What is an STD?

It is a term that you would rather not think about too much and that you should take into account: SOA. The abbreviation stands for S.sexual Otolerable adisorder. There are many different types of these, such as:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Genital warts
  • Herpes
  • Lues
  • A urethral infection
  • Hepatitis B
  • Scabies
  • HIV
  • Pubic lice
  • Trichomoniasis

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the most common. Symptoms vary widely by condition: think of unusual discharge, itching around the genitals and painful urination. We have summarized the most common complaints associated with chlamydia and gonorrhea below. Are you constantly dealing with any of these symptoms? Then consult your doctor or do an STD test via SoaStudentArts.nl.

Chlamydia symptoms

About half of the men experience complaints due to chlamydia. This is even less for women: about 1 in 10 women experience complaints. If you experience complaints, you may notice the following things:

  • Pain or burning sensation during urination
  • Unusual discharge or fluid from the vagina/penis
  • Pain in the lower abdomen (or pain in the balls in men)
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina (while not having your period or during/after sex)
  • Itching or pain in the anus
  • Blood or other discharge in your poop
  • A sore throat
  • Eye inflammation (this is uncommon)

Symptoms gonorrhea

It also applies to gonorrhea that you do not always have to experience complaints. This is especially the case with women. If you do experience complaints, you may notice the following:

  • Fluid or unusual discharge from the vagina/penis
  • Pain during urination
  • Pain in the prostate or balls
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina (while not having your period or during/after sex)
  • A sore throat
  • Itching or pain in the anus
  • Pain in the joints (this is uncommon)
  • Eye inflammation (this is uncommon)

What is the chance of an STD?

An STD can be found in semen, pre-cum or fluid from the vagina, mucous membranes, blood, and in some cases in the pubic hair or on the skin. You can pass on an STD after having unprotected sex once, and the more often you have unprotected sex, the greater the chance that you will contract an STD. It's that simple. By unsafe sex we mean contact with the penis in the vagina or anus without a condom, and eating pussy or giving a blowjob without a condom or dental dam. This also applies to cases where something went wrong with the condom during sex (for example, it came off or broke). Sex without a condom can be safe, but then you have to be sure that everyone who participates in sex does not have an STD and/or other precautionary actions (such as vaccination or use of PrEP).

Some people are more likely to get STDs than others, which puts them in a high-risk group:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • You or your partner come from an area where some STDs are more common (mainly Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, Eastern Europe and Russia)
  • Sex workers
  • You have many different sex partners (3 or more in the past 6 months)
  • Your sex partner has sex with people who have a higher risk of STDs

High-risk groups almost always require extensive testing, including for the 'big five': chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and HIV. In addition, additional testing is sometimes necessary for hepatitis C, LGV or trichomonas, for example. If you belong to a risk group, please contact your doctor.

On average, sexually transmitted diseases are actually found in around 20% of the STD tests performed by general practitioners and STD clinics. That may seem like a low number (although we don't think so), but don't immediately think you're safe. To prevent contracting an STD yourself or passing it on to others, it is very important that sex is not only pleasant but also safe.

What is the incubation period for an STD?

The incubation period of an STD says something about the period that passes between infection and the first symptoms. The window phase indicates after which period an infection can be detected with sufficient certainty by testing. The incubation period and window phase according to NHG standards are shown below for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and hepatitis B. However, in case of complaints, it is always recommended to test earlier and if the test result is negative, it is recommended for chlamydia and gonorrhea after 3 weeks. test again and test again after 3 months for syphilis and HIV.


Chlamydia is the most common STD. The proportion of chlamydia in men and women is stable among general practitioners. Recent research shows that in Groningen 24% of the tests give a positive chlamydia result, so that's pratically a quarter of all tests!

Incubation time: 1-3 weeks
Window phase: 3 weeks


This STD mainly occurs in homosexual men. There is also an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with gonorrhea among general practitioners. This increase was mainly among people older than 25 years.

Incubation time: 2-14 days (average of 8 days)
Window phase: 3 weeks


Almost all cases (95%) of syphilis occur in homosexual men. The number of diagnosed cases among women and heterosexual men was extremely low in 2017.

Incubation time: 10-90 days
Window phase: 3 months


In 2017, more than 1,000 new people with HIV came to the Dutch HIV treatment centers. The number of new HIV infections is slowly decreasing. Two thirds of HIV infections are diagnosed in homosexual men.

Incubation time: max. 3 months
Window phase: 3 months

Hepatitis B

There are approximately 40,000 people in the Netherlands who carry the hepatitis B virus. Some people are more likely to get hepatitis B, such as men who have sex with men. You can get vaccinated against hepatitis B.

Incubation period: 4 weeks to 6 months (average 2-3 months)
Window phase: 3 months

When should I take an STD test?

You may have had unprotected sex with one or more partners within a short period of time. Perhaps you are not (completely) sure about one of them or you experience complaints that correspond to the examples we have mentioned above. In that case, it is wise to contact your doctor or a reliable person with us STD test to order. You can also contact us for reliable information Thuisarts.nl and STI AIDS Netherlands.

Reasons for an STD test

Below are a number of reasons for taking an STD test:

  • You have had unsafe sex
  • You have complaints that are consistent with an STD
  • You have been warned about an STD
  • You are in a committed relationship and want to stop using the condom
  • You recently became pregnant
  • You have a spiral placed
  • There are (other) risk factors, such as the case if you have many different bed partners or if you are a man and have sex with men.

Go through the test guide to get more clarity about your situation or contact your doctor, because in some cases extensive testing is required.

Both men as women can contact us. As soon as it turns out that you actually have an STD, you've come to the right place for the best aftercare. With us, for example, it is possible to immediately request the necessary medication and have it delivered to your home, and we can help you (anonymously) warn your bed partners. In addition, we are your point of contact if you have questions about the condition and what you can do best for successful treatment. Together we will do everything we can to make you physically and mentally healthy again!