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Diseases & Topics

Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

LGV (Lymphogranuloma venereum) is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. The visual signs include raised areas or bumps and/or ulcers, and swelling of the lymph glands in the genital area. LGV may also produce rectal ulcers, bleeding, pain and discharge. Genital lesions caused by LGV can be mistaken for other ulcerative STDs such as syphilis, genital herpes and chancroid.

LGV is passed from person to person through direct contact with lesions, ulcers or other areas where the bacteria is located, such as during sexual penetration (vaginal, oral, or anal). It may also occur through skin-to-skin contact. LGV can be treated with antibiotics. People who are treated for LGV should abstain from sexual contact until the infection is cleared. Their partners should also be tested for LGV.

Complications of untreated LGV may include enlargement and ulcerations of the external genitalia, as well as obstruction of the flow of lymph which may cause elephantiasis of the genitalia.

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