Lots of people with syphilis don’t know they have it. Not everyone has symptoms and symptoms can be hard to spot. Symptoms can be in parts of the body – such as in the anus or in throat – where they are hard to notice.
Even when symptoms are present, they can disappear over time. That doesn’t mean the syphilis has gone away and treatment is still necessary.

Symptoms can include a painless sore (called a chancre) in or around the genitals, inside or around the anus, on the lips, mouth or throat. Chancres are often hard to spot because they can be inside the body. They are also sometimes mistaken for herpes.
Some people with syphilis experience swollen glands in the groin or neck, headaches, tiredness or fever.

A blotchy red rash can appear on the body when someone has syphilis. The rash can also be on the palms of the hand and the bottom of the feet.
If left untreated, syphilis can start to cause serious damage to the body including the eyes, brain and nervous system. This is called tertiary or third stage syphilis.

It’s important to remember that not everyone who gets syphilis will experience symptoms. Regular testing for syphilis will help diagnose it quicker if you have it.