What is LGV and how do I get it?

LGV is short for lymphogranuloma venereum. It is a form of the common sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. LGV can affect the genitals and anus/rectum and can be passed on by oral sex and sex without condoms. It may also be transmitted by sharing sex toys or from one receptive partner to another receptive partner during group sex.

How do you prevent it?

Using condoms will prevent many cases of LGV. If you wanted to reduce the risks further, you would have to use condoms / dental dams for oral sex. 

How do you know you've got it?

LGV can cause very unpleasant symptoms including pain and swelling inside and outside the anus/rectum. In some cases this is accompanied by swollen glands in the crotch, and often by a discharge of mucus from the rectum (which can be bloody), and constipation. If you are found to have chlamydia in the anus, the clinic should send the sample for special tests to see if it is LGV. If you are concerned that you might have LGV, make sure that you tell the doctors or nurses at the clinic you are attending. If left untreated, LGV can cause swelling of the lymph glands and extreme swelling and sores on the penis and balls. A sexual health clinic can test you for LGV and this should form part of routine sexual health check-ups. 

How do I get it treated?

LGV can be cured using a course of antibiotics. If you have LGV you should inform your recent sexual partners. It's important that you tell any regular partner so that they can get tested and treated too. You then need to avoid sex with them until the treatment has taken effect (usually a couple of weeks) as it's common for people to pass it back and forth to each other. If this happens you'll need treatment again.

Which sexual partners should I inform if I've been diagnosed with LGV?

You should inform anyone you've had sex with in the 30 days before your symptoms started. 


LAST UPDATED: 09/01/2017