What happens when syphilis is left untreated?

If left untreated, syphilis can lay dormant for years or decades without causing symptoms. This is known as the latent stage. Eventually, it can lead to serious health problems and may be life-threatening. Untreated syphilis may cause:

  • stroke

  • blindness

  • meningitis

  • heart problems

  • loss of coordination

  • dementia

Syphilis can still be treated at this stage, but it may not be possible to reverse any damage that’s already been done.


Last updated at: 08 March 2022

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