Information for patients
This leaflet can be made available in other formats including large print, CD and Braille and in languages other than English, upon request.
What is syphilis?
Syphilis is an infection passed on through sexual contact. It can be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy. If it is untreated, it can result in serious health problems for the baby or cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
I had a blood test and it was negative, can I still get syphilis in pregnancy?
You can be infected with syphilis at any time and it can take up to 3 months after exposure for syphilis blood tests to become positive, and you may not have any symptoms.
What increases my risk of getting syphilis?
- Have you changed your partner during pregnancy?
- Have you entered into a new relationship just prior to pregnancy?
- Are you having unprotected sex with multiple partners?
- Do you think your partner has any other partners that he/she is having unprotected sex with?
- Do you have, or have you had a generalised rash?
- Have you noticed any unusual ulcers on your vaginal area or mouth ulcers? (these are often painless)
- Have you noticed any enlarged lymph nodes or swelling in your groin that seems unusual?
- Have you visited a Sexual Health Clinic this pregnancy?
The risk of syphilis to your unborn baby is increased if you have answered yes to any of the above and it is safer to have another blood test so that treatment can be started, if necessary, and prevent the risk of transmission to your unborn baby.
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, a full infectious disease screen should be taken for syphilis, Hepatitis B and HIV. If you have any further questions, or to arrange an infectious disease screen, please contact your Community Midwife or the Screening Team.
Further information is available from:NHS Choices – Syphilis NHS Screening for Hepatitis B, HIV and Syphilis During Pregnancy
Antenatal and Newborn Screening Team
Telephone 01642 624234
Stockton Community Midwives
Telephone 01642 383439
Telephone 01642 383440
Hartlepool Community Midwives
Telephone 01429 522279
Peterlee Community Midwives
Telephone 01429 522270
Non-urgent messages can be left on the answering machine and will be picked up throughout the day.
Sexual Health Teesside
Telephone 0300 330 1122
Live Well Centre
Hartlepool One Life
Lawson Street Health Centre
Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Teesside
Helen Britton House
Telephone 01642 516888
HIV Support Services, Terence Higgins Trust
Telephone 0808 802 1221
Domestic Violence Services Harbour
Telephone 03000 20 25 25
My Sister’s Place
123 Borough Road
Telephone 01642 241864
Email [email protected]
Comments, concerns, compliments or complaints
Patient Experience Team (PET)
We are continually trying to improve the services we provide. We want to know what we’re doing well or if there’s anything which we can improve, that’s why the Patient Experience Team (PET) is here to help. Our Patient Experience Team is here to try to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. The office is based on the ground floor at the University Hospital of North Tees if you wish to discuss concerns in person. If you would like to contact or request a copy of our PET leaflet, please contact:
Telephone: 01642 624719
Freephone: 0800 092 0084
Monday to Friday –
Out of hours
Out of hours if you wish to speak to a senior member of Trust staff, please contact the hospital switchboard who will bleep the appropriate person.
Telephone: 01642 617617
Data protection and use of patient information
The Trust has developed Data Protection policies in accordance with Data Protection Legislation (UK General Data Protection Regulations and Data Protection Act 2018) and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. All of our staff respect these polices and confidentiality is adhered to at all times. If you require further information on how we process your information please see our Privacy Notices.
Telephone: 01642 383551
This leaflet has been produced in partnership with patients and carers. All patient leaflets are regularly reviewed, and any suggestions you have as to how it may be improved are extremely valuable. Please write to the Clinical Governance team, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of North Tees, TS19 8PE or: