There are four stages of syphilis. What symptoms you have depends on which stage of the disease you’re in. But the stages can overlap, and symptoms don’t always develop in the same order. You could even be infected with this sexually transmitted disease (STD) and not have any signs of it for years.

But even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass it on to your sexual partner. If you think you have it or have been exposed to syphilis, get treated right away.
The stages of syphilis are called “primary,” “secondary,” “latent,” and “tertiary (late).” This article deals with the symptoms typical of each stage.
Primary Syphilis
Symptoms for the first stage normally appear 10 days to 3 months after you’re exposed to syphilis. You might notice that the lymph nodes near your groin are enlarged.
Typically, the first visible sign of syphilis is a small, painless sore (doctors call it a “chancre”) on the skin (you may develop several sores). It normally appears at the spot where the bacteria entered your body. The sore won’t hurt, and it may be hidden inside your rectum or vagina. You might not even know you have it.
The sore will heal on its own in about 3 to 6 weeks. But this doesn’t mean the infection is gone. It means you’re about to enter the second stage of syphilis.

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