How Long Does It Take To Know If You Have an STD?

STDs are sexually transmitted disease caused by having unprotected sex with an infected partner. STD can be asymptomatic in many cases. You will not know for months that you have contracted STD. Suddenly, you come to know that you have rashes, redness, fever, etc. Each STD, when representing symptom, usually appear with symptoms after an incubation period. Regular screening through blood tests is the best way to know about your infection. Many STD resolves easily when treatment is facilitated in time.

How Long Does It Take To Know If You Have an STD?

STDs can remain silent for years. They slowly deteriorate your health and may spread the illness to your major organ systems without noticeable signs of infection. You can spread the infection to your partners. Symptoms usually appear after a period of time generally termed as incubation period. The incubation period is the amount of time taken by infection from exposure to represent symptom. Different STDs have a different incubation period. But symptoms cannot be a good measure to determine that you have an STD.

Incubation Periods For Some STDs Are Following-

Chlamydia- Most Chlamydia patients do not feel symptoms. It usually takes one to three weeks after exposure to causative bacteria to represent symptoms. The symptoms can be bleeding and discharge with pain during coition in females and swelling in testicles and pain during urination in males.

Gonorrhea- Gonorrhea also remains silent without symptoms. When symptoms appear, it usually takes two days to one month from exposure. Gonorrheal symptoms when to appear they show early symptoms representation similar to chlamydia.

Chancroid- The incubation period of chancroids can be one to several weeks after infection. Most people experience lesions within five to seven days of exposure.

Syphilis- The characteristic representation of syphilis is the appearance of chancre which develops after twenty-one day of exposure to infection. Sometimes the disease can take ten to ninety days to represent symptoms. The sores are painless in the initial stages.

Trichomoniasis- Usually, males do not show symptoms of trichomoniasis and can infect their sexual partners. Females usually represent symptoms in 5 to 28 days after contact with the causative parasite. The symptoms are mild to severe irritation in genital areas.

Genital Warts- Genital warts also remain symptom less. The first appearance of warts on genitalia generally occurs after 3 months of initial exposure. Genital warts are painless, but contagious.

Genital Herpes- You may not know that you have genital herpes as they can be asymptomatic. If symptoms appear, they take two weeks to reveal their presence. The patient may experience fever and viral symptoms along with herpes.

Hepatitis B- The incubation period of Hepatitis B is 4 to 6 weeks after exposure. However, preventive vaccination is available for Hepatitis B.

HIV- In the majority of HIV cases, HIV remains symptom less for years. The affected person may experience fever and symptoms resembling flu over a period of two weeks after exposure to the virus. But many people cannot recognize these symptoms. HIV adversely affects immunity mechanism leading recurrent infections.

The important hurdle in the diagnosis of HIV is that HIV virus shows negative results on an HIV antibody test before six months of exposure. However, some infected patients may show positive test result within three months. Therefore, Negative test result does not confirm your infection status.


Most STDs are easily managed with antibiotics and other indicated medicines in their earlier stage. Longer stays STD in the body, more complications will arise; it becomes more difficult to cure. Regular screening of STD is the only way to recognize your illness in time.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 27, 2018

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