It can take time between exposure to an infection and when it shows up in a test. This is called the window period. For chlamydia and gonorrhea, it can take up to 2 weeks. For trichomoniasis, it can take up to 4 weeks. For HIV and syphilis, it can take up to 12 weeks.
If you are concerned about possible exposure to one of these infections you should talk to your healthcare provider about when to test and refrain from sexual activity until you receive a test result. For some infections, retesting after treatment may be required.
When to collect your sample:
The urine sample must be collected from the initial stream of urine in the morning and returned on the same day. Do not cleanse the genital area or urinate at least 1 hour prior to collection.
The sample must be collected in the morning on a Monday - Friday, and returned on the same day.
Many people with STIs have no symptoms at all, which is why screening is so important. If left untreated, some STIs can increase the risk of infertility or long-term health complications. If symptoms do occur, these will vary depending on the infection. These can include:
Pain when peeing
Pain during sex
Rash on the genitals or anus
Itching or irritation on the genitals and/or anus
Unusual lumps or bumps around the genitals and/or anus
Change in discharge
Strong vaginal odor
If you are experiencing any symptoms or if you have any concerns, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider.
You should consider getting tested if:
You become sexually active
You have had unprotected sex
You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
You are entering into a new sexual relationship
You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected
If you are experiencing symptoms, have been informed by a partner that they have a sexually transmitted infection, or if you have any concerns, you should follow up with a healthcare provider.