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Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is an infection caused by certain strains of chlamydia (types L1 - L3). It can infect the genitals or anus and may spread to the lymph nodes in the groin area.
LGV can be passed on through anal or vaginal sex without a condom with a person who has LGV.
You can get LGV even if the person with LGV has no symptoms.
Symptoms vary widely but may appear from 3 - 30 days after infection.
If you have a vagina, the first sign of infection is an ulcer on the vagina or cervix, which often goes unnoticed. The infection then spreads to the lymph nodes in the groin area. These glands become swollen.
If you have a penis, the first sign of infection is an ulcer on the penis. The infection then spreads to the lymph nodes in the groin area. These glands become swollen.
If you have had anal sex without a condom with a person infected with LGV, it can cause pain in the anal canal, discharge or bleeding and the feeling of being unable to properly empty your bowels.
When your doctor suspects LGV as a result of a positive chlamydia test as well as your symptoms, the sample you provided for chlamydia is then sent back to the laboratory for further testing. The results may take a few weeks.
LGV is treated with a long course of antibiotics, typically 3 weeks.
If your doctor thinks it is likely you have LGV, they may suggest starting treatment before the test result is available.
Your best protection against getting chlamydia and LGV again is by:
This fact sheet provides general sexual health information and is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor.
If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your doctor.
If you require urgent care, you should go to your nearest Emergency Department or call 000.