Chancroid Symptoms

When engaging in sexual activity, there are emotional, spiritual and physical considerations. For those who are afforded the ability to choose when to become sexually active; the emotional and spiritual considerations are related to your readiness for such intimacy and are a personal journey only the individual can take. Physical considerations on the other hand are more concrete and involve the transmission of sexually transmitted disease (STD). Anyone who engages in sexual intercourse will need to be aware of STD’s and how to prevent them.

Often, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and chlamydia are the sexually transmitted disease that first come to a person’ mind when discussing sexually transmitted disease. However there are other, less known diseases that one needs to be aware of. Chancroid symptoms are an STD caused by bacterial (scientific name haemophilus ducreyi) infection.

Chancroid symptoms happen anywhere in the world, but are prevalent in parts (tropical) of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Remote geographical location, access to health care and lack of public health education all contribute to continued cases of chancroid symptoms and concentrated outbreaks in small areas.

Public Health Information on Chancroid Symptoms

Educating the public about STD’s and chancroid symptoms, risk factors, treatment and prevention is vital to containing its spread among sexually active individuals. The disease is relatively easy to treat with inexpensive oral antibiotics once a diagnosis has been made. Chancroid symptoms present anywhere from 2 days to one month after exposure. The common incubation period is 2-7 days following infection.

Symptoms that indicate infectious chancroid symptoms include:

Initially, elevated red bumps appear in the genital region. Men will have bumps on the penis, scrotum and area between the scrotum and anus (perianal area). Women will notice bumps on the vagina, outer skin folds of the vagina (labia), the cervix (inside the vagina) and the anal area. A few days after the red bumps appear; they will become pus filled and swell. Eventually, the swelling will increase until the bump bursts open leaving a large oozing sore (ulcer). The ulcer will drain blood and pus, possibly taking weeks to heal without treatment.

About half the cases of chancroid symptoms will develop an infection of the genital lymph glands as well. The glands swell; causing hard knots under the skin (called buboes). The glands may become pus filled, swell and burst open. The glands are extremely painful and may require draining with a needle. Left untreated, the lesions can result in scarring, and the infection may progress to other body regions causing further illness. Occasionally the infection spreads and can cause infertility, disfigurement and rarely death.

Diagnosing chancroid symptoms is done by examining the lesions and looking at the drainage under a microscope to confirm the presence of chancroid bacteria. Oral antibiotics will take approximately two weeks to completely heal ulcers. Infected glands may need to be drained. You must refrain from sexual intercourse until all chancroid symptoms have healed. Groups who are at high risk are:

  • Those with HIV infection.
  • Males who are uncircumcised (the foreskin of the penis has not been cut away from the tip).
  • Those who have multiple sex partners
  • Those who have sexual intercourse without the use of condoms.

The only guaranteed way to prevent chancroid symptoms is to abstain from sexual intercourse entirely. However, once the decision has been made to have sex; using a condom during sex reduces the transmission dramatically. Chancroid symptoms can also be spread during oral sex and skin to skin contact. Any type of sexual encounter with those who have visible ulcers should be avoided.

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