Inguinal bubo (Groin swelling male)

inguinal bubo treatment

Inguinal bubo is a condition that presents with groin swelling (lymph nodes swelling) and pain. This condition is a symptom not a main disease. Inguinal bubo can be caused by several issues including the infection passed through sex. You may have experienced the groin swelling male or female but the cause may be something simple like streptococcal bacterial infection or the serious sexually transmitted disease. In male groin swelling presents not in a different way from that of females. Inguinal bubo can burst and cause an open wound that needs care.


Inguinal bubo shows as a raised painful mass on the groin (where the lower abdomen and thigh meet ). The lymph nodes becomes swollen in this condition that is why you feel the pain.

Causes of inguinal bubo

We have people who mistake inguinal bubo with lymphadenitis.

Pain and groin swelling  can be caused by many conditions. There are situations that you may have a sore on the leg and develop a fever, pain and swelling on the  groin of the same leg. That is due to infection trapped by the immune system from spreading to other parts of the body. usually in this case the groin swelling is not caused by a sexually transmitted disease, but other bacterial infections like streptococcal or staphylococcal. This condition is called lymphadenitis

However, inguinal bubo that is big and not associated with any wound on the leg maybe due to an STD. The cause of inguinal bubo are diseases like Lymphogranuloma venereum, chancroid and rarely donovanosis. Inguinal bubo in this case are bigger and can burst any time especially if they stay longer without treatment. 

 inguinal bubo Treatment

For successful treatment of inguinal bubo  a diagnosis has to be made by your doctor to specifically know the cause. Therefore, treatment will depends on the identified cause of the inguinal bubo symptom or sign.

For Lymphogranuloma venereum

Doxycycline 100mg orally twice daily for 14 days

Erythromycin 500mg orally 6 hourly for 14 days (alternative for pregnancy or other contraindications to doxyl)

For inguinal bubo caused by Chancroid:

Ciprofloxacin 500mg twice daily orally for three days.


Erythromycin 500mg orally 6 hourly for 7 days

Other treatment considerations in inguinal bubo.

Groin swelling in male or female has same pains and needs painkillers. Given are ibuprofen or paracetamol just to easy the pain and groin swelling. Drainage of the lesion maybe done to remove pus and wound cleaning everyday. 

Inguinal Hernia vs Inguinal bubo

inguinal bubo vs inguinal hernia

Both these conditions cause swelling in the groin but the differences is that inguinal bubo is painful and hard. On the other hand, inguinal hernia is painless and feels softer to touch. There are cases in which hernia my pain when strangulated/pinched. Inguinal hernia goes back when pressed while the bubo does not.


To prevent the groin swelling in male or women, one needs to [practice safer sex. Use condoms to avoid contracting chancroid or lymphogranuloma venereum. If you suspect having these mentioned diseases make sure to seek treatment early and make sure your partners are treated too.

What your doctor may ask you.

  • Did you have unsafe sex in the past 2 weeks?
  • Do you have any swelling in other parts of the body
  • Do you have a wound on the your leg?


Having known the causes of inguinal bubo or groin swelling in male and other gender, it is important to seek treatment before complications occurs and apply preventive measures against the cause. Treatment of inguinal bubo additionally needs to be adhered to as prescribed by the doctor. Take note also that treatment works perfectly. Not all the groin swelling are inguinal bubo. there is what we call lymphangitis that may present in the same way. 

Jose Phiri

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