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How Long Does It Take for STD Symptoms to Appear?

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:

  1. Gonorrhea has a short incubation period. Most people will see symptoms within 1-14 days.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
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