Respecting the window period in STI testing
Each infection and, therefore, each test has a “window period” that must be respected if you do not have symptoms of the disease.
We know that not all doctors, clinics and laboratories that perform STD tests apply these rules, but it is for your own good and to protect your health and that of the people with whom you have sex. Continue reading, for more information on the high importance of the window period in STI testing.
What is the window period?
It is the minimum time that must elapse from the risk contact for a test to have maximum reliability when there are no other symptoms of the disease.
Is it an Open House invention?
We observe these restrictions because they have been set by opinion leaders in the field of sexually transmitted infections. These recommendations are published in Clinical Guidelines that are updated periodically. They are not applicable only to the tests carried out in Open House, but to all healthcare professionals working in the STI field.
Why do some other clinics NOT respect the same window periods as in Open House?
Unfortunately, many other clinics know that a patient will choose them if they offer a service where they don’t have to wait for this window period before testing. But it goes against all of the clinical guidelines to test early without symptoms and endangers the health of you and your sexual partners.
Open House sees the window period like this…
- Maximise the reliability of the test so that you remove all doubts
- The patient does not waste their time and money doing tests ahead of time that they will have to repeat later.
- Our compliance with clinical guidelines demonstrates the good practice and knowledge of the doctors requesting the test.
- The patient does not put their health or that of their sexual partners at risk.
The window periods for the main STIs are:
- Gonorrhoea: 1 weeks
- Chlamydia: 2 weeks
- Mycoplasma genitalium: 2 weeks
- Syphilis: 3 weeks
- Hepatitis B: 4 weeks
- 10 days (using the PCR technique)
- 4 weeks (with p24 antigen and antibody test)
- 3 months (if the test is only for antibodies)
- Hepatitis C:
- 14 days (using the PCR viral load technique)
- 3 months (if it is an antibody test)
If you want more information about these window periods, see the section of the page for each infection. But don’t forget, if you have symptoms, we won’t wait for the window period and we can make the diagnosis now.
Why don’t all infections have a window period?
There are other STIs in addition to those listed in the previous section, such as herpes, trichomonas, mycoplasma hominis, ureaplasma, etc. that are not regularly included in asymptomatic check-ups due to their low diagnostic value or because it is only relevant to search for and treat them if they manifest symptoms.
Do you have questions or concerns? Open House specialist doctors are the best guarantee. Call us to request an appointment at our clinics in Madrid or Valencia or purchase a video-consultation to resolve your doubts with expert professionals in STDs.
Dr. Atef Souied Espada