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16 DPO Symptoms: When to test for early pregnancy

Whether trying for your first or looking to add to your growing family, conceiving can be long and difficult. Given the many symptoms associated with pregnancy and the fact that these symptoms are often very similar to those experienced during menstruation, women often find themselves reading into every small change their body experiences. A better understanding of the similarities and differences between menstruation, ovulation and pregnancy symptoms can assist.

During ovulation, a mature egg is released from the ovaries and travels to the fallopian tube. When a viable sperm reaches the fallopian tube, it fertilises the egg, which results in you falling pregnant. It is normal to wonder if you’re pregnant if your menstrual cycle is late at 16 DPO (days past ovulation). However, it’s important to remember that after conception, it may take some time before you start experiencing pregnancy signs and symptoms.

Let’s discuss the most common pregnancy symptoms experienced by most women at 16 DPO and the meaning of a negative result after taking a pregnancy test.

16 DPO Pregnancy Symptoms
16 DPO Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs: How to Know If You’re Pregnant

16 Days Past Ovulation Symptoms – 16 DPO

At 16 days past ovulation, it is generally possible to confirm you’re pregnant because the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels are usually high enough to be detected by a pregnancy test. You may also start experiencing early symptoms of pregnancy during this time. However, many women also experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at 16 DPO, the symptoms of which are similar to those expected during early pregnancy.

Women aware of the regular changes in their bodies every month may be able to tell if they’re experiencing PMS or pregnant at 16 DPO.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms at 16 DPO

The most commonly experienced symptoms at 16 DPO include:

A Missed Period

A missed or late period is one of the most known early pregnancy signs. However, women with an irregular cycle should not consider this symptom an indication of pregnancy. If you miss your period, you must wait a few days and take another pregnancy test. Doing so gives you enough time to ensure that you did not miscalculate your dates or to know if your period is just late, which is very common.

You’re likely pregnant if the test turns out positive after waiting a few days. If the result is negative, it may indicate that you’re not pregnant. Other common root causes of a missed period include hormonal imbalances or medical conditions.

Tender and Swollen Breasts

During pregnancy, your body undergoes hormonal changes that cause your breasts to become heavy, sore, swollen, and tender. You may also notice that your nipples become darker. Within a couple of weeks, your body will adjust to the hormonal changes, and the symptoms will become less noticeable.

Breast pain is a common early pregnancy symptom. However, if the pain becomes unbearable, you should see a doctor.

An Elevated/Raised Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

It is normal for your body temperature to increase after ovulation and return to normal following your period. But, if you’re pregnant, your BBT will stay elevated throughout your pregnancy. After your ovaries release an egg, there is an increase in the production of progesterone hormone, which in turn increases your basal body temperature. However, if implantation of a fertilised egg fails, the basal body temperature and progesterone levels return to normal before your period.

Vomiting or Nausea

Although many know it as morning sickness, nausea can occur day or night if you’re pregnant. Morning sickness usually begins one month after conception. However, it may start sooner for some women and never show up for others. The leading cause of nausea during pregnancy is unknown, but it is believed that pregnancy hormones play a significant role. If you experience severe vomiting and nausea and cannot keep food down, visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Fatigue

Fatigue is a common pregnancy symptom 16 days past ovulation. It is caused by high progesterone levels during the early weeks of pregnancy, making you feel sleepy, exhausted, and tired. Your body also experiences increased exhaustion because it produces more blood for the growth and development of the foetus. If you’re experiencing fatigue, you must get plenty of sleep and rest. Look after your physical health and ensure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. Fatigue cannot harm your baby but can make your life difficult, especially during pregnancy.

Moodiness

During early pregnancy, the surge of hormones may make you feel weepy or emotional. However, it is also normal to have mood swings during this time. Like women who experience irritability before getting their period every month, some struggle with anger and frustration during pregnancy. Physical discomfort and fatigue also contribute to pregnancy anger. While it is normal to experience frustration, there are strategies you can implement to help manage rapidly changing emotions. To cope with pregnancy mood swings, you must be patient and prioritise sleep and rest.

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16 DPO: can you still be pregnant?

16 DPO and a Big Fat Negative Test: Can You Still Be Pregnant?

At 16 DPO, there are minimal chances of a false-negative pregnancy test result. However, many reasons can contribute to getting a false negative result 16 days past ovulation. Some of the most common reasons are taking the test too early or miscalculating when you’re supposed to get your next period. Taking a test too early may provide a false-negative because the hCG levels in your urine are too low to be detected by a home test.

