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Lymphogranuloma venereum

What is it?

Lymphogranuloma venereum is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), whose causative agent is Chlamydia trachomatis.

The first symptoms appear 7 to 30 days after unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person.

Characteristics and symptoms

Lymphogranuloma venereum is characterized by the appearance of a genital lesion of short duration (three to five days), which arises as a small injury or a slightly elevated lesion. This injury is transient and often is not identified, going unnoticed by patients.

After a period of two to six weeks, appears a painful swelling of the groin lymph nodes, which is more noticeable in men. If this swelling is not treated properly, it evolves to spontaneous rupture, forming wounds that drain pus.

Between contamination and the emergence of the swollen lymph nodes, discrete general symptoms may occur, such as fever and joint pain.

Due to fibrosis of the lymph nodes and the consequent difficulty of lymphatic drainage, it may occur elephantiasis of the genitals. In women, the involvement of lymph nodes around the rectum can lead to rectal narrowing.


As the contamination is due to unprotected sexual practice, the best way to avoid lymphogranuloma venereum is to make use of condoms in all sexual intercourses.

Treatment is done with antibiotics which, however, have not effect on reverting the sequelae, such as narrowing of the rectum and elephantiasis of the genitals. Sexual partner must also be treated.

Related articles

- Soft chancre, chancroid
- Gonorrhoea

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