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29th January, 20211 min read

What is chancroid?

Medical reviewer: Dr Ann Nainan
Author: Dr Lauretta Ihonor
Last reviewed: 29/01/2021
Medically reviewed

All of Healthily's articles undergo medical safety checks to verify that the information is medically safe. View more details in our safety page, or read our editorial policy.

Chancroid is a sexually-transmitted bacterial infection that causes ulcers on and around the genitals. It’s not very common in Europe and North America.

If you have chancroid, it’s likely that the ulcers will hurt. You may also notice you have swollen lymph glands around your groin.

How is chancroid diagnosed?

A doctor will usually examine your genitals to help diagnose chancroid.

They may also take a sample of fluid from the ulcers to send to a lab for tests, and you may need blood tests to check for other sexually-transmitted infections.

How is chancroid treated?

If you have chancroid, you’ll typically need antibiotics to treat the infection. You'll also need to avoid having sex until you and your partner have been fully treated.

If you have infected lymph nodes in your groin and these have swollen up, a doctor may use a needle to drain some fluid from them.

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