12 DPO (Days Past Ovulation) : A Countdown To Conception.

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The two-week wait can be pretty daunting, and 12 DPO adds to the time. The good news is that at 12 DPO, you have almost reached the end of this dreadful wait.
All you can do is wait a few days more and get your pregnancy test done. Read on to know what is happening during this crucial time in your cycle and about 12 DPO symptoms.

What is happening at 12 DPO?

Believe it or not, quite a bit! 12 DPO refers to the day that is 12 days past ovulation. Ovulation usually happens 14 days before your next menstrual cycle.

Depending on your cycle length, your day of ovulation varies. But 12 DPO is generally around your period date.

Your ovary releases a mature egg during ovulation. The egg is swept up into the fallopian tube, where it starts to travel down the uterus. 

The fallopian tube is where fertilization occurs when a sperm cell enters a mature egg and forms a zygote. 

However, fertilization only happens if sperm cells are deposited into the female reproductive tract within about five days before ovulation or 24 hours after ovulation. 

The fertilized egg continues to make its way down into the uterus, dividing and growing along the way. When the fertilized egg reaches the uterus, the zygote is hundreds of cells big. This occurs about five days after fertilization. 

At the same time, a hormone known as progesterone is produced by the empty egg follicle. This hormone helps to support a pregnancy until other hormones, like hCG, are ready to take over.  

Progesterone helps build the uterine lining for implantation, which is when the growing zygote burrows down into the uterus, and you are officially pregnant

Learn more : The Importance of progesterone production during early pregnancy 

What are 12 DPO Symptoms?

Symptoms at 12 DPO are different for everyone. Some women have lots of signs, but many women do not have any symptoms at all. 

Others may have symptoms that are so subtle, and they don’t even recognize them as pregnancy-related. Some of the most common 12 DPO symptoms include:

12 DPO Symptoms
  • Implantation Cramping:
    Sometimes, implantation of the fertilized egg can cause uterine cramping. It tends to feel like menstrual cramps but is often less intense and less sharp.


  • Implantation Bleeding: 
    In addition to cramping, implantation can cause light spotting before a woman misses her period. It’s often lighter than a period and can be dark brown to pink in color.
    Learn More: What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?


  • Breast tenderness:
    Rising progesterone levels after ovulation can cause breast tenderness, swelling, and nipple soreness.

  • Dizziness: 
    Ever seen an old movie where a newly pregnant woman faints? Well, there is some truth to that. A woman faints during early pregnancy for various reasons, but hormonal changes and changing blood volume are often the culprit.

  • Food aversions: 
    You used to love chicken but now can’t stomach the smell or taste of it? Food aversions are extremely common during pregnancy. Though it is possible to develop an aversion to any food, meats, and foods with strong odors tend to be the most problematic.

  • Headache:
    Headaches are pretty common in early pregnancy, especially if you are prone to getting them.

  • Fatigue: 
    Pregnancy fatigue is no joke. While this will eventually ease up in the second trimester (hopefully!), it can be fierce at the beginning of a pregnancy.


  • Frequent urination:
    Spending a lot of time in the bathroom? Early pregnancy strikes again. This is because pregnancy increases the amount of blood volume and other fluids in the body. Well, the kidneys need to deal with all that fluid, which eventually ends up in the bladder to be removed by urination.

  • Strong sense of smell:
    If you’ve suddenly found yourself with the nose of a bloodhound, you’re not alone. An increased sense of smell is common during early pregnancy. High levels of estrogen are to blame.

  • Nausea:
    Some women swear they start vomiting in early pregnancy. Rising pregnancy hormones are to blame for morning sickness and nausea.

  • Other digestive issues: 
    Unfortunately, nausea and vomiting aren’t the only digestive women that pregnant women experience. Constipation is prevalent in early pregnancy due to the action of progesterone.

What if I don’t have symptoms at 12 DPO?

Don’t stress! Women in early pregnancy have very different experiences, even from pregnancy to pregnancy.

Some women start experiencing symptoms immediately at conception, while others either experience them later on or not at all.

Frantically searching online for every minor symptom (or its absence) only increases stress and anxiety. Getting yourself off of the computer can help to relieve that anxiety.

It can also make the last few days before a missed period that much easier. Find ways to keep yourself busy: see friends, plan a special outing or date night, read a new book, or pamper yourself at a yoga class. Staying active will also help you pass the time quicker!

What if I don’t have symptoms at 12 DPO?

You can! Absolutely! Is there a chance that you will get a false negative? Yes. Home urine pregnancy tests look for the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG. This hormone is produced after implantation has occurred. 

It gets tricky because hCG levels are low at the beginning of a pregnancy. In addition, different home pregnancy tests detect different amounts of the hormone, and some tests are way more sensitive than others.

All of this means that you can still get a false-negative result if the hCG levels are low and you are using a test that is not very sensitive. 

If you try to wait to test until you miss a period, the test will be more reliable. If you cannot wait that long, try to get the most sensitive test you can find. Tests marketed to be used at 5 or 6 days before a missed period are usually the best option.

What if I get a negative test at 12 DPO?

Again, please don’t stress if you get a negative test at 12 DPO. It is most definitely possible to get a negative test result on day 12 and a positive a few days later. 

This is a false-negative result because the hormone levels weren’t high enough to trigger the positive result. Because hCG levels double roughly every 2-3 days, waiting a few days can make a big difference. 

What if I get a positive test at 12 DPO?

Congratulations! You are most definitely pregnant. Would you like to call your healthcare provider and schedule your first pregnancy visit? 


2 DPO: Testing, Early Symptoms, and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/fertility/12-dpo

Early Pregnancy Symptoms by Days Past Ovulation (DPO). Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322723

Pregnancy: Am I Pregnant? Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9709-pregnancy-am-i-pregnant


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