Once an STD is acquired, symptoms will start to appear after the incubation period. Different STDs have different incubation periods. Here is a quick overview as to when symptoms may start to appear:
- Gonorrhea has a short incubation period. Most people will see symptoms within 1-14 days.
- Trichomoniasis usually presents within 5-7 days after the infection. The symptoms may include watery vaginal discharge, pain during urination and sex, and moderate itching.
- Syphilis has a long incubation period which varies from 21-90 days. During the primary stage, there may be a painless ulcerated lesion on the genitals. Symptoms may persist for 3-6 weeks if the infection remains untreated.
- Chlamydia has an incubation period of 7-14 days but usually does not have any symptoms. Some women may develop a mild vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, irritation, pain during urination, and lower abdominal cramps. It is important to discuss with your doctor if you observe these symptoms.
- HIV has a variable incubation period that ranges from 3-6 weeks. Initial symptoms include headache, congested nose, sore muscle, fatigue, and general malaise. After 6 weeks, the virus becomes latent, and the individual may have no symptoms for a few months or even years.
- Herpes has a short incubation period of 3-14 days. The most common symptom is painful blisters around the genitals. These heal slowly over 3-4 weeks. One may also develop flu-like symptoms, pain during urination, and pain during intercourse.
- Genital warts have a long incubation period, and the skin growth becomes most obvious within 2-4 months. Genital warts often persist for 6-9 months.