Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Chancroid – What Is it, Symptoms, Treatment, Secure Measures

Chancroid, caused by Haemophilus ducreyi has infrequently been associated with cases of Genital Ulcer Disease in the US, but has been isolated in up to 10% of genital ulcers diagnosed from STD clinics in Memphis and Chicago.

Do you know what kind of bacterial infection can cause sores on lips, tongue, the rest of your mouth, anus and genitals? It’s Chancroid – venereal disease. Why not that much people in US heard of it? That’s because Chancroid is more common in developing countries, but recently it’s area got larger. Take a note, travellers. So what causes chancroid?

What is chancroid?

The answer is Haemophilus ducreyi – special type of bacteria, which is pretty aggressive as it attacks different soft tissues and produces an open sores in the area of external sex organs (both men and women). Also when it comes to oral or anal intercourse, sores may bleed or produce contagious fluid which will lead to infection spread.

How Can You Get Chancroid Type of Infectection?

Unfortunately you can inherit this illness not only from sexual contact, it can be transmitted from skin-to-skin, so even the complimentary kiss or hand-shake can cause it. Also be careful with sex toys, as there could be a possibility that it was used before by a person with chancroid or, for example, it could be a man who touched sore and after that touched vibrator or dildo. Of course that particular disease is more common among sexually active people and in poor countries with bad health care system, but forewarned is forearmed.

What Are the Symptoms of Chancroid?

Please, keep in mind that symptoms can vary depending on conditions and factors and if you are worried by one of the below items, consult a doctor!

Men’s symptoms of Chancroid:

  1. The most obvious one – open sores on genitals.
  2. Small red bumps on penis or scrotum or both, that can transform into sores after a couple of days. Remember that incubation period of Chancroid can take from 12 hours to 5 days.
  3. Sometimes swollen and tender lymph nodes in groin can be a sign.

Women’s symptoms of Chancroid:

  1. Small red bumps located between anus and labia, or on labia itself, also they can appear on thighs.
  2. Painful urination or defecation accompanying bleeding which means that bumps are opened.
  3. Rectal bleeding.
  4. Pain during the intercourse, or vaginal discharge.

Additional symptoms for both genders:

  1. Sore changes it’s size or colour – turns grey or yellow.
  2. Sore bleeds if you touch it.
  3. Abscess which is caused by swollen lymph nodes and it’s very common problem. According to the statistics – about half of lymph node swelling cases end like this.
  4. Pain while having sex.

What Will Be if Chancroid Won’t Be Treated?

If the sores were not enough reason for you to start the treatment course and you’ll proceed living with chancroid infection, you risk to have other STDs and any other type of infection that can be caused by open wound.

Treatment of Chancroid

The first thing that came before treatment is testing. Chancroid has similar symptoms as syphilis or genital herpes, so a doctor will need to take samples of fluid from sores and analyze it in laboratory. Also, for accurate diagnosis doctor may ask you to make blood tests. If one of your symptoms was pain in groin area, your lymph nodes should be examined too.

As for the chancroid treatment – it depends on the severity degree.

Chancroid initial stage treatment:

We could say that the best ending is when infection goes away on its own, but that may take months and taking into account possible risks, we insist on medical treatment. It’s very effective on the initial stage of chancroid. If you want to make treatment fast and real – you’ll need to take antibiotic medications to exterminate bacteria itself. Just follow your doctor’s prescription.

Chancroid heavy stage treatment:

Unfortunately sometimes it’s too late for antibiotics, in that case surgery will be the only way to cure infection, but after the surgery they can still be useful to prevent swelling and reduce the pain.

What antibiotics can be effective in such cases:

  1. Zithromax 1.0 gm (250mg x 4 tablets).
  2. Cipro 500 mg – take 1 pill twice a day for 3 days.
  3. Cipro XR 500 mg – take 1 pill a day for 3 days.

Note: Consult your doctor before you start taking any medicines!

How to Avoid Chancroid:

  1. Use condoms while having sex.
  2. Reduce the number of sexual partners and stick to safe sex.
  3. Exclude high-risk activities that may lead to other sexually transmitted infections.
  4. If you already have an infection – warn your partner and don’t be afraid to ask the same if you’re healthy.

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