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I was tested for gonorrhea and Chlamydia 9 days after I had sex (wearing a condom) and the test results came back negative. Can the results be believed, should I go back?

One of your best defenses against STIs (sexually transmitted infections) is the consistent use of safer sex supplies, including condoms and water based lube.  Seeing as you used a condom, you’ve taken a step to protect yourself against transmission of both gonorrhea and chlamydia.  Talk with your doctor about the safer sex tools you are using and discuss how often to include STI testing into your routine health care.  You don’t need to be tested after every sexual encounter.   Of course you can ask to be tested more frequently if you have unprotected sex with a new partner, multiple partners, or use injection drugs.

Here’s a little info about what we call “window periods.”  The window period is time between potential exposure to infection and the point when the test will give an conclusive result.

The window period for gonorrhea is 2-7 days, meaning that 2-7 days after exposure a test will detect infection.   The window period for chlamydia is 7-14 days, meaning that 7-14 days after exposure a test will detect infection.

Seeing as you used a condom and were tested after the window periods, you can trust that the test results are conclusive.

The CDC has some more information about gonorrhea or chlamydia.