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    6 DPO: Are there any pregnancy symptoms at six days past ovulation?

    Updated 30 November 2023 |
    Published 12 February 2019
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Rhalou Allerhand
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Are you wondering when you can take a pregnancy test? Here’s the lowdown on 6 DPO.

    When you’re trying to conceive, it can be tough not to be on high alert for every new feeling or twinge. Nausea, bloating, and feeling super tired are all listed as potential pregnancy symptoms but could also be a sign that your period is on the way. Confusing, right? If you start to notice some of these symptoms, you might wonder when you can take a pregnancy test and if 6 DPO (days past ovulation) is too early to know if you’re pregnant. 

    Here’s a closer look at what’s happening in your body at 6 DPO, including potential symptoms you might experience and the best time to take a test to get an accurate result. 

    Key takeaways

    Everything you need to know about getting pregnant

    From when to have sex to early signs of pregnancy

    6 DPO: What to expect

    You might be reading the acronym “DPO” for the first time and not be totally sure what it means. Simply put, 6 DPO means six days past ovulation. So six days ago, one of your ovaries released an egg. To help you understand what might be going on at 6 DPO, it can be helpful to place it into the context of your cycle

    Your menstrual cycle can be split into two stages:

    • The follicular phase: Everyone’s cycle is slightly different. A normal menstrual cycle is considered to be between 21 and 35 days long, and a new cycle always starts on the first day of your period. This first stage of your cycle is called your follicular phase. If you have a 28-day cycle, your follicular phase typically lasts 14 days. During this time, your estrogen levels rise, and the lining of your uterus thickens in preparation for ovulation.
    • The luteal phase: Between days 14 and the end of your cycle, you enter the luteal phase. It starts after ovulation, which is when one of your ovaries releases an egg. “The luteal phase is the stage of the menstrual cycle from ovulation to your next period,” says Dr. Sara Twogood, obstetrician and gynecologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, California, US. During this time, your progesterone levels rise in preparation for pregnancy. If your egg is fertilized by a sperm and then implants into your uterine lining, then you’re considered to be pregnant.

    Six DPO can be seen as a pretty crucial time in your luteal phase. Why? Well, it generally takes around six to 10 days after ovulation for your egg to potentially be fertilized by a sperm, to travel down your uterine tubes, and to implant into your uterine lining, signaling the official start of your pregnancy. This means at 6 DPO, implantation might have just happened — or might be about to happen. 

    Once implantation happens, it triggers your body to start producing hCG, the pregnancy hormone that at-home pregnancy tests detect in your urine. In the first eight to 10 weeks of pregnancy, your hCG levels rapidly increase. In some cases, they can almost double every three days, but this isn’t the same for everyone. HCG has an important job because it helps to thicken the lining of your uterus and supports your pregnancy as your baby starts to develop. 

    Can I take a pregnancy test at 6 DPO, or is it too early? 

    If your body has started to produce hCG at 6 DPO, you might be curious if it can be picked up by a pregnancy test at this point. While some tests promise super accurate results very early in pregnancy, 6 DPO is still a little bit too early to take a test. This can be disheartening, but it’s important to remember that the higher your levels of hCG, the easier they are to detect in your urine on a pregnancy test

    Most at-home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate, provided you use them at the right time and exactly as instructed. Experts suggest that it’s best to wait until after the first day of your missed period before taking a test. 

    The two-week wait between 6 DPO and the first day of your missed period might feel impossibly long. It may sound easier said than done, but try to be gentle with yourself. If you find comfort in journaling or other meditative practices, make sure you give yourself the space to do so. Speak to your partner, friends, or family about how you’re feeling or reach out to people you know you always have fun with to take your mind off it. 

    Pregnancy symptoms at 6 DPO 

    Implantation might have only just happened at 6 DPO, but you might notice that you feel slightly different. The truth is that thanks to hormone fluctuations that are common in early pregnancy and just before your period (premenstrual symptoms, we’re looking at you), it can be tricky to work out exactly what’s going on right now. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term that describes the different symptoms you might feel ahead of your period starting. Unfortunately, until you can take a pregnancy test after the first day of your missed period, you won’t know for sure, but let’s look at some of the symptoms you might be experiencing.

    Cramping

    You’ve likely experienced some abdominal cramping just before your period has started. It’s a pretty common PMS symptom, after all. During your cycle, the lining of your uterus releases hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. These aid in ovulation and your period. They can also cause your uterus to contract and you to feel cramps.

