Whether it is after having unprotected sex with someone or accidentally noticing a bump around your genitals along with the itching that has you wondering whether you have a Sexually Transmitted Disease or not. For guidelines regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases and how long do they take to show signs after a person is exposed to them, keep reading. The Sexually Transmitted Disease incubation period means how much the signs and symptoms take to show after getting exposed to the infection. Being aware of the incubation period will help you to know if you have a Sexually Transmitted Disease or not and make an appropriate decision in that regard.

Some common Sexually Transmitted Diseases and their incubation period

  • Chlamydia

Most people do not experience any symptoms after getting exposed to the infection. However, if the symptoms do emerge, it mostly takes from 1 to 3 weeks after getting the infection. Being periodically tested for ChlamydiaChlamydia along with other Sexually Transmitted Diseases is imperative as even without the usual signs and symptoms, STDs like Chlamydia can have a lot of complications.

  • Gonorrhea

Similar to Chlamydia, Gonorrhea also does not show any signs and symptoms, but when these do appear, they can be experienced by some after two days of getting exposed, while for some, it might take about a month as well.

  • Syphilis

Syphilis is caused by the Treponema pallidum bacteria. It is spread mainly through having sex without protection with an infected person. It is also common in those that have many sexual partners. The ulcers and sores that are associated with syphilis mainly appear when the infection is in its first stage. These start to appear 29 days after getting exposed to the infection. However, the symptoms an also appear from as early as ten days and might take 90 days for some as well.

  • Chancroid

Chancroid is caused by the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi. It causes the genital areas to become infected and sores to appear around them. The sores can bleed and also produce pus, which can then spread the infection via oral, anal, and vaginal sex. For most people, the signs and symptoms start to show up from 5 to 7 days, while for some, it might take a day or many weeks for the signs to appear.

  • Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis or Trich as it is usually known is caused by a protozoan parasite known as Trichomonas vaginalis. Most men do not exhibit any signs, but for women, it takes from 5 to about a month for these to show up. It causes the foul-smelling discharge to ooze from the vagina, itching and inflamed genitals, and also pain after sex and urination.

  • Scabies

Scabies is caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. The mites burrow in the skin and lay eggs, these eggs hatch and new mites come out of them. These mites then continue the cycle of burrowing, which causes very intense itching, which is experienced especially at night time. The mites cause bumps and rashes to show mainly in the folds of skin like the buttocks, arms, knees, and the genital area. There are other ways in which Scabies is spread, but the one way that it spreads is through having sex with an infected person. For someone that has never been infected with it, the symptoms start to show one or two months after the infection. For someone that has previously been infected with it for them, the symptoms start to appear just after a few days.

  • Genital Warts

Genital warts are small bumps that appear in and around the genital area. These affect both men and women, but women are more likely to suffer its complications. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV. People that do not exhibit any symptoms of genital warts will exhibit an outbreak within a period of 3 months after getting infected.

  • Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes is a type of Sexually Transmitted Disease that mainly causes pus-filled bumps to appear, which burst open and get very painful. Genital Herpes affects 16 percent of people aged between 14 and 49 years. Genital Herpes is mostly asymptomatic, but when the symptoms do show up, it is usually after two weeks of getting infected with the virus. Along with blisters, people also experience headaches, fever, and muscle aches. 


  • HIV

In most people, getting infected with HIV does not result in them experiencing any signs or symptoms, and they can remain this way for several years to come. For some people, the early signs and symptoms can include experiencing flu and fever, which usually happens after about two weeks of getting the infection. As most people disregard these as normal flu symptoms, the only sure way to really know if someone has HIV or not is by getting tested for it. 

People that have been infected with the virus can test positive for the antibody test as late as 6 months. While for some, the test comes out positive after three months of getting exposed to the infection. Even if a person has HIV and he or she got exposed to the infection just a week back, the test will come out negative. In that case, it is not a reliable way to know the actual HIV status. 


  • Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a Sexually Transmitted Disease that can be spread from one person to another through having unprotected sex with an infected person or by sharing of needles. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to the fetus. The Hepatitis B virus is found in the genital fluids, including semen and also blood. After getting infected with Hepatitis B, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks for the signs to really show. There is a vaccine available that can prevent this infection.

  • Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by the Molluscum contagiosum virus. The infection causes the appearance of bumps on the skin. These are not usually painful, but they can itch and get inflamed. It is spread through skin to skin contact while having sex. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the exact incubation period for this Sexually Transmitted Disease, but it is seen that the symptoms take from 2 to 6 months to show up.

Sexually Transmitted Disease with Little To No Symptoms

A lot of Sexually Transmitted Diseases do not cause any symptoms, or it might take several years for them to show up. In this regard, it is important to understand that having no symptoms does not mean that the person is not capable of transmitting it to the others. For example, Sexually Transmitted Diseases like gonorrhea, ChlamydiaChlamydia, HIV, and Herpes can be spread from one person to another, even when there are no symptoms to be seen. And so getting tested is the only definite way to make sure if a person has these Sexually Transmitted Diseases or not.

Even With Safe Sex, Sexually Transmitted Disease can be Spread.

Practicing safe sex with the use of condoms and dental dams while they do protect an individual from contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections that are spread from skin to skin contact these might not be of much use when it comes to STDs that are spread through coming in contact with the bodily fluids. Therefore getting yourself and your sexual partner screened is the only way to be more aware of your Sexually Transmitted Disease status, which also helps you to have access to treatment early on.