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Can Syphilis Be Passed on to Newborns?

Pregnant women who have syphilis can pass the disease to their unborn child. When this occurs, it is referred to as congenital syphilis, as it is a condition that is present from birth. A baby can be born with congenital syphilis that has been passed to them through the mother during pregnancy or through contact with a vaginal sore during birth. The condition can lead to lifelong health complications for the baby.

Getting Tested

Syphilis can also lead to pregnancy complications and birth defects if not treated. If you are at risk for syphilis or are unsure whether you are infected, having regular testing throughout your prenatal care can help you prevent passing it onto your child and allow you to receive the treatment you need as well.

It is safest to get tested before trying to get pregnant. However, you should also be tested early in your pregnancy if you are at risk. Treatment is more effective the sooner it is obtained. If you have syphilis while pregnant, be sure to keep up with regular appointments and follow all of the treatment recommendations from your healthcare provider.

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