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How Do You Get Lymphogranuloma Venereum (LGV)?

You get lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) from contact with the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria that causes this infection. This usually occurs either during condomless sex with a person who has LGV or skin-to-skin contact with the lesions it causes.

You can get LGV during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Your partner doesn’t even need to have lesions to pass the infection on to you. Using condoms, dental dams, and gloves can all minimize your chances of getting LGV, but they don’t eliminate the risk entirely. You can still get LGV from touching uncovered parts of an infected partner’s body during these sexual encounters.

The bacteria can also linger on sex toys. You might get LGV if you share any kind of sex toy with an infected person before thoroughly cleaning it.

Symptoms of LGV

While your partner doesn’t need to show symptoms to pass on LGV, spotting signs of the infection can tell you whether you should be extra careful. You should also encourage your partner to see a healthcare provider if you see or hear of any of the following symptoms.

  • Small bumps on the genitals or anus.
  • Swollen groin.
  • Anal bleeding.
  • Pain or cramping in the groin or anus.
  • Unusual genital or anal discharge.
  • Constipation.
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