Waiting Times And Test Result Accuracy
Answering how long it would take for someone to definitively test positive or negative on an STD test after a risky sexual encounter requires knowing a number of things, including:
- What STDs the person had been exposed to
- What tests were being used to detect the infection
There are also other, more nebulous factors that could play a role. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to give someone a definitive answer on how long they should wait to go get a test.
Itâs a difficult question even from a research standpoint. How do you ethically and practically expose someone to an STD and then repeatedly test them to determine how long it takes for them to test positive? Because of this, there is little to no solid data about how long after an exposure people should wait to get tested for many STDs.
Common practice suggests that people could go in for basic testing for bacterial STDs as soon as two to three weeks after an exposure. However, they would need to be retested again at least three to six months out in order to feel relatively certain of their results.
At a month out, some tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea would be reasonably accurate. Still, tests for other diseases such as herpes and HIV take longer to become conclusive.
If you had a particularly high-risk encounter, six months is a pretty conclusive follow-up period for most STDs. That doesnât mean you donât want to get tested sooner. It just says when you might want to go back to a standard screening schedule.
Why Is This Test Done
These tests may be done to:
- Find out if symptoms are caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Check people who are at high risk of being infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Retest people several months after they have been treated for gonorrhea or chlamydia.
- Check for infection in your newborn if you had a gonorrhea or chlamydia infection at the time of delivery.
Chlamydia Signs And Symptoms In Women How Long Do Chlamydia Test Results Take
Chlamydia is usually known as the quiet infection. Thats because individuals with chlamydia might not experience signs and symptoms in any way.
If a woman contracts the STI, it may take a number of weeks prior to any type of symptoms show up.
Several of the most common symptoms of chlamydia in ladies consist of:
- painful sexual intercourse
- pain in the reduced abdominal area
- swelling of the cervix
- bleeding between durations
In some ladies, the infection can spread to the fallopian tubes, which might cause a condition called pelvic inflammatory illness .
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What Does The Test Result Mean
A positive test indicates you have an active chlamydia infection that requires treatment with antibiotics.
A negative test means only that there is no evidence of infection at the time of the test. If you are at an increased risk, it is important that you have screening tests performed yearly to check for possible infection, especially since re-infection is common, particularly among teenagers.
If you are infected, your sexual partner should be tested and treated as well.
How Long Until Std Symptoms Show
When you first expose yourself to an STI, you will not be infected right away. Furthermore, you wont show symptoms of the disease until an even later period, which we call the incubation period. Testing for an STD too early, while the disease is still in its incubation period, can paint an incomplete picture.
After this incubation period, your body will have produced antibodies against these STDs. Tests can reliably detect these antibodies, so while external symptoms of STDs are clear markers of the disease, youll want to get tested if you were potentially exposed to an STD.
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How To Prepare For The Test
If you think you may have chlamydia, avoid sexual intercourse until you get your test results.
has found that home tests may be as effective for diagnosing chlamydia as swabs collected at your doctors office.
However, its important to note that home testing kits can sometimes return false-negative results. A 2017 study asked men to self-collect a sample for chlamydia testing both at a clinic and at home using a mail-in kit. Researchers found that over one-third of the mail-in samples missed a positive result that was detected in the samples collected at the clinic.
The researchers note that its possible that the collection technique when using a home test may affect the quality of the sample and therefore affect your result. Because of this, be sure to follow all sample collection instructions carefully if you choose to do a home test for chlamydia.
If you receive a positive result from a home testing kit, you will need to go immediately to a doctor to receive treatment. Until you have completed treatment, you can give chlamydia to your sexual partners.
If youre diagnosed with chlamydia, prompt treatment will help prevent any long-term complications. The key is to test for this bacterial infection before it spreads.
You can get a chlamydia test from:
- your primary care doctor
Due to the prevalence of chlamydia, its important to get yearly tests if you:
You may need to get tested more often than once a year.
What Does A Positive Chlamydia Test Result Mean
If the test is positive, the lab detected the bacteria that cause chlamydia. This means you have a chlamydia infection and will need treatment . You will also need to notify your sexual partners, so they can get tested, too.
After finishing treatment, you will need additional follow-up chlamydia tests. You may need another test three weeks after treatment and possibly another test three months later. Ask your provider when you should get a follow-up test.
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Testing By Clia Approved Lab: Labcorp Or Quest Diagnostics
Choose a package that includes a chlamydia test:
Complete STD Test Panel from $189 – checks for the most common sexually transmitted infections including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes Type 2 , HIV, Hepatitis C , Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.
