Symptoms usually appear after 2 to 3 weeks, but may start sooner or much later. A rash with spots and flu-like symptoms that may appear a few weeks later. HIV, genital herpes and syphilis are more complicated. Some people have symptoms within 1 to 3 weeks.
Others don't have symptoms for months or even years. Chlamydia symptoms usually appear 1 to 2 weeks after intercourse, but may appear much later in some cases. It's also important to note that 50% of men and 70% of women who are infected with chlamydia don't have any symptoms. You could also be at greater risk of serious complications, from arthritis to cancer, if your STD isn't treated.
Knowing how long the incubation periods last for the different infections that cause STDs can help you better recognize signs and symptoms if they occur, although this is not a sure way to determine if you are infected or not. As you can see, the time frame in which symptoms of an STD will occur is different for each type of STD. Your Sexual Health offers a wide range of STD tests that can be done at the clinic or at home to help give you peace of mind knowing if you have been infected with an STD. Because HIV is incurable, medications have been developed that prolong life and reduce symptoms, so once the initial symptoms go away, you shouldn't experience any more symptoms of STDs.
If you've noticed a change in your genital area, have recently changed your sexual partner, or think you're experiencing some symptoms of an STD, it's vital that you book a private STD test after the incubation period. STDs can be prevented from spreading infection through body fluids by using birth control methods, such as a condom, but this is not a 100% reliable method of using STDs. The only way to make sure you don't have an STD after an unprotected sexual encounter is to get tested, Ghanem says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin rashes, fever, swollen lymph nodes and pain in the testicles are considered secondary symptoms of common STDs, such as syphilis or gonorrhea.
It's very unlikely that you'll experience STD symptoms the day after engaging in sexual activity.