Within 1 day - 2 weeks after getting chancroid, a person will get a small bump in the genitals. The bump becomes an ulcer within a day of its appearance. The ulcer:
About half of infected men have only a single ulcer. Women often have 4 or more ulcers. The ulcers appear in specific locations.
Common locations in men are:
In women the most common location for ulcers is the outer lips of the vagina (labia majora). "Kissing ulcers" may develop. These are ulcers that occur on opposite surfaces of the labia. Other areas such as the inner vagina lips (labia minora), the area between the genitals and the anus (perineal area), and inner thighs may also be involved. The most common symptoms in women are pain with urination and intercourse.
The ulcer may look like a chancre, the typical sore of primary syphilis.
Approximately half of the people infected with a chancroid will develop enlarged inguinal lymph nodes, the nodes located in the fold between the leg and the lower abdomen.
Half of those who have swelling of the inguinal lymph nodes will progress to a point where the nodes break through the skin, producing draining abscesses. The swollen lymph nodes and abscesses are often referred to as buboes.
Chancroid is diagnosed by looking at the ulcer(s) and checking for swollen lymph nodes. There are no blood tests for chancroid.
Murphy TF. Haemophilus infections. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2005:chap 222.
Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Infections of the lower genital tract: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, HIV infections. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 22.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Workowski KA, Berman SM. Diseases characterized by genital ulcers. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Aug 4;55(RR-11):14-30.
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