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.