Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)

What is LGV?

Lymphogranuloma Venereum, or LGV, is a sexually transmitted infection (STD) caused by a specific type of Chlamydia. Chlamydia is an STD that is very common and easily spread.

How do I get LGV?

Anyone who has unprotected sex (vaginal, anal or oral sex) is at risk for LGV. However, the major risk factor is unprotected anal sex or other anal penetration like anal “fisting.”

Do I have LGV?

  • The symptoms of LGV are similar in men and women. It starts with a small, painless sore on the penis, vagina or rectum. This sore could appear anywhere from 3 to 30 days after being infected; it might go away on its own.
  • Next, you might experience swollen, painful lymph nodes in the groin area that could drain or bleed. You may even have a blood or mucous discharge from the anus. These symptoms appear 2 to 6 weeks after you’ve been infected.
  • Some people with the LGV infection will have “flu-like” symptoms like fever, chills, tiredness, aches and pains.


How do you treat LGV?

LGV can be treated with specific antibiotics. If left untreated, LGV can spread to the lymph nodes and cause genital and/or anal ulceration or scarring. In severe cases, LGV can lead to death.

How do I prevent LGV?:

  • Avoiding vaginal, oral or anal sex is the best way to prevent STDs.
  • Latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of LGV.
  • Always use latex condoms during vaginal and anal sex.
  • Use a latex condom for oral sex on a penis.
  • Use a latex barrier (dental dam or condom cut in half) for oral sex on a vagina or anus.
  • Limit the number of sex partners.
  • Notify sex partners immediately if infected.
  • Make sure partners are tested and treated.