Syphilis is a long-lasting systemic infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Its symptoms are very diverse. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease, and infections can occur during sexual intercourse and oral sex. Syphilis infections may also occur in the throat (after oral sex) or rectum (after anal intercourse). During pregnancy, the disease may pass from the mother to the foetus. Syphilis is rare in Finland. According to the National Infectious Diseases Register of the National Institute for Health and Welfare, 179 cases of syphilis were diagnosed in Finland in 2011.

Condoms are the only contraceptive method that protects against syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). It is important to use a condom during oral sex as well.

Key words: Sex, Sexually transmitted diseases, Syphilis