STD Testing Turnaround Time

STD Testing Turnaround Time

Few experiences are as nerve-wracking as waiting for STD test results. Even though getting tested is the responsible thing to do, not knowing when your results will be available can make you feel anxious and helpless.

The turnaround time for STI tests varies depending on several factors, including the type of test and laboratory delays. This article will examine some of the most common reasons for delayed results.

Incubation Period

The incubation period for different STIs considers when symptoms first appear. However, you may not know that the term also applies to the window period of testing for these diseases.

The window period refers to how soon after your exposure to an STD you should test, and it varies by infection. If you take a test too early, you can get a false negative result. However, if you wait too long to test, you can risk infection with an STD that could cause serious and even fatal health consequences.

Many STIs can go asymptomatic, meaning that you will experience no symptoms at all. This makes it important to seek STD testing after unprotected sex. In addition to home remedies, medical professionals can prescribe antibiotics that can help you get better sooner. This guide can help you understand the incubation periods of the most common STDs so that you can test on an appropriate timeline. The CDC recommends that you get tested for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas within two weeks of your possible exposure to these infections.

Type of Test

Many STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and herpes, do not display any symptoms. This makes it very important to get tested and treated for any STDs you may have. By doing so, you can help prevent serious health complications, including infertility and certain cancers.

Whether you get tested with a blood test, a urine sample, or a swab depends on the type of infection you are testing for. For example, swab tests are used to diagnose infections like herpes and genital warts. Blood tests can check for STIs spread through viruses, like syphilis and herpes, or by bacteria, such as gonorrhea and trichomoniasis.

A swab is taken from the affected area, such as the vagina or cervix for women, or the penis for men. Most swab tests require no special preparation. Blood tests and urine samples take longer to process, however. This is because they need to be sent to a lab for further analysis. The lab will determine the type of STI you have and how to treat it.

Laboratory Delays

Regardless of the type of test used, laboratory delays can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, a machine might go down or a lab might experience a staffing issue that can cause a backlog in test processing.

STI testing is important for everyone because many infections can have long-term health complications if left untreated. Infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, nerve damage, paralysis and cancer.

Infections like herpes, HIV and genital warts can have even more serious implications if they are not treated early. While STI testing can be expensive, the risk of infection is much worse. Luckily, a number of startups have emerged online that provide convenient and affordable STD tests. They offer a variety of different tests, from the basic 10-test panel to more comprehensive options such as a 4th generation HIV antibody screening and an early detection HIV RNA test. Their results are also delivered to you via a private portal and can be tracked in real-time.


While getting regular STD testing is important, the results can be scary. It’s important to understand how long it takes for STI tests to come back and what they mean when they do.

The majority of STI tests look for the pathogen itself, while some are antibody blood tests (for example, for HIV). These types of test need time for your body to make antibodies against the virus, which is why it’s important to get tested regularly.

On average, STI tests take between one and three days to come back. However, there are many mitigating circumstances that can impact this turnaround time. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your stress levels low and your patience high while you wait for your results. Getting tested and following up on your results isn’t only responsible; it’s vital to protect yourself from serious diseases like HIV, herpes, and gonorrhea. Luckily, there are a lot of convenient and affordable options for getting tested in NYC.

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