What is Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)?
LGV is a sexually transmitted infection caused by rare type of chlamydia. It used to be unusual outside of tropical countries until 2003, since when it has made a sustained comeback in European countries, particularly amongst Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
What are the symptoms (signs) of Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)?
LGV can have no symptoms, although this is less common than for the standard type of chlamydia. Some may notice an ulcer or lump (papule), usually on the genitals, at the site of intercourse (sex), but this is often missed. The most common symptom among men who have sex with men is ‘procitis’ – inflammation of the rectum (bum) causing pain, rectal bleeding, mucous and blood-stained discharge as well as constipation. It can go on to cause swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin and less often can cause serious rectal problems.
Treatment for Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)
This is usually a course of antibiotics similar to what is given for treating the standard type of chlamydia, but it will be a 3 week course.
What should I do if I think I have Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)?
If you have any of the symptoms described above, or if you have had unprotected sex with someone whose sexual history you are unsure of then come and see us. Come along to one of our Devon Sexual Health clinics where you will be offered testing for a number of STIs, including chlamydia. If you have symptoms, it is important to make the doctor or nurse aware of these as different tests may be done.
How can I avoid getting Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)?
Condoms provide very good protection against most STIs, including LGV. We would recommend using condoms for all types of sexual activity, including oral sex.