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Spread of Syphilis During Pregnancy  
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Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

Syphilis is an infection caused by bacteria. Congenital syphilis is an infection that a baby is born with. In this case, the infection is passed from a mother to her baby.

This is a potentially serious condition that requires medical care. If untreated, a baby with congenital syphilis can have problems throughout life. It can also cause a stillbirth or death in early infancy.

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Causes  

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a specific bacteria. This infection can pass to a baby through an infected mother. The baby may be infected during pregnancy or the birth process.

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Risk Factors  

A baby has an increased risk of developing congenital syphilis if the mother:

  • Does not receive prenatal care
  • Abuses drugs before or during pregnancy
  • Is involved in prostitution
  • Has unprotected sex