10 Test Panel from $198 – includes 4th generation HIV 1& 2 Antibody/Antigen, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes 1& 2, hepatitis A/B/C antibodies, and hepatitis B surface antigen tests.
Complete STD At Home Test Kit $199 – this discreet home testing kit measures Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Herpes Type 2 , HIV, Hepatitis C , Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis.
How Do You Get An Sti Test
You can get an STI test by making an appointment online at any Planned Parenthood location. All of our locations offer STI testing, whether or not you have symptoms.
We offer free STI testing for those who are eligible, as some restrictions may apply. If youre interested in free STI testing, please make an appointment online today or give us a call at 314-531-7526 or 417-883-3800 for more information.
Donna White is a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.
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Std Testing Doesnt Replace Discussion
People often wonder whether they have to tell current/future partners that they might have been exposed to an STD. Whether the question is modified by What if we only had oral sex? or What if it didnt last long? the answer is usually the same. These are discussions that everybody should be having before they have sex.
Most people dont come to sexual relationships completely inexperienced. Therefore, talks about testing and safe sex arent just appropriate but smart.
Still, sometimes the discussion can be difficult. Thats why its always a good idea to practice safe sex, particularly until youre reasonably certain of your test results.
Condoms may not be perfect, but latex types still offer protection against STDs.
The Incubation Period Has A Role To Play
Every STIs has an incubation period chlamydia is noexception. This period is a span of time from the moment you are exposed to theinfection to the moment the antibodies start to form.
Chlamydia tests search for these antibodies, and ifyou dont wait for the incubation to end, there wont be enough antibodies thatwill show up on tests. This will, in turn, result in a false-negative chlamydiatest.
But, even if you do wait for the incubation to end,you still might not experience symptoms or signs of chlamydia. This is anextremely common problem with STIs, which is why most of them remain undetectedfor a long time.
To be 100% sure, you are chlamydia-free, you shouldget tested, there is no other way to know if you do carry the infection or not.If you do test positive, you need to repeat the same test 2 weeks after yourtreatment has ended.
Human Papilloma Virus :
There are 100s of strains of HPV. Many are considered low-risk and are typically eradicated by the human immune system before any symptoms occur and without treatment. The low-risk strains HPV-6 and HPV-11 are most commonly associated with genital warts. High-risk strains of HPV are HPV-16, 18, which are associated with approximately 70% of cervical cancer and other cancer forming strains 31, 33, 45, 52 .
Although a vaccine has become available in the past 12 years to guard against the most common genital wart and cancer-causing strains of HPV, according to the CDC nearly all sexually active people, who do not get a vaccine, will get infected at some point in their lives. An estimated 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV and suffer from genital warts, or unusual growths or a form of HPV caused cancer or pre-cancer.
While HPV is an all too common STD, there are currently no standardized, approved tests for males and the only type of testing for females is the PAP smear which detects cancerous or precancerous growths on the cervix that may or may not be due to HPV. Because HPV can be spread through any type of sexual contact the importance of safe sex practices are paramount in the reduction of the spread of any form of HPV. Click here to read the Safe Sex Practices, resource provided by STDAware.
How Long Do Sti Test Results Take
STI test results can take between five and 10 days. If you have testing done at Planned Parenthood, well contact you ONLY if your results are positive. If this is the case, well give you a call to ask you to come back for follow up. Planned Parenthood does not contact patients if the results are negative. Patients can view negative results in the Patient Portal. If you want to confirm a negative result or want a copy for your records, please call the health center or stop by for a copy.
If the result is positive or inconclusive, we will call you to notify you of the results and ask you to make a follow up appointment to receive treatment or further services. The call also gives you a chance to ask questions.
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Chlamydia Is Not An Easy Std
Chlamydia has always been the troublemaker itsincredibly difficult to notice any symptoms and get diagnosed quickly. But, ifyou do suspect youve been exposed to this infection, you need to take theincubation period into account. If you get tested too early, you risk gettinginadequate results. Paying attention to the incubation of the bacteria can bethe difference between a successful and failed chlamydia testing.
How K Health Can Help
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K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
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How Long Should I Wait For Chlamydia To Show On Tests
There are various chlamydia tests you can undergo to get diagnosed with this infection. Depending on which test you take, the time will vary. There are three ways to get diagnosed for chlamydia, and those are a swab, urine, or blood test.
