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What should I know about syphilis?

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There are four stages of syphilis. What symptoms you have depends on which stage of the disease you’re in. But the stages can overlap, and symptoms don’t always develop in the same order. You could even be infected with this sexually transmitted disease (STD) and not have any signs of it for years, but even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass it on to your sexual partner. If you think you have it or have been exposed to syphilis, get treated right away.

The stages of syphilis are called “primary,” “secondary,” “latent,” and “tertiary.”

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Syphilis.”

CDC: “STDs Life Stages” and “STD Facts.”

Stanford Health Care: “Symptoms of Syphilis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 30, 2019

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Syphilis.”

CDC: “STDs Life Stages” and “STD Facts.”

Stanford Health Care: “Symptoms of Syphilis.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on April 30, 2019

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What are the symptoms of primary syphilis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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