Chancroid is a sexually transmitted infection which is highly contagious and spreads very easily amongst sexually active people. It is usually characterized by painful sores and ulcers on the genitals. Fortunately it has a cure but it is advisable that infected people seek medical help as soon as possible. It is important that an infected individual get treatment for the infection quickly because if it is left untreated for a long time chances of HIV infection becomes inevitable.
How is Chancroid Contracted?
Chancroid is usually transmitted by sexual intercourse because when a healthy person’s skin gets into contact with the sore of an infected person the healthy person becomes infected. There are chances of people getting the infection even without sexual contact as long there is contact with the ulcers.
How to Know If You Have Chancroid
In about 1 to 3 days after chancroid infection you will start to see changes in your body. The following are the things that you will see or experience:
- At least one or more ulcers on your genital.
- Experience pain in your genitals.
- Ulcers that start of as soft lumps and then later open up into sore filled with some kind of yellowish fluid.
- Lumps that feel soft when touched on the genitals.
Are Symptoms the Same in Males and Females?
The symptoms for chancroid are usually almost the same in both males and females. In men infected individuals will notice a small red inflammation on the genitals which may ulcerate in about 1 to 3 days. The ulcer may affect any part of the manhood or the scrotum.
In women the infection may cause an inflammation that is red in the labia or on the thighs or anus. It must be noted that women whose lumps have ulcerated may experience pain during intercourse or during urination. In more severe cases of infected women there may be vaginal discharge and rectal bleeding.
How is Chancroid Diagnosed?
After you have an unprotected sexual contact with an infected person and noticed the above symptoms you will visit a physician who will then proceed to do a diagnosis on you. Chancroid is diagnosed by the detection of its bacterium Hemophilus Ducreyi and then the culture is then taken for lab analysis. The chancre can easily confuse a doctor as herpes or syphilis and therefore it is vital that the doctor find out that indeed it is chancroid.
Can Chancroid be Treated?
Fortunately chancroid has cure and its successful treatment alleviates its clinical symptoms and helps to prevent transmission to other people. Chancroid that is left untreated for long can cause scaring even if treatment is done successfully. Some of the medicines used in the treatment of chancroid include Ceftriaxone 25mg given intramuscularly, Azithromycin 11 g administered by the mouth, Ciprofloxacin 500mg by the mouth and Erythromycin 500mg by the mouth.
After medication has been given to patients of chancroid it is advised that follow up re-examination be done on them after about three to seven days. This is important because it is through follow up check-up that the doctor can know if the infection was indeed chancroid and also if there was the possibility of HIV infection too. Patients who contract chancroid usually also have a high risk of contracting HIV. There are also cases where the bacteria may be resistant to medication administered against it.
It has been found that chancroid patients who are HIV+ or uncircumcised usually do not respond well to medication. It is important that patients diagnosed with chancroid also be tested for HIV due the high HIV prevalence rate among them.
Treatment of Chancroid In Expectant Women
Expectant women who have been diagnosed with chancroid should be given special considerations during treatment because there are some kinds of medication not advised. The best medicine to be administered to pregnant women should be Azithomycin and Ceftriaxone.
How Can I Prevent Myself From Getting Infected?
The best way that an individual can prevent himself/herself from getting an infection is simply to abstain from sex. If abstinence is not a possible prevention option for you then use a condom because it reduces your chances of getting infected. You can also practice monogamy that is having only one sexual partner.
It must also be noted that condoms will only offer protection to areas that they cover. Anal areas and the scrotum that are not covered by condoms during sexual intercourse are the most likely infection areas.
Chancroid is a sexually transmitted infection which usually manifests itself in the form of sores in the affected areas e.g. the genitals. Studies suggest that those who are at an increased risk of contracting the infection are individuals who are sexually active. Fortunately the infection can be cured by use of antibiotics that are used to kill the bacteria. People who have been diagnosed with chancroid should also be tested for HIV because its patients also have a high prevalence of high HIV infection.