Many women don’t suspect they are pregnant until they miss their period. Inversely, the days following ovulation mark the infamously difficult 14-day wait for those trying to get pregnant. While experts recommend waiting to test if you’re pregnant after at least two weeks, women trying to get pregnant will want to know if they can experience pregnancy symptoms as early as seven days past ovulation (7 DPO).
Though not easy, you can notice some changes in your first week of pregnancy because of the changes inside your body. This article will discuss 7 DPO pregnancy symptoms and what happens to your body at 7 DPO.
What is happening to your body at 7 DPO?
Early pregnancy symptoms tend to resemble those of an approaching period. That said, understanding your body’s changes, plus typical early pregnancy symptoms, can help calm the impatience associated with the 14-day waiting period.
Changes in hormone levels, like progesterone and oestrogen fluctuations in a regular cycle, significantly affect the symptoms you experience. Because the same hormones are active after implantation, it is perfectly normal for 7 DPO symptoms to feel or look similar to those of an impending period.
Symptoms of seven DPO pregnancy
Higher progesterone levels are arguably the primary cause of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Typically, if implantation has not occurred, the progesterone levels drop, resulting in menstruation periods. On the other hand, progesterone is produced in more significant amounts if pregnancy has occurred, causing symptoms similar to those of an impending period.
If implantation occurs, progesterone secretion will continue at 7 DPO, which causes symptoms like cramps, irritability, and breast tenderness. Only a few women can tell how symptoms of 7 DPO pregnancy differ from signs of a regular cycle.
You are likely to experience pregnancy symptoms as early as seven days past ovulation, including:
Irritability (mood swings)
After implantation has taken place, women usually experience intense hormonal changes. Research links these changes with psychological distress, which can cause noticeable mood swings.
Note: Although irritability and mood swings can be tell-tale pregnancy symptoms, it can be hard to rule these as early pregnancy symptoms, particularly if they are a regular part of your cycle.
Cramping, a common premenstrual symptom, can also be experienced in the early stages of pregnancy.
Typically, cramps indicating pregnancy are felt in the lower abdomen and are less severe than period cramps. You may also bleed lightly or spot, making it easy to confuse pregnancy for an approaching period. That said, you can differentiate implantation cramps from period cramps by noting their occurrence differences.
Implantation cramps will most likely be felt anywhere between the 6th to 12th day, while cramps due to regular menstrual periods usually occur 14 DPO or beyond.
Headaches seem apparent in women when they experience hormonal changes; early pregnancy is no exception. It could signify pregnancy if you battle headaches and other imbalances at 7 BPO. Notably, headaches can be accompanied by potentially fatal conditions, so speak to your healthcare provider should you experience anything serious.
Other than feeling dizzy, you will likely feel too exhausted a few days after implantation and potentially at 7 DPO. This is because your body synthesises plenty of progesterone, which stimulates other neurotransmitters while preparing the uterus for pregnancy, making you sleepy and exhausted.
Unusual fatigue and drowsiness could be early signs of pregnancy because progesterone secretion is high during this time.
Another common early sign of pregnancy is breast tenderness. Breast tissues usually undergo rapid changes throughout pregnancy, and it is normal for them to become very sensitive. You may also notice changes in breast size and shape, commonly due to changes in hormone levels or increased blood flow that come with pregnancy.
Whether due to hormones or increased blood flow, your breasts will likely feel heavier, swollen, painful, and ultra-sensitive.
Craving for food
Research shows that high levels of hormones, especially during pregnancy, can change a person’s sense of smell and taste. This means you can develop sensitivity to specific tastes and crave new ones at 7 DPO.
In most cases, you will develop a negative attitude towards some foods that have always been on your menu ( including favourites) and crave ones you have never had. Indeed, this is among the most common early tell-tale signs of early pregnancy.
Can you take a pregnancy test at 7 DPO?
As you have already seen, early pregnancy symptoms are similar to an approaching period (except for a few insignificant differences). This makes it hard to differentiate them, forcing over-curious women to seek a pregnancy test.
So, can you test for pregnancy at 7 DPO? Testing for pregnancy at the first week after ovulation will likely give a BFN 92.6% of the time, even when implantation has occurred (known as a false negative). This is because home tests depend on hCG hormone concentration in the urine, and you may not be secreting enough of it to register BFP. Again, home tests can give inaccurate results.
Considering that hCG hormone levels are usually low one week after ovulation, it can be confusing to interpret pregnancy test results at 7 DPO.
That said, monitoring your fertility hormone concentration can help detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test.
7 DPO and negative pregnancy test (BFN)
Technically, you can take a pregnancy test as early as 7 DPO to find out if you’re pregnant, but, honestly, it is early, and you’re more likely to get BFN (negative pregnancy test). Indeed, implantation might not have occurred at this time in most women.
If you want the most accurate result, taking a pregnancy test after the first day of a missed menstruation period is best.
Seven DPO and positive pregnancy test
Getting a positive result at 7 DPO is very improbable but not impossible. Even when pregnant, odds are, you are not synthesising enough hCG to get a positive result on a home test. You can also get a false positive if the kit detects a chemical pregnancy.
Although many doctors can do a blood test that would give accurate results at 7 DPO, in many cases, your doctor will prefer waiting until the second week or the day after your expected missed period.
Whether pregnant or not, at 7 DPO, you will still experience hormone changes that can give confusing symptoms. The symptoms listed above can be early signs of pregnancy at 7 DPO.
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.