If you’re trying to get pregnant, waiting to take a pregnancy test can seem impossible. However, even before a urine test can detect a pregnancy, the body may begin showing subtle changes. At 13 DPO, some people begin to notice symptoms of pregnancy. Others, however, don’t experience any at all. If you’re noticing any of these changes, it might indicate that you’re in the early stages of pregnancy.
13 DPO spotting
At 13 DPO, very light bleeding or spotting known as implantation bleeding can occur. Once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, it travels down the uterine tube to the uterus. Normally, the fertilized egg attaches or implants itself to the inner lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. This process displaces some tissue from the uterus and causes what is referred to as implantation bleeding. This usually happens around 10–14 days after conception. Since conception is often timed with ovulation, periods are also roughly due around the same time as implantation bleeding might occur (around 14 DPO). Because of this, it’s easy to confuse implantation 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
During implantation, mild cramps in the lower abdominal area may occur. These cramps are lighter and less severe than menstrual cramps and may indicate that implantation has happened and the uterus is reacting to it. The muscular layer contractions are the uterus trying to get rid of a “foreign body” — the fertilized egg. Again, cramps are a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome that many people experience right before their period and thus are not a reliable indicator of pregnancy by themselves.
During pregnancy, at 13 DPO, nipples and areolas may grow larger, swollen, and darker in color. This may also be accompanied by sore breasts and nipple tingling or soreness. All of these changes happen due to high levels of progesterone, which is produced first by the corpus luteum (a temporary endocrine gland in female ovaries) and then by the placenta.
Feeling excessively tired or more fatigued than usual are also common at 13 DPO. This mainly happens because of the rising levels of pregnancy hormones in the body. The higher level of progesterone plays a role in feelings of sleepiness. 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 add to the exhaustion.
Another sign of pregnancy at 13 DPO is nausea. Although commonly called morning sickness, pregnancy-related nausea can strike at any time of day. Once the fertilized egg implants, the body starts producing high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone almost doubles its levels every 48 hours during the first four 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.
However, extra-uterine (ectopic) pregnancies usually have a slower rise of hCG that is low without the typical doubling.
If no symptoms are present at 13 DPO, it doesn’t necessarily mean conception hasn’t occurred. A lack of symptoms could be because ovulation occurred later than usual, which can happen with irregular periods.
Remember that the time and intensity of pregnancy symptoms for each person are unique to them. Additionally, not all people experience the above-mentioned symptoms. Some people with confirmed pregnancies still don’t 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 result.
If you’ve been taking all the steps to get pregnant, you’re probably looking forward to seeing a positive pregnancy test result. It’s important to know that it’s possible to be pregnant at 13 DPO and still get a negative result on a pregnancy test (commonly called a BFN or big fat negative). While the news may not seem positive, don’t lose hope. Pregnancy is still possible.
Pregnancy tests rely on the presence of a certain level of the hCG hormone to give a positive result. Implantation usually happens 6–8 days after ovulation. The body only starts producing hCG after implantation happens, and it’s the hCG that triggers a positive result in a blood or urine pregnancy test.
Trying to get pregnant might be an exciting time, but it can also be nerve wracking. At 13 DPO, the 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 none of these symptoms are present yet, pregnancy is still possible. Everyone 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 four or five days, or take a blood test in a health care provider’s office. Pregnancy tests rely on hCG levels, which rise only after implantation. The implantation day may be later than the 6–8 DPO window for some people, so taking the test again in a week may give you a clearer picture.
No matter whether you’re experiencing symptoms or not, it’s a good idea to consult a health care provider throughout your pregnancy preparation and whenever you have any pregnancy-related concerns.