People with lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV) may have lesions around their genitals, their rectum, or both of these places, depending on their sexual activity. The look and behavior of the lesions changes with the infection’s three distinct stages. In the latter two stages, people may also have swollen lymph nodes in the groin area.
LGV Symptoms During Incubation
After being infected with the chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, people may develop a lesion on their genitals or in their rectum. The lesion usually forms on one of the following body parts:
- The vulva.
- The vaginal mucosa (walls of the vagina).
- The cervix.
- The glans penis (head of the penis), usually on the groove above the shaft.
- Inside the urethra.
- Inside the rectum.
The lesion could look like a small lump, a small crater, or an ulcer. Ulcerated lesions might hemorrhage a little blood, but this isn’t anything to worry about. Lesions might be dry or release pus or mucus. These lesions aren’t usually painful or itchy, and they tend to clear up without treatment after a week, so depending on where they are, you might not even notice them.
Acute LGV Symptoms
After around a month, people with LGV move from the incubation phase to the acute phase. Initially there will be no symptoms, but after a few weeks, people with LGV may notice the lymph nodes in their groin swell up. Usually, the lymph nodes on just one side of the body will swell.
The swollen lymph nodes can be painful. People with LGV often feel this pain in their abdomen, lower back, or joints. These lymph nodes may also form abscesses.
Chronic LGV Symptoms
If LGV isn’t treated, it may progress to the chronic stage. The symptoms of chronic LGV include:
- Pain and swelling around genitals, anus, or rectum.
- Bleeding or mucus/pus discharge from the genitals, anus, or rectum.
- Constipation and difficult bowel movements.