How soon do STI symptoms appear?

How quickly do STI symptoms appear?

Well, we can start by saying this totally depends on the cause of infection and where the infection is within or on the body.

Some STIs cause few or no symptoms, so you may not know you have one. Always follow safe sex guidelines to be stay protected; if there is any probability you have an STI, go straight to your GP or locate a sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic for a free and private check-up.

Here are the signs of few of the most common STIs.

You can find more information about these and other STIs, including the best course of treatment for the patient.


Chlamydia is one of the extremely well-known STIs in the UK, and yet around 50% of men and 70-80% of women with the condition have no symptoms. Symptoms can appear one to three weeks after infection, many months later, or not until the infection has spread to other parts of your body. Symptoms include pain when passing urine, pelvic pain for women, and pain in the testicles for men.

Genital herpes

Many people have no symptoms when they first become infected with genital herpes. If you do have symptoms when first infected, they usually appear four to seven days after infection. They include pain when you pee, and small, tender red blisters were surrounding the genital or anal area that burst, leaving open sores, as well as tingling or itching in the genital or anal area. However, symptoms may not appear until months or years after infection.

Genital warts

Genital warts can appear two to three months after infection, but sometimes they take up to a year to for any signs to be present. Also, Warts may develop anywhere on the genitals or anal area, including the urethra, vulva, cervix, penis and scrotum. In women, they can also develop inside the vagina or on the cervix, where they will usually go unnoticed; especially because there might be no immediate symptoms.
They’re usually painless but may itch or cause inflammation. In many cases, people who are affected with the virus that causes genital warts (human papillomavirus, or HPV) develop no symptoms.


Symptoms of the disease commonly develop within two weeks of infection. However, sometimes they don’t appear until many months later or until the infection has spread to other parts of the body. About 50% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhoea have no obvious symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they can include green or yellow discharge from the vagina or penis and pain when passing urine.

Pubic lice and scabies

It can take five days to several weeks after getting pubic lice or scabies for symptoms to appear. The most common symptom of both conditions is itching in the affected area, which is worse at night.


The first signs of syphilis can develop within ten days of sexual contact to three months. It all depends on the person and how healthy their immune system is at the time after infection. Symptoms are often mild, so you can pass on the virus without knowing you’ve got it. The most obvious symptom is the appearance of one or more small painless sores or ulcers, usually on the genitals, but they can also appear around the mouth and anus. Without immediate treatment, syphilis will spread further, and more to the next stage of its life cycle.