Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease, or STD, caused by thebacteria Haemophilus ducreyi.

What is going on in the body?

Chancroid is an STD that is spread from one person to another throughvaginal, anal, or oral sex. About 3 to 10 days after exposure, a newlyinfected person will develop a tender, red bump on the genitals. This bump,known as a bubo, will evolve into a painful ulcer over the next 2 days. Overhalf the people with chancroid have more than one ulcer.

What are the causes and risks of the infection?

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease. Risky sexualbehaviors, such as having more than one partner, increase the risk forchancroid. For some reason, men are morecommonly infected with chancroid than women are. Individuals with immunodeficiency disorders, such asHIV, are at higher riskfor chancroid. The risk is also higher in people who are receiving chemotherapy for cancer.

Symptoms & Signs

What are the signs and symptoms of the infection?

Symptoms of chancroid may include:

  • dyspareunia, or painwith intercourse
  • painful bowel movements
  • painful ulcers, which may drain pus
  • painful urination
  • rectal bleeding
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • vaginal discharge
  • Diagnosis & Tests

    How is the infection diagnosed?

    Diagnosis of chancroid begins with a medical history and physicalexam. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) gives three criteria for adiagnosis of chancroid.

  • The person has one or more painful ulcers, which may be associated withswollen lymph nodes.
  • Treponema pallidum\ bacteria. Less often, syphilis is transmitted from a pregnant woman to her baby. This form of syphilis is known as \congenital syphilis.\Syphilis has been ruledout with diagnostic tests.
  • The person’s symptoms are not typical of genital herpes, or a culture for the herpes virus isnegative.
  • The Haemophilus ducreyibacteria that cause chancroid can only be grown on a special culture medium.That medium is not always available, and the test is only 80% sensitive for thebacteria.

    Prevention & Expectations

    What can be done to prevent the infection?

    Safer sex methods canhelp prevent chancroid. Male condoms or female condoms can help prevent transmission of STDs. Some malecondomsare made with the spermicide nonoxynol 9. This product helps kill someorganisms thatcause STDs. Anyone diagnosed with chancroid shouldencourage his or her sexual partners to be screened and treated.

    What are the long-term effects of the infection?

    Chancroid rarely causes long-term effects, such as tightening of the foreskinon a man’s penis. Occasionally, there may be permanent scarring at the site ofan ulcer.

    What are the risks to others?

    Chancroid is a sexually transmitteddisease. It can be spread through vaginal, oral, or analintercourseeven before an ulcer isnoticed.

    Treatment & Monitoring

    What are the treatments for the infection?

    Antibiotics are used to treat chancroid. These include azithromycin,ceftriaxone,erythromycin, and ciprofloxacin.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Antibiotics may cause stomach upset, rash, or allergicreactions.

    What happens after treatment for the infection?

    Improvement occurs within days of starting treatment. It is usually completeafter2 weeks. Relapse sometimes occurs but will usually respond to asecond course of antibiotics. People with chancroid also should be testedfor other STDs andtreated as needed.

    How is the infection monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcareprovider.

    Article type: xmedgeneral