pregnant womanResearchers in Spain have recently completed a study into the effects of gestational syphilis on pregnancy and perinatal outcomes. The study, completed by researchers from the Hospital Universitario La Paz, included 94 pregnant women who contracted syphilis prior to pregnancy. More than 85,000 women without syphilis were used as controls for the study.

Pregnancy and delivery occurred between 2002 and 2010. Of the 94 patients diagnosed with syphilis, only 57 received adequate treatment despite the fact that all women were given access to prescription medications. Thirty-one women suffered pregnancy complications and 16 fetal complications were reported. In four pregnancies, infants contracted syphilis from the mothers with three cases of syphilis-related meningitis. All cases of infant syphilis were linked to improper or non-existent treatment.

Conclusion: Treatment of syphilis during pregnancy greatly reduces (or eliminates) the risk of passing syphilis on to the fetus.

Source: de la Calle M, Cruceyra M, de Haro M, Magdaleno F, Montero MD, Aracil J, González A. Syphilis and pregnancy: Study of 94 cases.] Med Clin (Barc). 2013 Mar 16. pii: S0025-7753(13)00077-8. doi: 10.1016/j.medcli.2012.11.033.