Sexually Transmitted Diseases are common among people who are sexually active. Of the STDs is chancroid. It is a condition caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi which destroys the tissues and produces an ulcerative sore which affects any part of the genitalia. As it is a type of STD, sexually active individuals can be affected, irrespective of the sex.

Once an ulcer is formed, it becomes contagious and can be spread from one person to another during sexual intercourse.


Though it can be spread through sexual intercourse, it can also be transmitted from one place to another on their bodies if one comes in contact with the discharge from the sore.


Sexually active persons are at risk of developing chancroid. Those who migrate from one place to another place which has insufficient resources are more at risk than people who live in places with abundant resources. These resources include:

  • Healthcare facilities
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Water


The symptoms vary in both sexes; men may present with different symptoms from women.

In Men:

A small bump may appear anywhere on the genital, which might rupture within a day or two.

In Women:

It may present as several sores on the genitals and may ulcerate posing a threat to their sex partners. Once the elevated blisters ulcerate, it may cause a burning sensation during the passage of urine and painful sensation during bowel movement.

Other symptoms that may develop include:

  • Because the fluid is contagious, it can cause the sore to destroy a wide surface area and thus vary in size.
  • The bump may grow gradually from hard to soft-centred blister.
  • The ulcers may bleed easily if touched.
  • Affected persons may experience painful intercourse and micturition.
  • There may be inguinal swelling.
  • Swollen lymph nodes may protrude through the skin forming abscess.


The pus from the sore is one of the best ways to determine if one has been infected with the disease. The health care provider may need to analyse the discharge before inferring. The doctor may also examine the lymph nodes in your groin for swelling and pain.



Treatment of the disease is to help minimize scarring and for quick recovery. However, if left untreated, it may heal. Antibiotics are the drugs of choice in the treatment of chancroid. Both sex partners should be treated at the same time.

Management of Sex Partners

Regardless of whether symptoms of the disease are present, sex partners of patients who have chancroid should be examined and treated if they had sexual contact with the patient within the 10 days preceding the patient’s onset of symptoms.

Swollen lymph nodes may be surgically drained through incision and drainage.

Prognostic outcome in uncircumcised men and patients with HIV infection is poor compared to persons who are circumcised or HIV-negative. It is also advisable to conduct test for individuals who tested positive to chancroid and if the initial test results were negative, a serologic test for syphilis and HIV infection should be performed 3 months after the diagnosis of chancroid.




Follow up management involves re-examining the client within the next 3-7 days of initiating treatment. A positive prognosis is affirmed when there is a decrease in the size of the blistering sore. However, in case of poor clinical improvement, the clinician must consider whether:

  • The diagnosis is correct,
  • The patient is co-infected with another STD,
  • The patient is infected with HIV,
  • There was poor compliance to treatment, or
  • The H. ducreyi strain causing the infection is resistant to the prescribed antimicrobial.


The healing process may take time depending on the size of the ulceration. In other words, healing may take more time if the ulcer is wide. Uncircumcised men may experience slow healing. This is because of the fore skin. Clinical resolution of fluctuant lymphadenopathy is slower than that of ulcers and might require needle aspiration or incision and drainage, despite otherwise successful therapy. Although needle aspiration of buboes is a simpler procedure, incision and drainage might be preferred because of reduced need for subsequent drainage procedures.



Ways in which one can prevent getting chancroid or spreading it to other people include:

  • Abstinence from vaginal and anal intercourse, and oral sex,
  • Being faithful to one’s sex partner.
  • Use of latex condoms is advisable when having intercourse.
  • Avoid touching the chancroid sores.
  • If you do touch one, carefully wash your hands to reduce the risk that you spread the infection to another part of your body.





Chancroid. (2015, June 4).

Chancroid. (n.d.)

Chancroid – PubMed Health. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information.

April 22, 2012,


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