Chancroid – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Chancroid is a type of sexually transmitted bacterial infection causing painful sores on the genitals. It is a rare type of infection affecting men and women who are sexually active equally.

Causes Of Chancroid :

Chancroid is caused by Haemophilus ducreyi bacterium that attacks the soft mucous membrane of the genitals causing painful sores. This bacterial infection is contagious and spreads when the infected person has sex with others. Any type of sexual activity like oral sex, anal sex or regular sex can pass on the bacteria to others. Gram negative bacterium belonging to streptobacillus group causes chancroid and is common in developing countries in low economic groups and sex workers.

Chancroid Symptoms :

Chancroid can affect the genitals causing painful ulcers on the area. Pain inducing red sores is formed in and around the private parts. Some of the common symptoms of chancroid are small red bumps on the genitals causing pain. The ulcerous growth is seen on the penis or on the scrotum of men. In women red lesions are found on the labia and on the anus and sometimes even on the thighs. Pain during urination is common both in men and women when the sores rupture. Ulcer like bumps may vary in size and have sharp borders. It may occur either as single or in groups. Ulcers can bleed when touched hard or pressed.

Risk Factors :

Women who act as sex workers and men/women with more number of sex partners are at risk of developing this infection. People who travel frequently to regions that have outbreaks of chancroid and people who move closely with low socio-economic groups are at high risk of developing this bacterial infection.


Tests :

Your doctor may complete physical examination of the genitals and order for biopsy. Fluid or tissue sample would be collected from the sores and tested in the laboratory.

Chancroid Treatment :

Antibiotics are prescribed in suitable doses for chancroid infection. You need to complete the course of drugs as per your doctor advice. For some people, painful sores may be opened through a needle to drain off the fluid to ease out the pain and reduce inflammation. If left untreated, chancroid infection can cause scarring on the areas in and around the genitals.

Prevention :

Always use condom throughout the sexual activity. Limit the number of sex partners. Refrain from sex until you are cured completely to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

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