Sexual problems - Chancroid


What is chancroid

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a particular germ called a bacteria. It is most common in tropical countries but occurs in all parts of the world.

Who gets chancroid

Any sexually active person can be infected with chancroid. It is more commonly seen in men than in women, particularly uncircumcised males.

How is chancroid spread

Chancroid is spread by sexual contact with an infected individual. The germs are more likely to invade the sexual organs at a point of a pre-existing injury, such as a small cut or scratch. The likelihood of transmission is greater if a person is very active sexually.

What are the symtpms of chancroid

The first sign of infection is one or more sores or raised bumps on the genital organs. They are surrounded by a narrow red border which becomes filled with pus. It eventually breaks, leaving a painful open sore. In one-half of untreated cases, the chancroid bacteria infects and swells the lymph glands in the genital area. The glands become larger, hard and painful.

How soon do symptoms appear

Symptoms usually appear four to seven days after exposure.

When and for how long is a person able to spread chancroid

Chancroid can be passed to others as long as the infected person has open sores and continues to have unprotected sex. The open sores contain the germs and any contact with these sores can result in infection.

What complications can result from chancroid

Untreated chancroid can result in progressive ulcers occurring on the genitals. Sometimes the ulcers persist for weeks or months. The open sores also make it easier to get other sexually transmitted diseases, including the virus (HIV) that causes AIDS.

Does past infection with chancroid make a person immune

No. A person can get chancroid more than once.

What is the treatment for chancroid

Chancroid may be successfully treated with certain antibiotics. Lesions and ulcers can be expected to heal within two weeks.

What can be done to prevent the spread of STDs

  • Abstinence is the only sure way to avoid STDs.
  • The kinds of sex that do not include vaginal, anal or oral intercourse are also "safer sex" and less likely to spread STDs.
  • Try to limit your exposure to STDs. Unprotected sexual activity increases your chance of exposure and infection. If you have more than one partner or your partner has other sexual partners this increases your chances of getting an STD.
  • Use barrier protection, like a condom.
  • Look at your partner before having sex. If you see any sign of an infection such as rashes, sores, discharge or swelling, stop and talk about the importance of checking for an STD before having sex.
  • If you think you are infected, avoid any sexual contact and visit a local sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinic, hospital or your own doctor. If possible, bring your sex partner(s) with you so that they can be treated if necessary.
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