Patients who have had unprotected sex are putting themselves at risk of developing many different STDs that can be passed from person to person. Additionally, they may also experience an unplanned pregnancy. Women who have recently had unprotected sex and want to be tested for STDs will often ask how soon they can be evaluated.
Women who are worried that they have contracted an STD often feel that getting tested immediately will provide them with the answers they need. Unfortunately, many STDs will not show up on test results until later on. This can cause women to get an inaccurate STD test result that can cause them to spread STDs to others. These women may think they are STD-free, but they aren’t. Testing for STDs too soon after unprotected sex can provide false reassurance.
When should I test for an STD?
When it comes to testing for STDs, timing can be everything. Most STDs have a specific “incubation period.” This is the time between the exposure to the STD and the formation of antibodies to fight the STD. During STD testing, these antibodies are evaluated. If women do not wait for the proper period of time for incubation, they may receive a false-negative test result. Additionally, many patients have STDs but do not show the symptoms, so it can be extremely deceiving. Because of this, it is important for sexually active men and women to be tested regularly for STDs to be 100% sure of their diagnosis.
Each STD has a different time-frame for accurate testing. For example, chlamydia may be tested for around five days after exposure. However, getting tested again after two weeks following the last test should be done to ensure the clearing of bacteria, especially if treatment is performed. Conditions such as herpes may not show up on an STD test until six to nine weeks following exposure, and HIV may take months before it is detected. Patients should regularly test for STDs if they are engaging in sexual activities with others to monitor their health and address STDs as soon as they are found.
Learn more about STD testing today
If you are interested in being tested for STDs, call Northwest Women’s Center of Houston, TX at (281) 444-3440. Our practice can offer safe, effective, and discreet STD testing to provide you with the information you require. We accept new patients interested in quality care.