Congenital Syphilis Case Management Program (CSCMP)


What is Congenital Syphilis?

Congenital syphilis happens when a pregnant woman with syphilis passes the infection on to her unborn baby. The longer she goes without treatment the more likely the infection will have serious effects on the baby.

How is Syphilis Transmitted?

Syphilis is transmitted through sexual intercourse.

  • Vaginal
  • Anal
  • Oral

What are the Symptoms of Syphilis?

Primary Stage  

  • A painless syphilis sore appears after you are first infected that can be confused for an ingrown hair, zipper cut, or other seemingly harmless bump. Lymph glands near the sore may be swollen. 

  • The sore will go away but it does not mean you’re cured! 

Secondary Stage 

  • After about 6 to 8 weeks, you may feel sick all over, like you have the flu. You may have fever, aches, poor appetite, sore throat, headache or swollen glands 

  • A non-itchy body rash develops and can show up on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet, all over your body, or in just a few places. 

Third or Late Stage 

  • The rash and flu-like symptoms will go away after 2 to 6 weeks, but syphilis remains in the body.  

  • Persons who have untreated syphilis in this stage experience difficulty coordinating your muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, blindness, and dementia (mental disorder). In the late stages of syphilis, the disease damages your internal organs and can result in death. 


How is Syphilis Diagnosed?

  • The only way to know for sure is to get a blood test ordered by your doctor.

  • Pregnant women should always be tested for syphilis to protect themselves and their babies. 

  • Pregnant women should be tested in the first and third trimester and at delivery. 



  • Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics. 

  • Be sure to take all the medication as instructed by provider. 

  • Do not have sex until your health care provider says you’re cured! 

  •  Partners must be treated also!

  • Go back for follow-up testing! 




Not having sex is the safest way. 

If having sex: 

Always use a latex condom and follow the directions provided on condom packaging. 

Get tested for syphilis and other STD’s. 

Have sex with only one partner who only has sex with you. 

Do not use drugs or alcohol because this may impair your ability to protect yourself. 


How it Effects your Pregnancy and Infant

Congenital Syphilis can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.

The infection in infants can cause the following:

Low birth weight

Severe anemia

Enlarged liver and spleen.


Skin rashes

Deformed bones

Brain and nerve problems causing blindness or deafness, and meningitis.

Congenital Syphilis Case Management Program (CSCMP)

The Congenital Case Management Program (CSCMP) provides case management services to individuals with a confirmed diagnosis of Syphilis while pregnant and educational outreach to local provider offices.

These services include:

  • Access to treatment or treatment referrals.
  • Referrals to supportive services.
  • Home visits with a Public Health Nurse.
  • Help with setting up medical appointments.
  • Guidance on sexual health and prevention of STIs.
  • Guidance on accessing contraception.


Contact us:

(559) 600-3200