Lymphogranulum Venereum (LGV)

What is Lymphogranulum Venereum (LGV)?
Lymphogranulum venereum (LGV) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
What are the symptoms?

Primary stage:

  • appears 3-30 days after exposure
  • small, painless bump on the site of infection (penis, rectum, oral cavity, vagina, or cervix)
  • may go unnoticed in up to 50% of people and will eventually disappear

Secondary stage:

  • 2-6 weeks after the appearance of the first bump

Can include:

  • painful and swollen glands in the groin and thigh region OR
  • bleeding from the rectum
  • flu-like symptoms
  • symptoms usually disappear by themselves

Tertiary stage (more common in women):

  • chronic LGV
  • complications develop if left untreated
How is LGV diagnosed?
Your doctor or nurse practitioner may take samples from your urine, throat, rectum, or cervix depending on the type of sex you have recently been having.  You may also have a blood test. Your doctor or nurse practitioner will also base his or her diagnosis on your symptoms and sexual health history.
How is it treated?
LGV is treated with antibiotics. It is important to abstain from any sexual activity for 3 weeks from the beginning of treatment. Make sure that your partner(s) are also treated before resuming any sexual activity.
Can I give this to other people?
LGV can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
Are there complications?
  • extreme swelling of genitals
  • genital and rectal scarring
  • surgery may be necessary to repair the damage
Who can I call for more information?

Phone the AIDS Sexual Health Infoline at 1-800-668-2437. The Infoline staff provide sexual health information and referral services in several languages to callers from across the province. The line operates from: Monday to Friday: 10 am to 10:30 pm; Week-ends: 11 am to 3 pm


  • Any infection in the genital area may increase the risk of becoming infected with HIV.
  • Practicing safer sex, by using latex or polyurethane condoms and/or dental dams for oral, anal or vaginal sex can reduce the risk of STIs.

For more information:

Sexual Health Centre
179 Clarence Street
Ottawa K1N 5P7
613-234-4641 TTY: 613-580-9656

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