A false-negative hCG result may also be caused by diluted urine. For example, taking a urine test after consuming plenty of fluids can dilute the collection, resulting in a false negative.

hCG Levels at 16 Days Past Ovulation

During pregnancy, the placenta forms, leading to the production of hCG. Pregnancy can detect hCG in urine 12 to 15 days after conception. After every 48 to 72 hours, hCG can double. hCG levels are highest at week ten, decline afterwards, and remain steady throughout pregnancy.

hCG levels are recorded as a milli-international unit of hCG hormone per millilitre of blood (mIU/ml). Home pregnancy tests can either show a positive or negative result, meaning they are qualitative. Such tests are designed to detect levels of hCG from 10 to 50 mIU/ml. However, blood tests can measure low levels of hCG from 1 to 2 mIU/ml.

Blood hCG Pregnancy Test Results

The hCG level must be greater than 25 mIU/ml for a positive urine hCG pregnancy test result. This means that an hCG of 5 mIU/ml will produce a negative result on a home pregnancy test but be detectable when you take a blood test. Anywhere between 6 and 24, mIU/ml will only produce an equivocal result, and you will have to take another test later.

There are two types of hCG tests. First, a quantitative test measures the amount of hCG in your blood. The second kind is a qualitative test to detect the presence of hCG in your urine. Unfortunately, different laboratories have different hCG normal ranges, meaning the test results may vary slightly. Therefore, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider to get an accurate interpretation of your test result.

16 DPO and No Period: What Could It Mean?

If you fail to get your period at 16 DPO, there is a high chance that you’re pregnant. This is because the length of your cycle determines ovulation and tends to occur between the 13th and 20th day. Most women will find their period arrives around 16 DPO. If you have conceived, you may experience symptoms such as elevated BBT, breast tenderness, moodiness, and fatigue around this time.

5 DPO Symptoms
What Are 16 DPO Symptoms If You Are Pregnant?

16 DPO and a Negative Pregnancy Test

Experience early pregnancy symptoms (including frequent urination, moodiness, fatigue, nausea, tender and swollen breasts, and an elevated BBT) and get a negative test result at 16 DPO. You should do another test several days later. Alternatively, you can visit your health care provider and have them take a blood test for more accurate results than urine pregnancy tests.

Shop for Fertility Products at Fertility2Family

The cost of trying to conceive can quickly add up between ovulation and pregnancy tests. The good news is that Fertility2Family is here to help with our comprehensive range of affordable fertility kits. Shop the full range online today and contact the team with any questions.

Sources:

Fertility2Family only uses trusted & peer-reviewed sources to ensure our articles’ information is accurate and reliable.

BellyBelly – Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting (2023) When do your breasts stop hurting in pregnancy?, BellyBelly Australia. Available at: https://www.bellybelly.com.au/pregnancy/when-do-your-breasts-stop-hurting-in-pregnancy/ (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Betz D, Fane K. (2023) Human chorionic gonadotropin – statpearls – NCBI bookshelf. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532950/ (Accessed: 19 October 2023).

Cleveland Clinic (2022) Human chorionic gonadotropin: Hormone, purpose & levels, Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22489-human-chorionic-gonadotropin (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2001) Pregnancy – morning sickness, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/pregnancy-morning-sickness (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Department of Health & Human Services (2003) Ovulation and fertility, Better Health Channel Australia. Available at: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/ovulation (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Department of Health  Australia (2016) Emotional health for parents during pregnancy and after the birth. Available at: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Emotional-health-for-parents-during-pregnancy-and-after-the-birth (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2021) Morning sickness, healthdirect. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dealing-with-morning-sickness (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Healthdirect Australia (2022) Fatigue and dizziness during pregnancy, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Available at: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/dealing-with-fatigue-during-your-pregnancy (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Mayo Clinic (2023) Basal body temperature for natural family planning, Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/basal-body-temperature/about/pac-20393026 (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

Osborn, C.O. (2023) Breast pain in pregnancy: As early sign, vs. during period, more, Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/breast-pain-pregnancy#what-it-feels-like (Accessed: 12 October 2023).

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Evan Kurzyp
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.

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