If you have been eagerly waiting to conceive, you will likely want to know if you are pregnant as soon as possible. But at 1 to 3 days past ovulation (DPO), it is still too early to tell if you have managed to get pregnant.
Some women experience pregnancy symptoms a few days after conception, but most do not. The only common changes women experience in the luteal phase involve hormones.
Generally, if there are sperm to fertilise your egg in the fallopian tube, the fertilisation will occur within 12 to 24 hours after you ovulate. During 1 to 3 DPO, the fertilised egg will migrate towards the uterine cavity for implantation. However, the fertilisation or migration processes don’t cause significant changes during these early days of the luteal phase. This means you likely won’t experience any pregnancy-related symptoms at this time.
Whether you have achieved pregnancy or not, the body and hormones change 1 to 3 days after ovulation. When it comes to symptoms, 1 DPO symptoms, 2 DPO symptoms, and 3 DPO symptoms are similar. During this time, you may experience specific physical changes due to the high progesterone levels in your body following ovulation.
Let’s discuss further the signs and symptoms you may experience 1 to 3 DPO and what they mean.
What Happens to the Body at 1 to 3 DPO
Right after ovulation, you will start the journey commonly referred to as the ‘two-week wait.’ During this stage, the pregnancy hormone hCG is required to increase enough to be detectable on a pregnancy test. So, if you want accurate results, you should take a test the first day after missing your period.
If you managed to conceive, you may or may not experience pregnancy symptoms at 1-3 DPO. On the other hand, if you’re not pregnant, you may still experience early pre-menstrual symptoms similar to early pregnancy signs.
Since most of these symptoms are similar, it will be difficult to tell whether you are pregnant. The symptoms become more intense after implantation if you’re pregnant, but this doesn’t happen before 6 DPO. Generally, it happens between 6 and 12 DPO.
Hormonal changes are responsible for the symptoms experienced during early pregnancy, and you will be experiencing increased levels of progesterone, estrogen, and HCG. However, the implantation process does not occur before 6 to 12 DPO, and the symptoms aren’t likely to occur until the implantation process is complete.
Symptoms at 1 to 3 DPO
At 1 to 3 DPO, you may start experiencing bloating, cramping, fatigue, backaches, and breast tenderness. However, these symptoms are related to hormonal changes during the luteal phase once ovulation happens. The symptoms are usually the same whether the egg has been fertilised.
If you are like most women in Australia, you might be tempted to test early, but you should resist. The best thing to do is wait until the two-week wait period lapses before taking a pregnancy test. Opting to test for pregnancy too early causes false-negative or false-positive results.
At 1-3 DPO, it will still be too early to confirm if you’re pregnant. Even the most sensitive blood tests will find it difficult to verify if you’re pregnant at this time. Both at-home urine tests and blood tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone hCG, and the hormone is not produced until the implantation process is complete at 6 to 12 DPO.
Therefore, if you are keen to take action, consider tracking your fertility, hormonal changes, and ovulation during this time (rather than taking a pregnancy test). Then, after two weeks, take a pregnancy test for confirmation. If you realise you’re not pregnant, you can still use tracking tools to pinpoint your ovulation and increase your chances of conceiving during your next menstrual cycle.
What Pregnancy Symptoms Can You Feel 1 to 3DPO?
Even if you have conceived, you should not expect to experience any pregnancy symptoms within 1 to 3 DPO. These are some of the symptoms you can look out for at 1 to 3 DPO::
You can experience cramping within one to three DPO, but this is mainly linked to hormonal changes after ovulation. Sometimes, women experience cramping during implantation, in which the fertilised egg gets attached to the uterus wall (endometrium). This process is vital, as the fetus acquires nutrients from the endometrium during pregnancy, but this does not occur until 6 to 12 days DPO.
The cramps often feel like period cramps, and you may also experience implantation bleeding or a brownish discharge at this time – or within 10 to 14 DPO. Even when cramping and implantation bleeding occurs, it’s not always easy to tell if a fertile egg is attached to the uterine lining or if you’re getting your period early. Therefore, watch out for other early pregnancy symptoms to tell the difference.
If you have conceived, your body needs to adjust rapidly to accommodate a new baby. Therefore, you will likely often feel tired right from fertilisation. If you start feeling tired, know that your body is probably preparing for the newborn. Usually, you will begin to experience some hormonal changes linked to the luteal phase. Sometimes, it might be too early to determine if the fatigue is caused by pregnancy at 1-3 DPO.
You are likely to experience bloating a few days past your ovulation. Most women also experience bloating during the early days of pregnancy because the body is developing excess progesterone. This hormone thickens the uterine lining so the growing fetus can get enough support.
However, at 1 to 3 DPO, bloating may be caused by ovulation. Once a follicle in the ovary releases an egg, tiny amounts of fluid are also released into the internal organs, particularly the gut, causing bloating. The increasing levels of progesterone during this period can also lead to bloating.
Another common symptom experienced three days after ovulation is breast tenderness. This symptom is caused by the high progesterone levels experienced during the luteal phase and can make the breasts feel swollen and heavy.
So, whenever you experience breast tenderness could be a sign of the increasing levels of progesterone hormone or an early pregnancy symptom. But at 1 to 3 DPO, it is still hard to determine whether the breasts are tender due to pregnancy.
Backaches can also occur at 1 to 3 DPO. Most people do not disclose back pain, but signs can also occur in early pregnancy due to the hormonal changes experienced after ovulation, which loosen the joints, preparing the body for a future pregnancy.
Taking a Pregnancy Test at 1 to 3 DPO
Knowing when to test for pregnancy is key to getting reliable results. Testing too early can lead to false-negative or false-positive results.
Home pregnancy test kits work by checking the hCG hormone level in your urine, and the hormone levels do not increase until the fertilised egg has been implanted in the uterus. HCG levels must cross a specific threshold for the test kit to give a positive result.
Even if you did conceive, if your hCG levels are not high enough, you can receive a false-negative result. This often occurs if you test before the two-week wait period. If you take another test after missing your periods, you may get a positive result, even though you got a negative result a few days before.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid taking pregnancy tests too soon until you miss your period. By this time, the pregnancy hormone hCG levels will be high enough for the urine test kit to detect them.
If you do not want to wait to test at home, you can also request that your healthcare provider perform a blood test that detects pregnancy at 8 to 10 DPO. However, most doctors prefer performing blood tests after 14 DPO, as this is the recommended wait time.
At Fertility2Family, we offer a range of tools, from affordable and accurate ovulation tests to fertility kits and a range of home pregnancy tests, that assist you in your conception journey. Our blog is also a valuable resource for information regarding fertility and conception.
For further questions regarding pregnancy symptoms at 1 to 3 DPO, don’t hesitate to contact our team today.
Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified enrolled nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.