Uncommon Sexually Transmitted Disease

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease that causes open sores to develop around the penis and scrotum in male, and around vulva and vagina in female. It is caused by Hemophilus ducreyi. Though, it is not as common as before but it can still be found in some parts of Africa. Like Genital Herpes infection, chancroid increases the risk of acquiring HIV.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CHANCROID?

The symptoms of chancroid develops with 4-10 days of contracting the infection. However, symptoms can show up earlier than 4 days and after 10 days. These symptoms are seen in areas prone to friction during sex.

1. The ulcer around the penis or vagina is bumpy and filled with pus.

2. The ulcer is soft to touch unlike the one in syphilis. It can even burst when you touch it and discharge blood or pus.

3. The centre of the ulcer is gray or yellowish gray.

4. In men, it is associated with pain while women might show no symptom.

5. Painful swelling around the groin (one or both sides)

6. Pain during sex

7. Pain when urinating.

IF YOU HAVE CHANCROID, CAN YOU STILL SEX WITH YOUR PARTNER?

The answer here is NO. If your partner had sex with you in the last 10 days before you started showing symptoms, he/ she has to be examined and treated.

WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU HAVE CHANCROID AND HIV

Ulcers in HIV infected individual heal slowly and can experience treatment failure. Therefore, duration for treatment is longer.

WHAT ARE THE TESTS MY DOCTOR WILL REQUEST ME TO DO?

Your doctor might request you do the following tests:

1. Culture for Hemophilus ducreyi. Sample for culture is taken from the ulcer.

2. Darkfield microscopy to exclude syphilis.

TREATMENT

Chancroid is curable and symptoms can resolve completely if treated appropriately. It is important to treat this disease early; once the infection spreads around the body, it might be difficult to treat.

HOW DO I PREVENT CHANCROID?

Avoiding sexual activities is the surest way to prevent chancroid. How feasible is this? The following preventive measures should be adopted to prevent chancroid.

  1. Stick to one faithful sexual partner
  2. Limit the number of your sexual partner.
  3. Cultivate the habit of asking your partner about any sore in their genital area.
  4. Know the STI status of your partner before engaging in sexual activity with him/ her.

Talk to your doctor early if you notice any form of swelling in your groin or sores in your genital.