What To Expect In The Two Week Wait: DPO symptoms
Couples trying to conceive can have a difficult time waiting to see if they were successful in conceiving a baby. The infamous two-week wait can be excruciating where you can’t do anything but wait.
Many couples might be eager to look out for the earliest signs of pregnancy during the two-week wait. This post will talk about exactly what happens in those 14 days or so past ovulation. We will talk about early signs of pregnancy that you can keep an eye out for a while you wait for your pregnancy test during the two-week wait.
The Start Of The Two Week Wait
Days 1-6 past ovulation
Ovulation happens when the mature egg releases from the ovary during the menstrual cycle. Once it is released, it is picked up by the fallopian tubes and starts its journey to the uterus. If the egg meets the sperm while in the fallopian tubes, then fertilization occurs, resulting in the formation of a fertilized egg.
The egg is only viable for 24 hours post ovulation. Meaning, sperm must be present at the right location to fertilize the egg within these 24 hours. Your fertility window starts five days before ovulation. It continues to the day of ovulation as the sperm can be viable for as many as five days in the female reproductive tract. Ovulation predictor kits from Fertility2Famiy can help you determine the best time to have intercourse to increase the chances of conception.
If the fertilization is successful, a fertilized egg is formed. The fertilized egg continues its journey down the fallopian tube to the uterus and creates a structure called the embryo. While going through the fallopian tubes, the embryo repeatedly divides to form a structure known as a blastocyst. The embryo undergoes implantation in the uterus at this stage during the two-week wait.
It can be said that during the first week after ovulation, the embryo is still developing. Pregnancy is underway once the embryo is successfully implanted into the uterus. Hence, you are still not officially pregnant as the embryo has not successfully been embedded in the uterus during this time.
1-6 DPO symptoms
Significant hormonal changes happen during the first six days post ovulation. Your body starts to produce a lot of Progesterone that peaks at around 6 to 8 DPO. However, this peak is observed regardless of the fertilization status of the egg.
You might feel any symptoms during the first 6 DPO are more likely due to these increased progesterone levels. The symptoms are quite similar to those you might experience before your periods, and hence these are not a good indicator for early pregnancy. These symptoms include-
- Mood swings
- Fatigue and headache
- Cramps in the pelvis and abdomen region
- Tenderness of the breast
Days 7 to 11 past ovulation
The implantation of the developed embryo in the uterine lining happens around the 6 to 12 DPO. The fertility hormone progesterone plays an important role in getting your uterus ready for implantation. Progesterone prevents the muscles of the uterus from contracting and expelling the embryo. Once the embryo is implanted in the uterine wall, Progesterone creates a habitable environment for the embryo to grow.
During the initial days of the pregnancy, the Progesterone is secreted by a structure in the ovaries called the Corpus luteum. However, once the embryo is successfully implanted and develops a placenta, it takes over as the major source of this hormone in the body. Progesterone is continuously secreted in your body throughout your pregnancy.
7-11 DPO Symptoms
Implantation bleeding is experienced by as many as 25% of women. It is observed as slight bleeding or spotting that is lighter in colour than normal menses. The implantation bleeding occurs because, during implantation, a few blood vessels are damaged. The bleeding, however, lasts only for a couple of days and is a very light inflow.
That said, it is important to understand that implantation bleeding is not a reliable indicator of early pregnancy. Women experiencing chemical pregnancy (a very early miscarriage) can also observe bleeding that can be confused for implantation bleeding. Chemical pregnancies account for up to 50 – 75% of all conceptions.
Spotting can also be an indicator of some other issues. Hence, it is best not to rush to any conclusion before the two-week waiting period is over. That said, if you observe heavy bleeding that does not seem normal, please visit your doctor as soon as you can.
Apart from the implantation bleeding, you can experience some other symptoms during this time-
- Mood swings
- lower backache
- light cramping, which is less painful than your normal period cramps, pulling or tugging sensation
All the symptoms are fairly common and similar to the signs of ovulation or an upcoming period. Hence, it is not wise to conclude anything from the symptoms during 7 to 11 DPO. You’ll have to wait a little bit longer until your body gives more robust and significant signals regarding early pregnancy.
Days 12 to 14 past ovulation
The most important change happening to your body during this time is producing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It takes about 2 to 3 days for the hormone to start releasing steadily. It usually takes 12 DPO for the hCG to reach a level high enough to be detected by a home pregnancy kit; hence, don’t take an early pregnancy test before 7 DPO. The test might not yield a reliable result, testing too early in your two week wait can lead to negative results
12 -14 DPO symptoms
You might experience certain pregnancy symptoms during this time as the hCG concentration is increasing in your body. Some of the signs that you might encounter include-
- Feeling very tired, dizzy, and sleepy more than usual. You might even feel lightheaded, especially when you get up after lying down. These symptoms happen as a large amount of energy is used to make the placenta. New blood vessels are also being made in your body, and the blood flow to the brain can alter during this period. Hence you see such symptoms two week wait.
- You might also experience some changes regarding the appearance of your breasts. The nipples can become darker in colour, the best skin becomes sore, and the nipples can become tender and sensitive. The breasts might even feel heavy and full. Some women might also feel a tingling sensation or itching around the areola of the best.
- Some women also experience a change in taste and smell. You might also develop a craving for certain foods and smells. Some women also report experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth.
- Significant gastrointestinal changes are happening during this time as well. You might experience a pang of increased hunger, bloating, diarrhea, and in some cases, constipation as well during the two week wait.
- It is during this time that you might experience what is known as morning sickness. You might feel like vomiting any time of the day, and that is okay.
- Another common symptom experienced by women during this time is an increase in the frequency of urination. This happens as pregnancy hormones increase the flow of the blood to the kidneys and pelvic region.
- You might want to experience headaches and muscle aches.
- Your basal body temperature might also increase during this time of pregnancy. As the body’s priority is now to support the new life in your womb, there might be a significant change in blood pressure and even heart rate.
Not all symptoms Can be explained during the Two Week Wait:
Not all symptoms or changes during this time can be explained. Some women might have a feeling that something is ‘off. They might not be able to describe it, but they don’t feel like themselves.
Most of the symptoms that we saw in this blog post are not very specific. Moreover, no two women are alike, and hence you might not experience the symptoms described in this blog post. It is perfectly okay if you don’t share any of the symptoms during the two-week wait. Every pregnancy is unique, and you might experience entirely different symptoms than what we discussed above.
It is crucial for your health to make sure that you don’t stress during this time. Your body is going through a million changes during the early stages of pregnancy. Try not to worry whether you see any symptoms or not. Although it is easier said than done, let your body do what it needs to get things in order. Once the two-week wait is over, you can use a home pregnancy test by Fertility2Family to confirm that you are pregnant.
Ensure that you follow up with your healthcare provider as soon as possible after getting a positive home pregnancy test.