Syphilis - When To Call a Doctor
Call to make an appointment if
In most areas, public health clinics or health
departments are able to diagnose and provide low-cost assessment and treatment
of early syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For more information about symptoms of other sexually
transmitted infections, see the topic
Exposure to Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Watchful waiting, which means taking a
wait-and-see approach, is not appropriate if you think you were exposed to or
syphilis or another sexually transmitted infection
(STI). Any symptoms or other changes that suggest syphilis or another STI should be evaluated by a doctor. If you
suspect a syphilis infection:
- Make an appointment with your doctor. Early treatment can reduce the complications of syphilis and
prevent the spread of the infection to others.
- Do not have sexual
intercourse or other sexual contact until you have been treated by a doctor.
If you are diagnosed with syphilis, your sex partner(s)
will need to be treated also.
All states require doctors to report newly diagnosed cases of syphilis (all stages) to
Who to see
Your primary doctor can
diagnose and treat syphilis.
Health professionals who can diagnose
and treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) include:
secondary or later stage syphilis may require
treatment by an
infectious disease specialist.
In most areas, public health clinics or county
health departments are able to diagnose and provide low-cost or free treatment
of early syphilis and other STIs.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.