You’ve probably been preparing to conceive for a while now, and the wait to take a pregnancy test can feel long. For some women, signs of pregnancy can occur as early as six days past ovulation, though most must wait longer for these symptoms to appear.
After traveling from the fallopian tube, a fertilized egg usually implants in the uterus around 6 to 10 days after ovulation. The process of the fertilized egg attaching to the uterine lining is called implantation. Once this happens, you may slowly start noticing symptoms of the body preparing for pregnancy. If you don’t notice any symptoms yet, that’s okay – every body is different and some women take more time to feel the changes.
While a missed period is the first sign of pregnancy for many women, there are other early pregnancy symptoms that can show up even sooner. Though it’s still too early to confirm a pregnancy, here are some of the earliest changes you might notice at 6 days past ovulation:
Cramping and/or bleeding
Mild cramping and spotting, or bleeding that’s much lighter than a period, is a common early sign of pregnancy. This could be because when the egg implants, it can disrupt blood vessels in the spot where it attaches, prompting mild cramps and/or bleeding. Remember, though, that since implantation can happen anywhere from 6 to 12 days after conception, 6 DPO may still be too early for many women to experience this symptom.
Once implantation happens, the body starts producing more estrogen and progesterone — hormones that can cause breast tenderness. It is important to keep in mind that breast tenderness is also a sign of PMS, so this symptom alone may not be sufficient to indicate a pregnancy.
If you’ve suddenly started craving certain types of food or odd food combinations, this might just 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 trying to make up for a specific nutritional deficit.
Headaches and dizziness
Some women experience headaches and/or dizziness due to the changes the body is going through. This could happen because of the change in blood volume, as your body starts producing more blood to supply nutrition to the baby. Changing hormone levels could also add to the dizziness and headaches.
At 6dpo, you may start feeling more tired and sluggish than usual. Hormonal changes — especially the increased progesterone in the body — could be the culprit behind your fatigue. Add to that the headaches, cramping, and breast tenderness, and it’s easy to see why you might feel so tired!
Pregnancy tests work by checking for the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which appears in the urine. The developing placenta produces the so-called ‘pregnancy hormone,’ and the amount of it in the body significantly increases after implantation, doubling every 48 to 72 hours.
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Taking a pregnancy test too soon, though, can give you an incorrect result. For accurate pregnancy test results, experts advise women to take the test about 12 to 14 days after ovulation, around the time of the first day of a missed period. Why? By this time, hCG levels in the urine will be high 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 6 days past ovulation, be sure to take another one a week later to confirm the test results.
Here’s the bottom line: for most women, six days past ovulation is usually too soon to tell whether they’re pregnant or not. While some experience the early signs and symptoms we talked about above, there are just as many who don’t experience anything at all. Of course, there are still others who just ‘feel pregnant.’
If you’ve been feeling sluggish, have tender or swollen breasts, or are itching for certain foods at odd times, there’s no harm in taking a pregnancy test at 6 dpo. Remember, though, that these tests aren’t necessarily accurate at such an early stage, and you’ll need to repeat the test (or visit your doctor) a week or so later to confirm the pregnancy.