How Soon Do STD Symptoms Appear?

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Every STD and STI is different and even if their symptoms are similar, when they appear and how intense they become varies amongst the infections. That means that symptoms can appear anywhere between two days after exposure, to one month after exposure. When the symptoms show up is a matter of incubation periods and the length of time between infection and symptoms. At myLAB Box™, we want to inform you and ensure that you’re knowledgeable enough to get yourself tested and stay as healthy as possible. Every STD or STI is different and therefore has varying degrees of incubation and exposure time leading up to the appearance of symptoms. Below is a list of common infections and their incubation periods so you stay informed and ahead of the curve of your health:

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  • Gonorrhea – In some cases, gonorrhea is asymptomatic in both men and women. Between 10-15 percent of men do not show any symptoms and in women, those numbers rise to 80 percent. The average incubation period is approximately two days, so symptoms will usually arise anywhere from 2-7 days after exposure. Even though some symptoms may not fully develop until around 30 days after exposure, we recommend you get tested 1-5 days after any sexual encounters with more accurate results the longer you wait.

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  • Syphilis – The first stage of syphilis, denoted by the appearance of chancre sores in and around the mouth, makes itself known 21 days after first contact. Since syphilis is a bacterial infection, the bacterias may lay dormant for anywhere between 10-90 days. Once a sore appears it will remain for as long as six weeks, or as short as two. Syphilis is spread through direct contact with these sores and is especially contagious through sexual activity. Reliable tests will be effective between 1 week and 3 months.

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  • Chlamydia – In many cases, neither men nor women show any symptoms of being infected with chlamydia. However, if symptoms do appear they usually show up 1 to 3 weeks after initial contact with the bacteria. If you are asymptomatic, medical complications could still arise and do great harm to your body. We recommend you get tested 1-5 days after exposure and re-tested twice along your road to recovery.

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  • Trichomoniasis– Interestingly, men rarely show any symptoms of being infected with Trich. However, women will most likely show symptoms anywhere from 5 to 28 days after exposure. Testing for the bacteria can be done as soon as symptoms appear, or at least once the incubation period has run its course.

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  • Genital Herpes – Although many people will never know if they are infected with Herpes, initial warts and breakouts usually occur two weeks after exposure to the virus. Some people will also exhibit a fever and full body, flu-like, complications after first exposure. In order to be sure, myLAB Box™ recommends waiting at least a few weeks before getting tested in order to ensure that your HSV levels are accurate.

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  • HIV/AIDS – Even though it has been recorded that HIV carriers may experience fever and body aches two weeks after initial contact with the virus, the vast majority of those suffering from HIV or AIDS have symptoms that remain dormant for years. Since most people don’t consider those symptoms related to sexual encounters or virus exposure, they are generally ignored. Modern testing places the most accurate positive results at around 4 weeks after exposure.

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  • Hepatitis B – Even though hepatitis B is entirely preventable with a vaccine, those that are not protected will usually show symptoms at 4-6 weeks.   

  Every STD and STI is different, yet each one has some period incubation before symptoms appear. Since symptoms are the tell-tale sign that you’ve been infected, stay aware and vigilant when it comes to being sexually active. At myLAB Box™, we provide you with the tools you need to stay aware and stay healthy.  

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