It can have major health impacts on your baby. How congenital syphilis affects your baby’s health depends on how long you had syphilis and if — or when — you got treatment for the infection.
Congenital syphilis can cause:
- Miscarriage (losing the baby during pregnancy),
- Stillbirth (a baby born dead),
- Prematurity (a baby born early),
- Low birth weight, or
- Death shortly after birth.
Up to 40 percent of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn or die from the infection as a newborn.
For babies born with congenital syphilis, it can cause:
- Deformed bones,
- Severe anemia (low blood count),
- Enlarged liver and spleen,
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes),
- Brain and nerve problems, like blindness or deafness,
- Meningitis, and
- Skin rashes.