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STI Window Period

The window period 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).



If you are experiencing symptoms

Please visit a sexual health clinic without delay


If you know which tests you need

Please find the recommended window period below


If you may recently have been exposed to an infection

You may get tested from 14 days after possible exposure


If you are looking for a routine check up (no symptoms)

Please wait 45 days before getting tested

When do STIs begin to appear?

The incubation period tells us of when symptoms of the STI begin to appear after being infected.

For those who aren’t experiencing any symptoms, we recommend following the window period which tells us when the infection is consistently detectable in the body.


How long does it take for an STD to show up on a test?


Our Sexual Health Clinic in Birmingham is located off a main road with very little traffic. This will help ensure a discreet visit to us.

Can I get tested before the window period?

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 45 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.