Everything2 medical disclaimer
Also called LGV, Lymphogranuloma venereum is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that was once found almost exclusively in the Netherlands, but at the time of this writeup it is on the rise in Europe and the United States, especially in gay men who practice unsafe sex with multiple partners. Doctors don't know to look for it right now, so you should especially be on the lookout if you are a man who has sex with other men (MSM) or if you have had sex with a prostitute in any of the following countries: East and West Africa, India, Southeast Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, or any country where the rate of infection is known to be high. Developing and tropical countries are often at risk.
e2 seems to me to be a pretty wordwise crowd, but in the interest of public information, I've included common street terms after the medical ones.
LGV derives its name from Latin words meaning swelling of granulation tissue in the lymph nodes resulting from sex. Granulation tissue is the rough skin that forms as scar tissue.
LGV is also known by the following names.
- lymphopathia venerea
- tropical bubo
- climatic bubo
- strumous bubo
- poradenitis inguinales
- Durand-Nicolas-Favre disease
- lymphogranuloma inguinale
It is caused by three of the seventeen known types of the bacteria-like parasite called Chlamydia trachomatis.
If you become infected with LGV, within 3–30 days you will develop a small, purplish, painless bump near the site of infection. It may not be visible, as it can be hidden in the vagina (pussy), urethra (the hole through which pee and, in men, cum pass), or rectum (the asshole).
If untreated, LGC can produce the following symptoms in one to six weeks.
- Swollen genital lymph nodes. This will be hard to detect if you do not know where to look.
- Pain in joints
- Skin rashes
- Enlargement of the spleen or liver
If still untreated, the final phase of the disease can onset any time afterwards. This phase of the disease is also known as anogenitorectal syndrome.
- Painful swelling of the rectum or colon (the spot just inside the ass. This will only happen if you got LGV through receptive anal intercourse, or bottoming.)
- Constipation ("Taking a shit" is difficult.)
- Bloody stool (shit)
- Mucus discharge (like puss or snot) from the anus or vagina
- Constriction of the anus or vagina. (the hole gets tighter.)
If left untreated for long periods, other serious complications can result.
- Fertility problems in women
- An infected anus can become completely blocked, later causing rupture of the bowl inside the body, risking sepsis and death.
- Elephantiasis, where your upper legs and and groin become massively swollen
- Higher risk of developing cancer in the infected lymph node
Be aware that a doctor not knowing to look for LGV may easily misdiagnose it in its middle stages as inflammatory bowel disease, syphilis, or herpes.
If you are diagnosed with LGV in the early stages, your doctor will probably recommend a simple antibiotic regimen for two to three weeks. You should stop sexual activity immediately and continue not having sex during the course of the antibiotics. You should contact your recent sex partners and tell them to visit a doctor and get tested specifically for LGV. This can be an embarrassing call but you need to make it to help stop the spread of the disease.
Later stages of the disease may require surgery to drain the nodes or unblock passageways.
- Abstinence will prevent risk.
- Safer sex, i.e. wearing a male or female condom for any sex where there is mouth-gential, genital-genital, mouth-anal, or genital-anal contact, may greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease. Contact with mucus around the genitals of another person should also be avoided.
- A monogamous relationship with a person known to be free of any sexually transmitted disease is advisable.
What follows is the complete CDC fact sheet for the disease.
From the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) is a systemic, sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a type of Chlamydia trachomatis that rarely occurs in the United States and other industrialized countries. However, recently outbreaks of LGV have been identified in The Netherlands and other European countries, and cases have been identified in the U.S
LGV can be difficult to diagnose. CDC is supporting state and local health departments in testing patient specimens to identify LGV. Symptoms of LGV include genital and rectal ulcers and enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. As is the case with other STDs that cause ulcers, LGV may facilitate transmission and acquisition of HIV and other STDs and bloodborne diseases.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should stop having sex and consult a health care provider: fever, abdominal pain, constipation, rectal pain, rectal bleeding or mucous discharge. You should also stop having sex and see a health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms, which may indicate you have another STD: urethral discharge, burning during urination or unusual sores or rashes.
If diagnosed early, LGV can be effectively treated with three weeks of antibiotics.
If you have been treated for LGV (or any other STD), you should notify all recent sex partners so they can see a health care provider and be treated. This will reduce the risk that your partners will develop serious complications. It will also reduce your risk of becoming re-infected as well as the risk of ongoing transmission in the community. You and all of your sex partners should avoid sex until you have completed treatment for the infection and your symptoms and your partners' symptoms have disappeared.
Personal health inquiries and information about STDs in the United States:
CDC National STD and AIDS Hotlines
(800) 227-8922 or (800) 342-2437
En Español (800)344-7432
TTY for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (800) 243-7889