    But did you know that some people experience cramping around the time of implantation, too? These cramps can feel similar to menstrual cramps and are sometimes accompanied by light implantation bleeding. It’s really important to note that there’s little scientific evidence to suggest that cramping is a sign of implantation. However, some people say they feel it. This causes the uterus to contract, resulting in back pain and cramping. And as 6 DPO lines up pretty neatly with when you might start to experience premenstrual cramping, it can be tricky to know the difference between the two.

    Nausea

    You might have experienced some nausea around the time of your period. It can be caused by — you guessed it — changes in your hormone levels. However, nausea is also a well-known early sign of pregnancy

    Food cravings

    Have you found yourself reaching for some pretty whacky food combinations at 6 DPO? This could be because your hormones fluctuate during the luteal phase of your cycle (before your period), and your estrogen levels in particular can be linked to your appetite. Estrogen has been found to inhibit appetite. So it follows that when levels of this hormone are low, you might feel hungrier. 

    Food cravings also have strong links to pregnancy. You’ll likely have heard pregnant friends describe the details of their more unusual snacks. Again, this is caused by changes in your hormone levels. 

    Breast pain

    Breast pain and tenderness could signal that your period is on the way and can be linked to changes in your hormone levels. This is called cyclical breast pain. However, if your boobs feel swollen and tender, this is a common early pregnancy symptom and could be related to hormone fluctuations.   

    Fatigue

    While we often take it for granted as just something that happens every month, your body goes through some pretty big changes during your cycle. As your progesterone levels rise during your luteal phase, an afternoon nap might become more appealing. However, fatigue is also common in early pregnancy as your progesterone levels rise then too. 

    9 early pregnancy signs that may be something else

    Discover signs and symptoms that can often be confused with PMS

    6 DPO and no symptoms

    If you’re trying to conceive, then you may be waiting for the moment when you “feel” pregnant. This can be a really emotional time, so try to remember that everyone experiences pregnancy differently. You may not have any symptoms for a few weeks, and this is considered perfectly normal. As implantation may only have just happened, it’s typical not to feel any different at this time. 

    More FAQs

    Has anyone got a positive at 6 DPO?

    You might wonder if you can take a pregnancy test at 6 DPO just to see if any hCG can be detected in your urine. This might seem tempting, but it’s really important to allow your body enough time to produce a high-enough level of hCG so you can get an accurate result.

    What are the symptoms of hCG rising?

    It’s pretty much impossible to know if your hCG levels are rising before doing a pregnancy test after your missed period. However, some of the symptoms of early pregnancy you can look out for include a missed period, breast tenderness or sensitivity, nausea, needing to pee more often, and feeling more tired than usual. Many of these symptoms are caused by fluctuations in your hormones. While tracking these changes can be exciting, the only way to know for sure if you’re pregnant is by doing a test.

    Can a blood test detect pregnancy 6 DPO?

    There are a few different ways you can test if you’re pregnant. One method is going to your doctor’s office and having a blood test. This test works similarly to an at-home urine test in that it detects hCG in your blood. While a blood test may be able to detect pregnancy slightly earlier than an at-home test, 6 DPO is still generally considered to be too early.

    References

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    “First Trimester Fatigue.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/first-trimester-fatigue. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

    “Follicular Phase.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/23953-follicular-phase. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

    Gudipally, Pratyusha R., and Gyanendra K. Sharma. “Premenstrual Syndrome.” StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, 17 July 2023, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560698/.

    Hirschberg, Angelica Lindén. “Sex Hormones, Appetite and Eating Behaviour in Women.” Maturitas, vol. 71, no. 3, Mar. 2012, pp. 248–56, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.12.016.

    “Home Pregnancy Tests: Can You Trust the Results?” Mayo Clinic, 23 Dec. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/home-pregnancy-tests/art-20047940

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    “Menstrual Cramps.” Mayo Clinic, 30 Apr. 2022, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/symptoms-causes/syc-20374938

    “Ovulation.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/23439-ovulation. Accessed 21 Nov. 2023.

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    History of updates

    Current version (30 November 2023)

    Medically reviewed by Dr. Angela Jones, Obstetrician and gynecologist, attending physician, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, US
    Written by Rhalou Allerhand

    Published (12 February 2019)

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