Days Past Ovulation (DPO) is the starting point in the calculation of the timeline for various pregnancy-related developments. DPO pregnancy tests are conducted to confirm pregnancy before the women miss her period. Pregnancy tests are conducted based on early symptoms experienced by the women. Pregnancy tests should be done 9-11 DPO as earlier than this may lead to false-negative results.
What Is DPO In Pregnancy?
Women have hormonal alterations every month. Because of these hormonal alterations, ovulation and menstrual cycle occur. This indicates that every month, an egg is released from the ovary and is ready for fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm, it results in menstruation. Missed menstrual period, thus, is a strong indication of pregnancy in healthy women. However, many women may feel the symptoms of pregnancy earlier than the missed period. The occurrence of these symptoms is generally depicted by Days Past Ovulation (DPO). Days Past Ovulation is usually used to identify the time of implantation, initiation of pregnancy symptoms, and appropriate time for taking a pregnancy test. In DPO, the day of ovulation is termed as zero days.
What Happens After Ovulation If Pregnant?
Ovulation is the process of release of an egg from the ovary. The egg travels to the fallopian tube where fertilization takes place. Ovulation occurs almost in the middle of the menstrual cycle. Thus, it occurs approximately two weeks before the next menstrual period. If the egg does not get fertilized, it disintegrates and is absorbed by the body. However, if the egg is fertilized by sperm, it leads to the formation of a zygote. Cells of the zygote divide while traveling from fallopian tube to uterus. Through cell division, the zygote gets converted to blastocyst. The blastocyst then implants into the uterine wall. Various hormonal changes occur in the body after implantation. Women may experience certain pregnancy-related symptoms during the early period after implantation.
At What DPO A Women Take Pregnancy Test?
Almost all the pregnancy tests are sensitive to a hormone known as Human Choriogonadotropin Hormone (hCG). The urine of pregnant women contains this hormone during the early phase of pregnancy. A minimum threshold concentration of this hormone is required in urine to be detected by pregnancy kits. hCG hormone is secreted by the placenta after implantation of the blastocyst to the uterine wall. Thus, a few days, after implantation, are required to reach the level of this hormone to a threshold value. It is advisable to take the pregnancy tests after you missed your period. In case you experience pregnancy symptoms well before a missed period, take a pregnancy test at or after 9 DPO. During this time, the hCG levels are at a concentration that can be detected by pregnancy kits. DPO pregnancy tests may indicate pregnancy before the women miss the period.
How To Perform Pregnancy Test?
Pregnancy tests should be performed through pregnancy kits. These kits are sensitive to the hCG hormone present in your urine. It is recommended that morning urine should be used for pregnancy testing as it has a maximum concentration of hCG. Collect the urine in a cup. Take a small amount of urine through a dropper and place it in a predefined area on the pregnancy stick. Wait for a few minutes. A line similar to the standard indicates a positive pregnancy test.
[Also Read: When to take Pregnancy test for irregular periods]
Why Should You Do Not Take Pregnancy Test Early?
Pregnancy test kits require an adequate amount of hCG hormone in urine for accurate results. If you take the pregnancy tests early, there are high chances that you may have a false-negative result. This means that pregnancy kit will give negative pregnancy results even when you are pregnant. The ideal time to undergo a pregnancy test is 9-11 DPO. Some women may not get positive pregnancy tests even at 15 DPO. False-positive tests may also occur due to certain fertility drugs that may later the level of hCG.
What Are The DPO Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy?
Different women have different hormonal levels after implantation and hence experience different symptoms. Some women experience symptoms very early while others do not have any symptoms even after 15 days of missed period. Following are the general symptoms of early pregnancy;
At 4 DPO
At 4 DPO, most women do not experience pregnancy symptoms. However, some women may have;
At 6 DPO
Most pregnancy signs occur after implantation. A study concludes that less than 0.5% of women have implantation at 6 DPO and almost 84% of women have implantation at 8-10 DPO. Women may rarely experience the pregnancy symptoms at 6 DPO such as;
- Cramping and bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Food cravings
At 8 DPO
Following are the symptoms at 8 DPO in pregnant women;
- Dizziness and headaches
- Implantation bleeding
- Morning Sickness
- Change in taste and smell
- Food cravings
- Frequent urination
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, nerve sheath tumor, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, brain metastases, atelectasis, MCAD deficiency, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and metabolic disorder among others.