provider will give you a safe antibiotic. If you haven’t received a syphilis test or you’re not sure, you can always ask your provider. Although asking might be uncomfortable, you have the power to protect yourself and your baby’s health.

If you’re not getting prenatal care, your baby could be at risk for congenital syphilis. Family Health Centers of San Diego has many options to help you receive care, even if you think you can’t afford it. We provide insurance enrollment assistance at no-cost and offer a sliding fee scale for uninsured patients.

For more information:

Call the Perinatal Care Network at (800) 675-2229.