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Syphilis Test

This particular Syphilis Test looks for antibodies that develop should you contract syphilis.

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Testing Method:
Blood draw

This particular Syphilis Test looks for antibodies that develop should you contract syphilis. Caused by bacteria, syphilis is a common sexually transmitted disease that is passed by way of contact with a syphilis sore (or “chancre”). While condoms certainly lower the risk of contracting syphilis, no preventative measures can eliminate the risk entirely as chancre sores can still appear on (and spread via) areas other than the genitals. Syphilis is easily curable, but only if it’s caught early on. If left untreated it can lead to more serious issues. Since it can take weeks before these antibodies appear, you’re advised to wait between three and six weeks after a potential exposure before taking a Syphilis Test.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can cause serious health problems if it’s not detected in its earliest stages. Therefore, the best course of action to take if you believe you have any burgeoning infection is to get tested for syphilis as soon as you can.

How Our Syphilis Test Works

Syphilis is most easily detected in the bloodstream. This is because a blood test can confirm the presence of antibodies that the body produces to fight infection. These antibodies remain in your body for several years after an active infection, which means a syphilis test can determine a current or past infection. This is helpful information for you and for your current and past partners.

To schedule your syphilis test, place an order online and select the most convenient testing facility near you from our list of over 4,000 providers. Once you arrive, a certified staff member will collect a quick blood sample. Your sample will be processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory, and you’ll have complete results available in as little as 24-72 hours. This report is provided to you privately through a secure online portal.

Common Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis presents differently depending on how advanced the case is–the longer the STI remains in your body, the more advanced the bacteria becomes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as a result, the common symptoms of syphilis are divided into four stages: primary, secondary, latent and tertiary.

Primary Stage Symptoms

During the primary stage, syphilis shows up in the form of either single or multiple sores. These sores are most often present in the following areas:

  • Penis
  • Vagina
  • Anus
  • Rectum
  • Lips or inside mouth

The sores can vary, but they are typically firm, round and painless. While these sores can last anywhere from 1 to 5 weeks, they usually clear up independently. However, even after a sore caused by syphilis clears, it is still important to be tested for the STI as it will likely progress to the second stage.

Secondary Stage Symptoms

The secondary stage of syphilis is marked with skin rashes or sores in your mouth, vagina or anus. These rashes commonly appear after the single initial sores have cleared and are characterized by the following attributes:

  • Rough
  • Red
  • Reddish-brown

The CDC details that the rash will not generally itch and may appear so faint that you won’t notice it. Other secondary stage symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Patchy hair loss
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

The symptoms from this stage will go away regardless of whether you receive treatment. However, syphilis will progress to the latent and possibly tertiary stages without proper treatment.

Latent Stage Symptoms

At this stage, there are no visible symptoms. Syphilis can remain latent in the body for years to decades.

Tertiary Stage Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic reports that around 30% of people will develop complications if a syphilis infection goes untreated. These complications are known as tertiary syphilis.

The tertiary stage is known as the “late stage” of syphilis. If the STI has progressed to this stage, it begins to cause damage to the following areas of the body:

  • Brain
  • Nerves
  • Eyes
  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Liver
  • Bones
  • Joints

These symptoms are likely to occur several years after the original, untreated infection.

How to Interpret Your Results

If your syphilis test comes back negative or normal, this is an indication that no syphilis infection has been found in your body.

If your test reveals a positive result, this confirms there is syphilis in your body. If this is the case, you will want to seek treatment from a physician.

According to Medline Plus, most early-stage syphilis infections can be cured with antibiotics. Later-stage syphilis can also be treated with antibiotics. Still, it should be understood that while these medications can stop the disease from becoming worse, they cannot undo any damage that has already been done.

Visit our Sample Test Results for further clarification on how to interpret your results.

How To Talk To Your Partner About STD Testing

Many sexually active people choose to discuss STD testing with their partners whether they are new partners to one another or are invested in a monogamous relationship. However, STDs and STIs can remain latent in the body for years after active infection, so regular testing can be a part of maintaining open communication and a safe environment for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In a report released by US News and World Report, there were nearly 130,000 cases of syphilis in the United States in 2019. This number indicates a 70% increase in syphilis cases in the past 5 years. While chlamydia and gonorrhea are still considered the most common STDs, this report sig

  • Syphilis is a progressive STI, which means that once it is introduced into the body, it remains in the body and slowly (or rapidly) spreads to other parts of the body. Regardless of which stage syphilis has progressed, our tests will offer accurate results. If you are free of the bacteria causing syphilis or if there are antibodies present indicating a past infection, our test will produce accurate results.

  • The CDC suggests all sexually active gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis. In addition, those who have multiple or anonymous partners should be tested more frequently.

  • To keep you and your sexual partners safe, you will want to be equipped with knowledge of whether you have been infected. While it may begin with a small bump, the later stages of syphilis can be quite devastating to the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints.

    The good news is that syphilis can be treated with antibiotics. Getting tested will alert you to any current or previous infection, which will allow you to seek life-saving help from a physician.