What is the definition of Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection.

What are the alternative names for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

LGV; Lymphogranuloma inguinale; Lymphopathia venereum

What are the causes for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

LGV is a long-term (chronic) infection of the lymphatic system. It is caused by any of three different types (serovars) of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. The bacteria are spread by sexual contact. The infection is not caused by the same bacteria that cause genital chlamydia.

LGV is more common in Central and South America than in North America.

LGV is more common in men than women. The main risk factor is being HIV-positive.

What are the symptoms for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

Symptoms of LGV can begin a few days to a month after coming in contact with the bacteria. Symptoms include:

  • Drainage through the skin from lymph nodes in the groin
  • Painful bowel movements (tenesmus)
  • Small painless sore on the male genitals or in the female genital tract
  • Swelling and redness of the skin in the groin area
  • Swelling of the labia (in women)
  • Swollen groin lymph nodes on one or both sides; it may also affect lymph nodes around the rectum in people who have anal intercourse
  • Blood or pus from the rectum (blood in the stools)

What are the current treatments for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

LGV is treated with antibiotics, including doxycycline and erythromycin.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

With treatment, the outlook is good and complete recovery can be expected.

What are the possible complications for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

Health problems that may result from LGV infection include:

  • Abnormal connections between the rectum and vagina (fistula)
  • Brain inflammation (encephalitis - very rare)
  • Infections in the joints, eyes, heart, or liver
  • Long-term inflammation and swelling of the genitals
  • Scarring and narrowing of the rectum

Complications can occur many years after you are first infected.

When should I contact a medical professional for Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

Call your provider if:

  • You have been in contact with someone who may have a sexually transmitted infection, including LGV
  • You develop symptoms of LGV

How do I prevent Lymphogranuloma Venereum?

Not having any sexual activity is the only way to prevent a sexually transmitted infection. Safer sex behaviors may reduce the risk.

The proper use of condoms, either the male or female type, greatly decreases the risk of catching a sexually transmitted infection. You need to wear the condom from the beginning to the end of each sexual activity.



Batteiger BE, Tan M. Chlamydia trachomatis (trachoma, urogenital infections). In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 180.

Gardella C, Eckert LO, Lentz GM. Genital tract infections: vulva, vagina, cervix, toxic shock syndrome, endometritis, and salpingitis. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 23.

  • Condition: Uncomplicated Chlamydia trachomatis urogenital infections
  • Journal: BMJ open
  • Treatment Used: Rifalazil, delayed release doxycycline, levofloxacin
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
The study aimed to research non-standard treatment options for uncomplicated Chlamydia trachomatis urogenital infections.
  • Condition: Rectal Lymphogranuloma Venereum
  • Journal: Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Treatment Used: Short-Course Doxycycline Therapy
  • Number of Patients: 60
  • Published —
This study tested the safety and efficacy of using a short-course doxycycline therapy to treat patients with rectal lymphogranuloma venereum.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.