What is Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a chronic (long-term) infection of the lymphatic system. It is caused by any of three different types (serovars) of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria spread by sexual contact. The infection is not caused by the same bacteria that cause genital chlamydia

LGV is more common in men than women. The main risk factor is being HIV-positive.

What are Symptoms

Symptoms of LGV can begin a few days to a month after coming in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • Drainage through the skin from lymph nodes in the groin
  • Painful bowel movements (tenesmus)
  • Small painless sore on the male genitals or in the female genital tract
  • Swelling and redness of the skin in the groin area
  • Swelling of the labia (in women)
  • Swollen groin lymph nodes on one or both sides; it may also affect lymph nodes around the rectum in people who have anal intercourse
  • Blood or pus from the rectum (blood in the stools)
  • The infection can cause diarrhea and lower abdominal pain


  • LGV can be treated by antibiotics.
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