For a swab test, the doctor will take a cotton stickto sample the infected fluid or tissue. This sample will then be taken to thelab, where experienced technicians will analyze the growth of the bacteria andsee how much it has developed.
A urine test is analyzed the same way. The urine isstored in a sealed cup and sent off for testing. If the technicians find anybacteria present in the urine, it will mean youve been infected. A blood test,on the other hand, is a more painful method, but the most reliable one. Theblood sample will be taken to the lab to analyze all the antibodies and seewhether this infection has infected the bloodstream.
So, the results you will get will depend on the typeof test you selected:
- Forswab results chlamydia shows up in 2 to 3 days
- Forblood tests chlamydia can show up instantly if the blood is inspected on site
- Forurine tests it can take up to 2 or 5 days for chlamydia to show up
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How Common Is Chlamydia
CDC estimates that there were four million chlamydial infections in 2018.3 Chlamydia is also the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the United States.4 However, a large number of cases are not reported because most people with chlamydia are asymptomatic and do not seek testing. Chlamydia is most common among young people. Two-thirds of new chlamydial infections occur among youth aged 15-24 years.3 It is estimated that 1 in 20 sexually active young women aged 14-24 years has chlamydia.5
Disparities persist among racial and ethnic minority groups. In 2019, reported chlamydia rates for African Americans/Blacks were nearly six times that of Whites.4 Chlamydia is also common among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men . Among MSM screened for rectal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 3.0% to 10.5%.6,7 Among MSM screened for pharyngeal chlamydial infection, positivity has ranged from 0.5% to 2.3%.7.8
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How Will I Get My Results
It can take a few days to get your results from a swab test, similar to a Pap smear test in women. If youre a woman, you may also be able to obtain an at-home kit to do the vaginal testing on your own.
Your doctor will call you with the results of your test. Be sure you give your doctor your preferred phone number where you can have privacy, such as a mobile phone number. If you dont want them to leave you a voicemail, be sure you tell them before you leave your appointment.
A urine test is much faster to analyze. Your doctor should be able to tell you the results during the same day as your appointment. The downside is that urine tests may not be as accurate as traditional swab testing.
However, urine testing may be more suitable for men. Its also used for more advanced signs of chlamydia, as your body will have a greater number of bacteria to detect at this stage.
You can obtain a chlamydia test from:
- your primary doctor
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How Long Will It Take For Chlamydia To Show Up In Women
Symptoms of chlamydia in individuals with vulvaswill need around 1 to 3 weeks to show up, but sometimes it can take upto a couple of months. The reason for that is the bacteria. Bacteria is aliving organism, which means it will have an incubation period that willpredetermine its effect before the infection becomes a real problem.
The incubation period will vary depending ondifferent factors like:
- Howlong does it take for the chlamydia to reproduce
- Areyou exposed to a lot of bacteria
- Isyour immune system well-equipped to protect itself against the bacteria
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What Your Chlamydia Test Results Mean
Having a negative test result indicates that you have no chlamydia infection, at the time of taking the test. Even if your result is negative, you have to get tested routinely, if you are at increased risk of a chlamydia infection.
Having a positive result, means that youâre infected with the chlamydia bacteria. You would have to talk to your doctor and, discuss the best treatment for you, to eradicate this infection. The normal treatment is antibiotics. Keep in mind that if you are infected, your sexual partner, or partners, should be tested as well.
The best way to avoid any STD is to abstain from any kind of sex. This is an unrealistic preventive measure. So, if you are sexually active, you may want to follow some preventive measures to lower your chances of contracting chlamydia. First, you may want to invest, regularly, in latex condoms. You need to use a condom every single time you have sex. A condom cannot be reused. Second, being in a monogamous relationship, with someone who has been tested negative for chlamydia, can be rewarding for both partners. Third, make sure you get tested for chlamydia, regularly, especially if you had unprotected sex, or think you had sex with someone who might have this bacterium. Absolutely anyone who has unprotected sex can be at risk of contracting chlamydia.
Why It Is Done
A test for chlamydia is done to:
- See whether symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection are caused by a chlamydia infection.
- Check people who are at high risk for being infected with chlamydia. A chlamydia infection does not always cause symptoms. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends checking for chlamydia for:
- All sexually active women age 24 or younger.
- Women older than age 24 with high-risk sexual behaviors.
- All pregnant women in the first trimester and again in the third trimester if high-risk sexual behaviors are reported. Treating a pregnant woman who has a chlamydia infection can prevent an infection in her newborn.
- All women with symptoms of a cervical infection found on a pelvic exam.
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