New Prenatal Screening for Syphilis to Drastically Cut Stillbirths


Syphilis, one of many sexually transmitted diseases no one likes to talk about. Specifically speaking, the dreaded S-word  kills an estimated 1 million babies every year. All the while, cheap, simple precautionary testing and treatment for those infected would cut stillbirths and other related perinatal deaths by more than half, this new study has found.

So while most most countries recommend prenatal screening for syphilis, why is adherence to these policies so low? Because polite society doesn’t talk about such things. Even in our advanced day and age, many professionals in the medical community think the dangers of syphilis, and it’s more than adverse ‘side-affects’, are things of the past. A whopping cause for infant fatality, seemingly swept under the rug. It comes as some small relief to me then, at least there are fresh meta analysis’ being conducted and published such as this one by, The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The report detailed that approximately 2 million women contact syphilis each and every year. The outcome for pregnant mothers who carry it being tragic. 69% of these women will have stillborns. If their babies survive, they are born very tiny, fragile and face an uphill battle in life due to various vulnerabilities or disablement of some form.

Looking Good For The Future?

Thanks to the results of the Lancet study we now have preventative solutions to administer and treatments to recommend. Uncomplicated ones, at less than 2 dollars to prescribe. Wow. What took so long? It’s not like these are new tests or new drugs. And who will advocate in the face of polite society, (and dinosaurs of the medical community), that this tragic issue has more than outstretched it’s unnecessary, shocking stay? Will the US or Canada be last on the list to enlist national policies to administer these test and treatments?

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