Have you had unprotected sex and are you worried you might have gotten infected with an STD/STI? In this blog we will explain to you if you have been at risk of getting an STD/STI and after what time you can get tested on these STDs/STIs.
Unsafe sex; get tested for STD/STI
If you have had unprotected sex there is always a chance of getting infected with an STD. If there has been contact between your genital mucosa (vagina or penis), your anal mucosa or the mucosa of your mouth or throat and the mucosa of another person an STD/STI can be transmitted. The risk is just as high and as getting an STD through unsafe vaginal penetration. The risk of getting an STD through anal sex is even slightly increased because there is more risk of blood-blood interaction with this type of sexual contact. Also important to know is that herpes and genital warts can also be transmitted by skin-skin contact. A condom offers some protection but an infection can still happen.
Also a lot of people think that, if they were infected with an STD/STI they should have symptoms. However that is not the case at all. To give you an example, 90% of all women who tested positive on chlamydia on an STD test did not present with any symptoms at all. And that is of the women who did get tested. Because people often have no symptoms at all a lot also don’t do a test on STDs. Following the percentage is estimated to be even higher.
Window period STD
In order to do a reliable STD test, you need to keep some things in mind. You can not do a reliable test too quickly after the date of your unsafe sexual contact. You need to wait a certain period of time called the window fase. This fase is the time between possible infection (the date of your unsafe contact) and the moment on which an infection can be found by doing an STD test. In this period of time, it is possible for you to get symptoms even though it is to early to find the STD by doing a test. If you test to early you might miss the infection entirely and unjustly think you are clean of STDs. This false security might leave you walking around with an STD for a long period of time. You can then infect others but also might experience long term complications.
Differences between STD window periods
The window fase differs for each STD. You can see the window fases in the table below:
Urine or swab
|Hepatitis B/C||8-10 weeks|
|HIV||4 weeks (preliminary result), 12 weeks|
If you have symptoms that might be fitting with an STD/STI a test is always recommended. Still, don’t forget, you can have an STD without having any symptoms at all. Therefor performing an STD test after unsafe sex is always an important thing to do. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common STDs in the Netherlands. Even though your risk is lower of getting an STD like HIV, hepatitis B/C or syphilis. It is still advisable to regularly test if you have been infected by any of these STDs as well.
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