Syphilis is caused by a bacteria that primarily spreads through contact with a syphilis sore (called a chancre) during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. This infection can be present for many years and several different symptoms can be attributed to the infection at different stages of the infection. The Healthyr STD test detects antibodies that your body produces to fight the bacteria that causes syphilis. In primary syphilis, a single firm, round, painless chancre appears at the location where the bacteria entered the body, usually on the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. Because the chancre is painless, it often goes unnoticed, especially when it appears in hard to see places. While it is common for a single chancre to appear, it is also possible for several chancres to appear. Chancres heal in about 3-6 weeks, but without treatment primary syphilis may develop to secondary syphilis. Secondary syphilis occurs as the initial chancre is healing or several weeks after it has healed. Common symptoms of secondary syphilis include rashes or lesions on the vagina, anus, or mouth, but rashes can also occur anywhere on the body such as the palms of the hand or feet. The rash may also be accompanied by fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, patchy hair loss, muscle weakness, and fatigue. The symptoms of secondary syphilis are often mistaken for other conditions, which has led syphilis to earn the nickname “”the great imitator.”” If syphilis is not treated through the secondary stage, then the infection enters the latent stage, which may last for decades. While there are no symptoms associated with latent syphilis, leaving the infection untreated can eventually lead to damage to the heart, brain, nervous system, liver, eyes, and bones. The tertiary stage of syphilis occurs in about 15% to 30% of people who are not treated for their syphilis infection. People with tertiary syphilis experience severe or life threatening complications with their heart, brain, nervous system, liver, eyes, and bones. Because the infection can affect so many different parts of your body, symptoms are wide ranging and can include severe headache, mental disorders, dementia, coronary artery disease, muscle weakness or paralysis, numbness, eye pain, eye redness, blurry vision, blindness, hearing loss, buzzing or ringing in the ears, difficulty with balance, dizziness or vertigo.