1. Getting pregnant
  2. Trying to conceive

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6 DPO: Signs of Early Pregnancy Six Days Past Ovulation

In most cases, six days past ovulation — or 6 DPO — is still too early to take a pregnancy test. However, some people begin to notice early pregnancy symptoms at this time.

6 days past ovulation: What to expect

If you’ve been preparing to conceive for a while now, the wait to take a pregnancy test can feel long. For some people, signs of pregnancy can occur as early as six days past ovulation, although most must wait longer for these symptoms to appear. 

After traveling from the uterine tube, the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining in a process called implantation.

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After traveling from the uterine tube, the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining in a process called implantation. Implantation occurs six to 10 days after ovulation and lasts for four to five days. Once this happens, you may slowly start noticing symptoms as your body prepares for pregnancy. If you don’t notice any symptoms yet, that’s normal too; everybody is different, and some people’s bodies take more time before these changes become noticeable.

Signs you might be pregnant at 6 dpo

While a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy for many people, other early pregnancy symptoms can show up even sooner. Although it’s still too early to confirm a pregnancy with a test, here are some of the earliest changes you might notice at six days past ovulation:

Breast tenderness

Once implantation happens, the body starts producing more estrogen and progesterone — hormones that can cause breast tenderness. Since breast tenderness is also a sign of PMS, this symptom alone may not be sufficient to indicate a pregnancy.

Food cravings

If you’ve suddenly started craving certain types of food or odd food combinations at 6 DPO, this might be an early sign of pregnancy. While researchers still aren’t sure why these food cravings happen, possible reasons include changes in hormone levels or the body’s response to a specific nutritional deficit. However, cravings are also a common PMS symptom.

Headaches and dizziness

Some people experience headaches and/or dizziness due to the changes the body is going through in early pregnancy. Headaches often accompany PMS symptoms too. The reasons for these symptoms aren’t known, but changing hormone levels may cause dizziness and headaches. 

Fatigue

At 6 DPO, you may start feeling more tired and sluggish. Hormonal changes could be the culprit behind your fatigue. Along with the headaches, cramping, and breast tenderness, it’s easy to see why you might feel so tired.

Pregnancy tests: Are they accurate at 6 DPO?

Pregnancy tests work by checking for human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in the urine. HCG is produced during the implantation process and first appears in blood around 10 days after fertilization. The increase in serum hCG levels varies from person to person but climbs quickly, doubling every 36–48 hours and reaching its peak at nine to 10 weeks. 

Taking a pregnancy test too soon can give an incorrect result. Urine tests can detect total hCG levels that are greater than 20 mIU/mL. Most urine tests are not sensitive enough to detect hCG until about 15 days after fertilization. By this time, hCG levels in the urine should have risen enough to give accurate test results. 

This isn’t to say that getting accurate test results at 6 DPO is impossible, but it’s unlikely. If you do decide to take a pregnancy test as early as six days past ovulation, be sure to take another one a week later to confirm the results. 

Here’s the bottom line: for most people, six days past ovulation is usually too soon to tell whether they’re pregnant. While some individuals experience the early signs we talked about earlier, just as many don’t experience anything at this point. Of course, there are still others who just “feel pregnant” without any specific symptoms.

If you’ve been feeling sluggish, have tender or swollen breasts, or crave specific foods at odd times, you can take a pregnancy test at 6 DPO. However, these tests aren’t necessarily accurate at such an early stage, and you may need to repeat the test (or visit a health care provider) a week or so later to confirm the results.

Gnoth, C, and S Johnson. “Strips of Hope: Accuracy of Home Pregnancy Tests and New Developments.” Geburtshilfe Und Frauenheilkunde, July 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4119102/.

Chard, T. “Pregnancy Tests: a Review.” Human Reproduction (Oxford, England), U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 1992, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1639991.

Orloff, Natalia C, and Julia M Hormes. “Pickles and Ice Cream! Food Cravings in Pregnancy: Hypotheses, Preliminary Evidence, and Directions for Future Research.” Frontiers in Psychology, 23 Sept. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4172095/.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Basal Body Temperature for Natural Family Planning.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Nov. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/basal-body-temperature/about/pac-20393026.

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