If you’re trying to get pregnant, the wait to take the pregnancy test can be frustrating. However, even before you take a pregnancy test, your body may begin showing subtle changes if pregnant. At 13 DPO, some women begin to notice symptoms of pregnancy. Others, however, don’t experience any at all. If you’re noticing any of these changes, it might just indicate that you’re in the early stages of pregnancy:
13 DPO spotting
At 13 DPO, you may experience very light bleeding or spotting known as implantation bleeding. Once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, it travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Here, it attaches or implants itself to the uterus inner lining called endometrium. This attaching displaces some tissue from the uterus and causes what we refer to as implantation bleeding. This usually happens around 7–12 days past fertilization. Since our periods are also roughly due around the same time, it’s easy to confuse this bleeding with menstruation. However, implantation bleeding is very light in both flow and color and lasts only for a day or two.
13 DPO cramps
After implantation happens, you may feel mild cramps in your lower abdominal area. These cramps are lighter and less severe than menstrual cramps and may indicate that implantation has happened and your uterus is reacting to it. The muscular layer contractions are your uterus trying to get rid of a ‘foreign body’ — the fertilized egg. Again, cramps are a common PMS symptom that many women experience right before periods, and thus are not alone a reliable indicator of pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant and 13 DPO, then you may start noticing your nipples and areolas growing larger in size and getting swollen and darker in color. This may also be accompanied by sore breasts and nipple tingling or soreness. All these changes happen due to high levels of progesterone, which is produced first by the corpus luteum and then by the placenta.
By this time you may also feel excessively tired or fatigued — more so than usual. This mainly happens because of the rising levels of pregnancy hormones in the body. The higher level of progesterone plays a role in making you feel sleepy. Some changes in the circulatory system also happen at this time. Blood vessels expand to provide a good flow to the uterus, which can result in a drop in blood pressure levels and adds to the exhaustion.
Another sign of pregnancy at 13 DPO is nausea. Although commonly called morning sickness, this pregnancy-related nausea can strike at any time of the day. Once the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, the body starts producing high levels of hCG hormone (human chorionic gonadotropin). This hormone almost doubles its levels every 48 hours during the first 4 weeks of pregnancy, reaching its peak around 8–10 weeks. It has been linked to morning sickness, and studies have shown that women with higher levels of hCG experience more nausea throughout their pregnancy.
Remember that the time and intensity of pregnancy symptoms for each woman are unique to her. Additionally, not all women experience the above-mentioned symptoms. Some women may be confirmed pregnant and still not show any of these signs! It is a good idea to wait and take a 13 DPO pregnancy test once, and then again in a few days to confirm the same.
If you’ve been taking all the steps to get pregnant, seeing a positive pregnancy test result is what you are waiting for! But it’s possible to be 13 DPO and still get a negative result on your pregnancy test (commonly called BFN or big fat negative). While the news may not seem positive, don’t lose hope. It may still be possible that you’re pregnant.
Pregnancy tests rely on the presence of a certain level of the hCG hormone to give a positive result. Implantation usually happens about 6–12 days after fertilization, but it can take up to 15 days. Only once implantation happens does the body start producing the hCG hormone, and it’s not until at least 2–5 days after implantation that hCG levels are sufficient for a pregnancy test to detect it in your urine. Given these uncertainties, it is a good idea to wait 4–5 more days and take the test again to be sure.
Trying to get pregnant is an exciting time, but it can also be nerve-wracking. If you’re 13 DPO, your body may start showing symptoms that indicate pregnancy, including light bleeding or spotting, mild cramps, fatigue, and morning sickness. These symptoms occur because the body produces higher levels of reproductive hormones after the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. If you don’t show any of these symptoms yet, it’s ok — every woman is different.
If you get a 13 DPO BFN (a negative pregnancy test result), it’s a good idea to take the test again in 4–5 days, or take a blood test in your doctor’s office. Pregnancy tests rely on hCG levels, which rise only once implantation happens. The implantation day may be later than the 6–12 DPO window for some women, so taking the test again in a week may give you a better picture.
No matter whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor throughout your pregnancy preparation and in case you have any pregnancy-related concerns. All the best!