The incubation period is the time from exposure until the first symptoms develop (if any symptoms develop at all). As a result, that moment when you’ve had unprotected sexual contact and you're all like ‘I better get tested tomorrow morning’ feeling isn't really the right time to get tested. Testing too early can lead to mis-information and inaccurate results. Why is that? Because each STI has its own “incubation period,” which you must wait out in order to get accurate results.