Lymphogranuloma venereum, or LGV, is a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a bacterium (a type of germ) from the chlamydia family.
LGV is more invasive (gets into the tissue of the body) than other types of chlamydia and prompt treatment is recommended to prevent more serious problems. If not treated, LGV can cause permanent swelling of the genitals and blockage of the bowel.
In the UK, LGV is most commonly diagnosed among men who have sex with men. It is also common in parts of Africa, South Asian countries, and South America.
LGV can be passed from one person through unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex with someone who has LGV.
The risk of catching LGV may be increased by using recreational drugs and having high-risk sex such as group sex and fisting.
Being HIV positive may increase the risk of catching LGV.
The risk of LGV infection can be reduced by using condoms consistently and correctly during sex and using latex gloves for fisting. Using condoms with shared sex toys or cleaning them thoroughly with hot soapy water between uses also reduces the risk.
You may notice one or more of the following:
Visit one of our nurse led sexual health clinics.
A swab is taken from the rectum (arse), vagina, throat, or an ulcer (if you have one). If this sample tests positive for chlamydia and the nurse/doctor suspects LGV infection, the swab undergoes further specialist testing for LGV.
All of our services are free and confidential.
LGV is treated with a course of antibiotics, usually for three weeks. If you are treated for LGV, we strongly recommend that your sexual partner(s) also get tested and treated.
The late complications of LGV infection may need surgical treatment.
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