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The window period

Award winning clinic for healthcare and business quality standards in 2016 & 2018

Respecting the so-called window period

Here you can find an explanation of why we do not do tests immediately after a sexual contact. Each disease and each test has a “window period” that must be waited out unless you have full-blown symptoms of the disease. We are aware that not all doctors apply this rule, but we do it to protect your health and your sexual partner´s health. Below, you can read more about this extremely important issue.

  • What is the window period?
  • Is it an invention of Open House?
  • Why don’t other clinics apply this window period?
  • …and so Open House sees the window period this way:
  • Window periods for infections that you could be interested in:
  • Why not all the STIs have window period?
What is the window period?

This is the minimum time you need to wait before doing a test if you are not showing any symptoms so as to assure optimum detection.

Is it an invention of Open House?

Not at all. We apply these restrictions because they have been calculated by opinion leaders in the field of sexually transmitted diseases. These recommendations are then published in Clinical Guidelines and are updated regularly. They are therefore not just applicable to Open House, but to all healthcare professionals working in this field.

Why don’t other clinics apply this window period?

Unfortunately, many other clinics know that if they offer the possibility of being tested as early as possible, then patients will choose them. However, performing tests before the window period without symptoms is a serious infraction against these rules and can entail a risk to your health and your partner’s.

…and so Open House sees the window period this way:
  • It maximises the performance of tests to be able to definitively move on mentally
  • The client does not waste his/her money doing the test too early to repeat it afterwards.
  • Complying with these guidelines shows that the doctor is trustworthy
Window periods for infections that you could be interested in:
  • Gonorrhoea: 1 week
  • Chlamydia: 2 weeks
  • Syphilis: 3 weeks
  • Hepatitis B: 4 weeks
  • HIV:
    10 days (by the PCR method)
    3 weeks (by the PCR method in a dried blood sample – a finger prick test you can do from home)
    4 weeks (with a p24 antigen test plus antibodies)
    3 months (if the test is only an antibody test)
  • Hepatitis C: 3 months (if the test is an antibody test) and just 14 days if it is PCR Viral Load test.

If you would like more information about these window periods, you can always read details each disease’s page in our website.
Do not forget: if you have symptoms consistent with an infection, we do not wait for the window period, we do the test as soon as possible.

Why not all the STIs have window period?

There are other STIs, apart from those explained in the previous section, such as herpes, trichomoniasis, mycoplasma, etc. We do not specify a window period for these infections because is only relevant to identify and treat them when they are causing symptoms, therefore, these tests are not usually included in check-ups.

Confused by what you’ve read? Three suggestions

How can we help you?



Call us to book an appointment or get information

Please trust our clinical judgement. Open House has done nearly 72.000 STI tests.

Caution! It is important to read about the Window Period before doing tests UNLESS YOU HAVE WORRYING SYMPTOMS

Where to find us

Calle Atocha 117, Madrid

Metro: L1 Atocha / Antón Martín

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Contact Us

Call Us - 91 429 49 59

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