STI Incubation Period

The window period, also called incubation periods, determines how soon after entering your body can we detect the infection.

Please note:

  • These are guidelines.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms, you should get tested & treated earlier.
  • Different STIs have different window periods.
  • Different methods of testing have different window periods.
  • Recent use of antibiotics can affect the window period (seek clinicians advice).

STI Information

  • STI Symptoms
  • STI Causes
  • STI Risk Factors
i

Further Readings

A timeline of when STIs begin to appear

From 2 Days

Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea & Herpes begin to be detectable in some patients just 2 days after exposure.

This will often be accompanied with symptoms, which can be painful in some.

From 7 Days

Gonorrhoea is consistently detectable in patients after 7 days post exposure.

Mycoplasma & HPV begin to be detectable in some patients just 7 days after exposure.

From 9 Days

Syphilis begin to be detectable in some patients just 9 days after exposure.

This will often be accompanied with flu-like symptoms.

From 10 Days

HIV RNA (i.e. the HIV virus itself) begins to be detectable in patients just 10 days after exposure. Most patients will not experience any symptoms.

For those who are at a high risk of HIV, we offer a Post 10-Day HIV Test for the early detection & intervention of HIV. This will be followed by a repeat test at 28 days for conclusive results.

Learn more >

From 14 Days

Chlamydia & Ureaplasma are consistently detectable in patients after 14 days post exposure.

We recommend our Key Pair check at 14 days post exposure.

Learn more >

From 28 Days

HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B sAg & Hepatitis C sAb are detectable in most patients after 28 days post exposure.

We recommend our Routine STI check at 28 days post exposure.

Learn more >

From 90 Days

HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B sAg & Hepatitis C sAb are detectable in all patients after 90 days post exposure.

When should I get tested?

We understand there is a lot of information on this page. The following advice will be helpful for most patients:

If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend seeing a sexual health specialist without delay to get tested & begin treatment.

If you are looking for a routine check-up, we recommend waiting either 14 days to get tested for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea or 28 days for a routine check-up. How long you wait and what you test for will depend on what STIs you are at risk of and the likelihood of passing it onto your partner.

Our STI tests >

Book an appointment >

What if I test too early?

We understand there is a lot of information on this page. The following advice will be helpful for most patients:

If you are experiencing symptoms, we recommend seeing a sexual health specialist without delay to get tested & begin treatment.

If you are looking for a routine check-up, we recommend waiting either 14 days to get tested for Chlamydia & Gonorrhoea or 28 days for a routine check-up. How long you wait and what you test for will depend on what STIs you are at risk of and the likelihood of passing it onto your partner.

If you want to discuss your sexual health in more detail, please book a consultation.

Page reviewed by Dr. Manoj Malu (Clinical Director)

Last reviewed date: 24 April 2020
Next review due: 24 April 2023

Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.

If you are experiencing symptoms

It is important to refer to a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Our experience combined with timely detection can help avoid complications in the future.

Book an appointment >