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Chancroid (soft chancre)

What is it?

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), also called venereal chancre or soft chancre. It can be transmitted by vaginal, anal or oral intercourse, and is manifested by soft and painful sores on the genitals.

The first symptoms appear two to five days after unprotected sex with an infected person, but this period can be extended up to two weeks.

Characteristics and symptoms

In the beggining, one or more small wounds with pus appear. After some time, a moist and very painful wound is formed, which spreads and grows in size and depth. Then, new wounds arise around the first one.

After two weeks of disease's onset, it may appear a reddish and painful lump in the groin, which comes to impede movement of the leg. This lump can open and expel a thick pus, greenish, mixed with blood.

In men, the sores usually are located on the glans (penis). In women, are mainly on the outside of the sexual organ and anus and, more rarely, in the vagina. It should be emphasized that the wound may not be visible, but causes pain during intercourse and evacuation.

The presentation may be accompanied by headache, fever and weakness.


As the contamination is due to the sexual practice without protection, the best way to avoid chancroid is the use of condoms in all sexual relations.

Chancroid is treated with drugs based on antibiotics, soaps and medicines for local use. Besides treatment, should be performed intense hygiene of affected sites.

Sex intercourse should be avoided until the completion of treatment. It is recommended the treatment of sex partners, in any event, due to the possibility of contamined patients with no symptoms.

Related articles

- Lymphogranuoma venereum
- Genital herpes

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