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3 DPO Symptoms: When to test for early pregnancy

If you’re trying to conceive, the waiting period (TWW) after you ovulate can seem endless. Whether you’re pregnant or not, you will likely feel a little or no difference 3 days past ovulation (3 DPO). Let’s explore your body’s changes at 3 DPO so you know what to expect during this period.

3 Days Past Ovulation
3 DPO: Are There Any Pregnancy Symptoms

What’s happening to the body 3 days past ovulation?

Once you ovulate, you start the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This phase continues until your period arrives or the fertilised egg gets implanted in the uterus lining. 3 days after ovulation (3 DPO), the ovary has already released a mature egg, which has travelled through the uterine tube. The egg will stay in the uterine tube for 12 to 24 hours after the ovary releases it until it’s reduced or fertilised. This is the reason why there’s a limited window for fertilisation.

During this time, the hormone levels are also changing to prepare for the possibility of having a fertilised egg. The progesterone levels increase after you ovulate, and they will peak about six to eight days later. This hormone is responsible for the changes you might notice in your mood and body.

3 days past ovulation symptoms, you should know

At 3 DPO, the body changes are directly linked to the changing hormone levels. Due to these changes, you may experience symptoms associated with early pregnancy and premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including nausea, headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, backaches, and fatigue. Knowing if you are getting your period or have conceived is challenging. 

3 days past ovulation and fatigue

One of the primary early pregnancy symptoms you may experience is fatigue. Growing a baby is a lot of work for the body, so it’s easy to feel tired as the body prepares for the next nine months.

However, you can also experience fatigue at 3 DPO due to the hormonal changes linked with the luteal phase. Three days after ovulation, it’s still early to determine if you’re fatigued because of pregnancy.

The latest research has shown that women with high luteal progesterone levels report lower fatigue and irritability during their menstrual cycle. But if you’re tired each day, no matter the stage of your cycle or whether you’re pregnant, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. Sometimes persistent fatigue can be a sign of another medical condition like anaemia or low thyroid function, also known as hypothyroidism.

Can you feel pregnant at 3 DPO?
Can you feel pregnant at 3 DPO?

3 days past ovulation and bloating

Another symptom you might experience is bloating. Ovulation occurs approximately halfway through your menstrual cycle. This is when you may start feeling bloated; by 3 DPO, you will likely still feel this way. Many women experience bloating as one of the pregnancy symptoms because the body is starting to develop excess progesterone to thicken the uterine lining to support the foetus.

In addition, once the egg is released from the follicle, a small amount of fluid gets released into the internal organs lining, particularly the gut. This can cause bloating and increase progesterone levels during the luteal phase.

3 days past ovulation and backache

Most people report having back pain during their periods or a few days before. This is a common occurrence that varies in severity from one person to another. Some women feel significant relief once the period starts, while others bear the pain for a few days. This pain is usually caused by the contraction of smooth muscles in the uterine wall, primarily driven by changes in prostaglandin and hormone levels.

Sometimes backache can be an early pregnancy symptom and may occur at 3 DPO. While backache is not common during this time, it can occur due to the hormonal changes experienced during the luteal phase. The hormones loosen joints to prepare your body for future pregnancy, and you may experience backaches as a side effect. 

You are more likely to experience back pain in the early days of your pregnancy if you have had back pain issues before pregnancy or are overweight. However, at 3 DPO, it is still too early to determine whether your backache is due to hormonal changes experienced in the luteal phase or early pregnancy.

3 days past ovulation and nausea

Nausea is one of the primary signs of pregnancy experienced during the early stages. You could likely be pregnant if you have been trying to conceive and start feeling nauseous a few days after ovulation.

3 days past ovulation and cramping

It is possible to experience cramps at 3 DPO, even though this is mainly associated with the hormonal changes you experience after ovulation. Some women can experience cramps when the fertilised egg is implanted in the uterine wall.

This step is fundamental to pregnancy because the developing foetus needs nutrients from the endometrium. However, implantation doesn’t occur until 6 to 12 DPO.

The cramping will feel like regular period cramps, confusing many. You are also likely to experience brown discharge or implantation bleeding 10 to 14 days after ovulation.

It could be difficult to determine if your period is early or if you’re experiencing implantation between the bleeding and cramping. Therefore it is advisable to keep an eye out for additional symptoms of conception to tell the difference.

3 days past ovulation and tender breasts

Breast tenderness is associated with various factors, including hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, caffeine intake, and an ill-fitting bra. Some people can have it during ovulation, and their pain may continue until they start their period.

The breast will feel heavy and swollen at 3 DPO, and you might have extreme nipple sensitivity. No matter why you are experiencing breast tenderness, you can take caffeine and wear loose clothing to alleviate the pain.

The research on this topic is ongoing, but there are several theories about why women experience breast tenderness at different phases of the menstrual cycle. Certain studies have found that women have an imbalance of oestrogen and progesterone during the second half of their menstrual cycle. Others think that the abnormality in the hormone prolactin causes breast tenderness.

Are there 3 days post ovulation symptoms that lead to a positive pregnancy test?

It’s unlikely to experience pregnancy symptoms at 3 DPO. Your luteal phase will begin the day you ovulate and continue until the first day of your bleeding. The luteal phase typically lasts between 10 to 16 days. Suppose you start experiencing pregnancy symptoms 3 days after ovulation. In that case, you will likely have miscalculated your ovulation or have a hormonal imbalance that should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible.

Can you get a positive test at 3 DPO?

Can you get a positive test at 3 DPO?

Should you take a pregnancy test 3 days past ovulation?

Pregnancy tests should be taken at the right time – you shouldn’t test too early or late. When you test too late, you won’t realise you are pregnant and may make poor lifestyle choices such as failing to take your prenatal vitamins on time or changing some lifestyle habits like taking alcohol or smoking. Testing too early, on the other hand, can lead to false-negative or false-positive results.

A false-negative test can occur when you take a pregnancy test too early. Generally, the at-home pregnancy tests work by detecting hormone hCG levels in urine, which is not released until the fertilised egg is implanted in the uterus. Even if you’re pregnant, the hCG levels may not be high enough to be detected by a pregnancy test, so you’ll likely get a false negative result even if you’re pregnant. If you take another test on the first day after missing your period, the results may return positive, even if you received a negative result earlier.

Ideally, you should not take a pregnancy test before the first day of a missed period. At this time, the hCG levels in your urine will be high enough to be detected by an at-home pregnancy test kit. If you cannot wait this long, you can always visit your doctor for a blood test to detect pregnancy as early as 8 days after ovulation.

Most doctors do not like performing a blood test before 14 DPO, so they might still recommend waiting until you miss your period. In the meantime, shop with Fertility2Family for a range of quality and affordable fertility products.

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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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