Chancroid is a bacterial infection that spreads through vaginal, anal and oral sex. It is extremely rare in New York.

If left untreated, chancroid can cause sores and lead to serious damage to the area(s) with sores, such as the skin, genitals or rectum. Having chancroid also makes it more likely to get or spread HIV.


Chancroid can cause painful sores on the genitals. Sores begin as tender red bumps which can grow, become painful and bleed.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Pain during urination.
  • Pain or bleeding during sex.
  • Pain or bleeding with a bowel movement.
  • Painful, swollen lymph nodes in the groin.


Condoms and dental dams can prevent the transmission of the chancroid if they cover the sores.


Your health care provider will use a swab to collect a sample of fluid from a sore.


Chancroid is treated with antibiotics. The full treatment is needed to clear the infection. Take all the medication even if you feel better.

Sex Partners

Your sex partner(s) also need to be treated so they do not develop serious health problems, re-infect you or pass the infection on to others. Tell all of your sex partners from the previous 10 days about your infection so that they can be examined and treated.

Chancroid in Pregnancy

There are no known harmful effects for the babies of pregnant people with chancroid. You should still let your health care provider know that you are pregnant when you seek treatment for chancroid.

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