Syphilis Challenges

Lack of prenatal care and gaps in testing and treatment among those who do receive prenatal care are significant challenges for preventing congenital syphilis.


Even among those receiving some prenatal care, the detection and treatment of maternal syphilis often occurs too late in pregnancy to prevent congenital syphilis. Health departments, in partnership with prenatal care providers and other local organizations, should work together to address barriers to obtaining early and adequate prenatal care for the most vulnerable pregnant women in their communities.

Access To and Availability of Treatment

Women who are uninsured or underinsured and women with substance use problems are likely to be at increased risk for receiving inadequate or no prenatal care, increasing the unborn babies’ risk for congenital syphilis.

Page last reviewed: August 11, 2022