If you are pregnant and have syphilis, you can give the infection to your unborn baby. Having syphilis can lead to a low birth weight baby. It can also make it more likely you will deliver your baby too early or stillborn (a baby born dead). To protect your baby, you should be tested for syphilis during your pregnancy and receive immediate treatment if you test positive.
An infected baby may be born without signs or symptoms of disease. However, if not treated immediately, the baby may develop serious problems within a few weeks. Syphilis has been linked to premature births, stillbirths, and, in some cases, death shortly after birth. Untreated infants that survive tend to develop problems in multiple organs, including the brain, eyes, ears, heart, skin, teeth, and bones.
Who should be tested:
- Syphilis testing is recommended for all pregnant women at the initial prenatal visit, at 28-32 weeks, and at time of delivery.
- You should get tested regularly for syphilis if you are sexually active and
- are a man who has sex with men;
- are living with HIV; or
- have partner(s) who have tested positive for syphilis.
For more information about testing call the Public Health Clinic at 225-4550.
Note to healthcare providers: Positive results must be reported to Public Health at 224-3962 (or by fax to 937-496-7613) for contact tracing and follow-up. As per Ohio Revised Administrative Code 3701-3-03.