Which are the symptoms of Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

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Lymphogranuloma Venereum symptoms

Symptoms of Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection caused by certain strains of the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It primarily affects the lymphatic system, causing inflammation and swelling in the lymph nodes. LGV is more common in tropical and subtropical regions, but it can occur anywhere in the world.

Initial Symptoms:

The symptoms of LGV can vary depending on the stage of infection. In the initial stage, which typically occurs within 3-30 days after exposure, individuals may experience:

  • Painless genital ulcers: Small, painless sores or ulcers may develop on the genitals, anus, or rectum. These ulcers can go unnoticed or may be mistaken for other conditions.

  • Swollen lymph nodes: The nearby lymph nodes, such as those in the groin area, may become enlarged and tender.

Secondary Symptoms:

If left untreated, LGV can progress to the secondary stage, which usually occurs weeks to months after the initial infection. During this stage, the following symptoms may manifest:

  • Rectal inflammation: LGV can cause proctitis, an inflammation of the rectum. This can lead to symptoms such as rectal pain, discharge, and bleeding.

  • Anal abscesses: Pus-filled abscesses may develop in the anal area, causing pain, swelling, and discomfort.

  • Rectal strictures: In some cases, untreated LGV can lead to the formation of scar tissue in the rectum, resulting in narrowing or strictures. This can cause difficulty with bowel movements and may require surgical intervention.

Tertiary Symptoms:

In rare cases, LGV can progress to the tertiary stage, which is characterized by more severe complications. These may include:

  • Genital elephantiasis: Chronic inflammation and scarring can lead to the development of genital swelling and enlargement, known as elephantiasis. This condition can cause significant discomfort and disfigurement.

  • Systemic symptoms: LGV can affect other parts of the body, leading to symptoms such as fever, weight loss, fatigue, and joint pain.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

If you suspect you may have LGV or have been exposed to it, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. A healthcare provider will perform a physical examination, inquire about your symptoms and sexual history, and may order laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis.

LGV is typically treated with a course of antibiotics, such as doxycycline or azithromycin, for several weeks. It is important to complete the full course of treatment to ensure the infection is eradicated.


Preventing LGV involves practicing safe sex, including consistent and correct use of condoms, reducing the number of sexual partners, and getting regular sexual health check-ups. Open communication with sexual partners about STIs and testing is also essential.

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