a chalkboard in a class used to educate teen about syphilis

Syphilis Prevention

Syphilis is a potentially life-threatening infection that is primarily passed from one infected person to another uninfected person during sexual intercourse. The infection is curable with the use of antibiotics, but if left unnoticed or untreated, the body is left at risk for serious health complications. By using these tips for syphilis prevention, it's easy to avoid syphilis, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

Monogamous Relationships

One of the most common culprits behind syphilis infections is when a partner strays away from a relationship and begins having sex with other people. Most times, this disloyal partner does not know whether or not the other people he or she is having sex with are infected with sexually transmitted diseases or infections. If you are in a relationship with someone and neither of you are infected with an STD, staying monogamous is the best method for prevention.

Using "Protection"

While condoms do not have a 100% success rate for preventing STD contraction or pregnancy, they can greatly reduce the odds of both. For oral sex, the use of a dental dam is highly advised. Beware of condoms coated in spermicides. Studies have shown that spermicides themselves can cause lesions. These lesions can create primary points of entry for syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases.

Understanding Birth Control

Before having sex while using birth control, it's always important to understand what this type of contraception does and doesn't do. Birth control in all of its forms (pills, diaphragms, implants, or shots) is not designed to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Birth control must always be paired with condom and dental dam usage when you engage in sexual intercourse.

Avoiding Drugs and Alcohol

Avoiding drug and alcohol usage is also a must for preventing STDs and STIs like syphilis. Of course, drug and alcohol usage does not directly transmit or cause syphilis infections, but it can lead you to participate in unsafe sexual behavior. If you find that you're in a situation in which you're under the influence of drugs or alcohol, be sure to abstain from sex for the duration of the intoxication.

Abstaining from Sex

Last but certainly not least, the only way to ensure prevention of syphilis is to abstain from sex completely. This includes vaginal, oral, and anal sex.

Last Updated: February 11, 2016