Incubation Period of STDs: When Do Symptoms Show And How, When You Can Get Tested
How soon should you get yourself screened for an STI after you have had unprotected sex? Are you wondering about this too? There are around 20 million new Sexually Transmitted Infections and diseases every year, and half of the Americans come across a sexually transmitted infection (STI) during their lifetime. Getting yourself screened for STIs is crucial if you have been engaged in an unsafe sexual activity. Anyone who has been into unprotected sexual practice runs the risk of being exposed to STDs. All those who have been exposed to STDs have a common question in mind, ‘when is the right time to get tested for STD?’ Different STDs have varied incubation periods; therefore, it is imperative to follow the time frame to ensure you get STD screening done accurately. It is imperative that the person uses an STI incubation chart so that they will always know how long it can take for each of the sexually transmitted diseases to show up in your body and on an STI screening.
What Is An STD Incubation Period All About?
The best time to get yourself tested for an STD varies greatly depending on the STI because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies a lot. Each disease takes a certain amount of time to multiply enough to show up in a screening sample. It is imperative to learn about the STI incubation period as it helps comprehend when and how to get yourself tested for the most common STDs based on the types of FDA-approved STI testing.
When Is The Right Time For You To Get Tested For STDs?
Different sexually transmitted diseases have different timelines where an individual should get themselves tested. Moreover, if your STD test results positive, you need to figure out how soon you should get yourself retested after you have undergone the treatment.
- Chlamydia – It is imperative for you to get tested within 24 hours to 5 days time if you feel that you have been exposed to an STD. After you have been treated, ensure to get yourself tested again after 2 weeks to validate that you are free of the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria.
- Gonorrhea - You should get yourself screened for gonorrhea in max 2 to 6 days. After you have been treated, ensure to get yourself tested 2 weeks after you have been cleared to the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria.
- Syphilis – 3 to 6 weeks is the high time when you should get yourself tested after you have been involved in sexual activity and feel that you have been exposed to an STD. After the treatment, you should get yourself tested again after 3 months to ensure that you have been able to overcome the Treponema pallidum bacteria.
- Hepatitis A – Make sure to get yourself tested for Hepatitis A in max 2 to 7 weeks time. The HAV virus averages a 28-days incubation time. Retesting is not really a necessity as the virus stays in your body for life.
- Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B can generally be detected as early as 3 weeks after you have been exposed, but for more accurate results, it is recommended to get yourself tested after 6 weeks. Retesting is not necessary as the virus will stay in your body for life.
- Hepatitis C – It requires max 8 to 9 weeks. Get yourself tested again after 3 months to confirm the initial test results.
- Oral Herpes – You should get yourself tested for oral herpes in max 4 to 6 weeks. If you test negative, ensure to get yourself tested again frequently if you have been involved in oral or unprotected sex or contract with Herpes 1 fluids such as semen or saliva.
- Genital Herpes – It also takes 4 to 6 weeks to get yourself tested for Herpes II. You may consider getting yourself tested after 3 months to authenticate initial results.
- HIV – You must get yourself tested for HIV (Antibody Test Method) in the first 1 to 3 months. Retesting is not really needed, as the HIV virus will stay in your body for life. Seek immediate treatment if you test positive for HIV.
How Quick STD Signs/Symptoms Show Up?
It is completely on you, as you are the one who must take control of your sexual health and arm yourself with knowledge – simply because you do not have any symptoms or signs after the STD incubation period has elapsed, does not mean that you do not have an STI; many cases are asymptomatic or have symptoms of other common illnesses such as flu. It is imperative to protect yourself, keep away from risky behavior, and get screened for STDs quite often. Prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases as this is the best approach to reduce the number of infected people who can potentially spread the disease. Get yourself screened today and get peace of mind in max 48 hours!
The Incubation Periods Of The Most Common STDs
After you have had unprotected sex or STD symptoms start to show up in your pubic area, you perhaps would wonder about being at high risk of catching an STD. There are a few vital guidelines that you must follow to understand the time period it generally takes of STD symptoms to show up after you have been exposed. This is known as the STD incubation period – the period of time between the infection and when the signs show up. Knowing more about them can help you determine if you have an STI and take proper action.
Average Incubation Time For Common STDs
- Chlamydia – The fact is that many people just never show any signs of Chlamydia but when it appears, it takes 1 to 3 weeks to show up symptoms after they have been exposed to the bacteria. Even the asymptomatic patients with Chlamydia infection can have complications; nevertheless, it is imperative to get yourself screened regularly.
- Gonorrhea – Gonorrhea is generally asymptomatic. When the symptoms show up they may appear as early as two days after you have been exposed or may take as long as a month.
- Syphilis – The first sign of syphilis appears, which is usually 20 days after infection, but can show up anytime between 10 to 90 days after the person has been exposed to the bacterium.
- Trichomoniasis – Though most men do not show any signs of trichomoniasis, symptoms in women generally appear between 5 to 28 days after they have been exposed.
- Chancroid – Chancroid symptoms may show up anytime from one day to several weeks after the person has been exposed to the infection. Most people find that lesions show up within 5 to 7 days.
- Genital Warts – People having symptomatic genital warts will experience an outbreak within 3 months of the initial infection
- Scabies – If you ever had scabies before, it may take a month or even two for the signs to appear. Nevertheless, if you have been previously infected, signs may start showing up after only a few days.
- Genital Herpes – Though most people do not know that they are infected, if signs show up they generally appear within two weeks of being exposed to the virus. Some people experience hay fever and full-body viral symptoms around this time.
- Hepatitis B – The symptom of Hepatitis B appears between 4 to 6 weeks after the infection. However, the virus can be completely prevented by vaccination.
- Molluscum Contagiosum – Scientists are still unsure of the molluscum contagiosum’s incubation phase. However, it has an estimated timeline from 2 weeks to 6 months.
- HIV – HIV stays asymptomatic for years – although some infected people will get flu and fever like symptoms around two weeks after they have been exposed. Nevertheless, as most people do not experience these signs, the only way to know if you have HIV or not is to get yourself tested.
If you are concerned about the possibility of catching any of the aforementioned STDs, seek medical assistance immediately!
STDs with Little or No Symptoms At All
It is imperative to keep this fact in mind that symptoms are not always a good indicator of determining if you or even your partner has an STD. Most of the sexually transmitted diseases can stay asymptomatic for years without showing any noticeable signs at all. Moreover, it is possible for an individual to have no STD signs at all and still be contagious – this includes STIs from Chlamydia, gonorrhea to HIV to Herpes. That is why there is no alternative to regular screening.
Lack of STD symptoms does not assure that you do not have an STD. You may be infected and be able to transmit the infection to your partner as soon as you have sex with them – be it oral, vaginal or anal.
Protected Sex Still Carries The Risk of Catching An STD
It is imperative to know that apprehension about STD incubation periods is not just restricted to people who opt for unprotected sex. Even though practicing safe sex and other measures to lower your risk, such as using mouthwash, can greatly reduce your level of risk, yet it is not foolproof protection. Condoms only lower the risk of diseases that spread with skin-to-skin contact instead of by bodily fluids – they just cannot completely prevent them.