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LGV (lymphogranuloma venereum) is a rare sexually transmitted infection caused by the specific types of bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. LGV is transmitted through unprotected anal or oral sex and affects the genitals, ass and lymph glands in the groin.

Symptoms

Some people don’t get symptoms from LGV, but even though no symptoms are apparent you’re still infectious. When symptoms do present themselves, they will usually show up in three stages.

Stage one:

Three days to three weeks after infection, there may be a small painless sore on your cock, mouth or ass - at the site of the original contact. If infection is in the penis, there may be pain when peeing or a discharge.

Stage two: 

Ten to 30 days later (or even longer), glands may become painfully swollen. Different symptoms relate to different sites of infection.

  • In the rectum – painful inflammation (called ‘proctitis') with blood or pus coming from the area. Bowel movements may be painful. Constipation or painful abscesses/ulcers in the rectum may develop
  • In the penis – discharge and swelling of the glands around the groin so much that they may push through the skin and leak fluid
  • In the lymph nodes – swelling of the glands in the neck and armpits

Stage three:

Over time, the bacteria will cause inflammation, scarring and tissue damage that can have disastrous effects on the area around the genitals and inside the anus. Haemorrhoid-like growths can develop in the anus and tissue damage can narrow the rectum. The genitals can swell dramatically.

How can you get it?

LGV gets inside the body through the mucous lining of the mouth, penis or inside of the rectum. Anal sex without condoms is the easiest way this happens, but using dildos in more than one ass without cleaning can also spread LGV.

STIs

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  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can infect the mucous lining of the penis, anus or eyes.

    Keep reading…
  • Gonorrhoea

    Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that lives in the mucous lining of the penis, throat, anus or eyes.

    Keep reading…
  • Herpes (HSV)

    Herpes (HSV) presents in two different types.

    Keep reading…
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    Human Papillomavirus (Warts) is the virus that can cause warts on the penis, anus or surrounding areas.

    Keep reading…
  • HIV

    ​We comprehensively discuss HIV across our website, so we'll just cover the basics here. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses, which work by invading cells within the body then begin to continually reproduce itself.

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis A

    Hepatitis A causes inflammation in the liver and is the form of the virus which often comes on very quickly and is short-term but severe.

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. 

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes serious damage to the liver.

    Keep reading…
  • Syphilis

    Syphilis is a bacterial infection that infects the penis, throat or anus and then spreads to different parts of the body through the bloodstream.

    Keep reading…
  • Gut Infections

    Gut Infections are caused by bacteria (such as amoebiasis, shigellosis, giardiasis and salmonellosis).

    Keep reading…
  • Molloscum Contagiosum

    Molloscum Contagiosum (MC) is a virus that causes pimple-like lumps on the body.

    Keep reading…
  • Pubic Lice (Crabs)

    Pubic Lice (Crabs) are small parasites that grip onto the hair in the genital area.

    Keep reading…
  • Scabies

    Scabies are tiny mites (smaller than crabs) that burrow under the skin to lay eggs.

    Keep reading…
  • Thrush

    Thrush (or Candidiasis) is a yeast infection that irritates the mucous membranes around the genitals.

    Keep reading…
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How do you know if you have it?

LGV will show up as chlamydia in a penile or anal swab. However, it may be missed in the throat because throat swabs for chlamydia are not standard. If a test shows positive for chlamydia, further tests will need to be done to confirm LGV.

Treatment

If treated early, LGV is quickly cured with antibiotics and leaves no lasting damage. Delaying treatment may lead to lasting and severe damage to tissues.

I'm living with HIV

Having LGV makes it easier to pass on HIV because of the bleeding and skin damage LGV causes. It also puts you at higher risk of other STIs like syphilis and possibly hepatitis C.

Prevention

Condoms reduce the chances of getting LGV as does using latex gloves while fisting. When more than two men are having sex a new condom should be used with each man to prevent infection being passed from one to another. Dildos and other sex toys should not be shared or should be covered with a condom that is changed with every new person they are used on or washed between partners. Washing your hands with soap and water immediately after sex can help prevent infection.

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