Genital Ulcers

Genital Ulcers

Genital ulcers are sores that appear in the genital area, including the penis, vagina and around the anus. This condition generally occurs as a result of a sexually transmitted infection which is characterized by the appearance of a lump in the area of ​​infection, pain when pressed, and swollen glands in the groin.

Genital ulcers are generally transmitted through sexual contact with sufferers. However, genital ulcers can also occur as a result of certain autoimmune disorders, diseases, or viral infections.

Genital ulcers that are not caused by sexually transmitted diseases generally affect adolescents, both boys and girls.

Causes of Genital Ulcers

Genital ulcers occur when sores appear on the vaginal area, penis, or skin around the anus. The cause of genital ulcers can be infections, both those that are transmitted through sexual contact or those that are not, or diseases other than infections.

The following is an explanation of each cause of genital ulcers:

Infection that is transmitted through sexual contact

Sexually transmitted infections are the main cause of genital ulcers. Types of sexually transmitted infections that cause genital ulcers include:

  • Syphilis
  • Herpes genital
  • inguinal granuloma
  • Venereal lymphogranuloma
  • Chancroid

Infections that are transmitted other than sexual intercourse

Although it is not known exactly how it is transmitted, genital ulcers due to this type of infection are generally experienced by someone who has a weak immune system. The reasons include:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Syndrome Behcet
  • Sindrom Steven-Johnson

Diseases other than infections

Genital ulcers can also be caused by diseases other than infection. This disease is not contagious and cannot be spread through sexual intercourse. These types of disease include:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Sexual trauma
  • Balanitis
  • Bowen's disease
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • lichen planus

Genital ulcer risk factors

Depending on the cause, there are several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing genital ulcers, namely:

  • Not circumcised
  • Frequent change of sexual partners
  • Having sex through the mouth or vagina with an infected person
  • Not using a condom during sexual intercourse

Genital Ulcer Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms of genital ulcers include:

  • Rash or bumps on the genitals and the surrounding skin
  • Nyeri
  • Itching
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin area
  • Ulcers ooze
  • Pain when urinating

When to see a doctor

Immediately consult a doctor if you experience symptoms of genital ulcers. An examination also needs to be done if a new lump appears in the genital area that doesn't go away in a few weeks, or if the lump is oozing pus or blood from the lump.

In patients who are pregnant, early examination and treatment can prevent the condition from getting worse and avoid the risk of transmitting genital ulcers to the baby.

Diagnosis of Genital Ulcers

To diagnose genital ulcers, the doctor will ask about symptoms, medical history, sexual activity and consumption of certain drugs, followed by a physical examination. After that, the doctor will advise the patient to undergo further tests, such as:

  • Blood test
  • Tes urine
  • Skin biopsy in the ulcer area

Genital Ulcer Treatment

Treatment of genital ulcers aims to treat symptoms and prevent complications. Depending on the cause, the doctor may give the following medicines:

  • Antivirals , such as acyclovir and valacyclovir for genital herpes
  • Antibiotics , such as penicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, erythromycin , and doxycycline
  • Analgesics, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

If needed, the doctor can attach a urinary catheter for a certain period of time to help the patient urinate.

Genital Ulcer Complications

Genital ulcers that are not treated immediately can cause various health complications, including:

  • Other sexually transmitted infections
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Infection of the urethra ( urethritis )
  • Scarring of the reproductive organs
  • Transmission of genital ulcers to the baby during delivery

Genital Ulcer Prevention

Genital ulcers caused by sexually transmitted infections can be prevented through the following efforts:

  • Have sex with only one partner
  • Using a condom when having sex
  • Undergo hepatitis B and HPV vaccination
  • Undergo circumcision for men
  • Get checked for sexually transmitted infections regularly, especially in people who are sexually active

Meanwhile, to prevent genital ulcers due to infections that are transmitted other than through sexual intercourse, take the following steps:

  • Change underwear regularly
  • Clean the genitals properly after every urination or defecation
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