What is it?

Chancroid (KANG-kroid) is a bacterial infection that causes sores on the genitals and is transmitted through sexual contact. Chancroid is more common in males than in females, but females are more likely to be asymptomatic.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually appear 4-10 days after infection and appear as open sores, usually on the penis, rectum, or vulva – especially around the opening to the vagina.

·      These sores may produce pus or feel painful

·      Swollen glands in the groin may also be present.

·      Females may have vaginal discharge, rectal bleeding, painful urination, or painful bowel movements.

·      Males and females may experience fever or tiredness.

Is there a treatment?

A doctor may drain swollen, pus-filled lymph nodes. Generally, chancroid is treated with antibiotics. Some people will develop another ulcer despite the antibiotics. If this occurs, a second round of antibiotics will usually rid off the infection. You and your partner(s) should be treated at the same time to avoid transferring the infection back and forth to one another.

How is it spread?

It is spread through sexual contact. It can also be spread to other parts of the body if one touches the sores.

How to avoid contraction or spreading?

·    Get tested for STIs frequently

·    Use latex condoms when having vaginal or anal intercourse.

·    Get tested for STIs frequently.

·    Use a condom or dental dam when having oral sex.

·    Do not touch the sores. If you do, thoroughly wash your hands to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

·    When the exposed sores of chancroid are present, a person is susceptible to HIV and other STIs that are transmitted through the blood stream. Therefore, sexual contact should stop until the infection is fully treated.

·    Abstain from sexual contact.

Additional Info

Chancroid sores may increase risk for contracting HIV. You can reduce your risk by using latex condoms during sexual contact.


"Chancroid." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2013.


Last Updated 08 June 2013.