7 DPO, or 7 Days Post Ovulation, is exactly what it sounds like – the seventh day after ovulation (the release of a mature egg from the ovary). If you are trying to conceive and have had intercourse during your fertile days, you may be waiting for a sign that you are pregnant. But what exactly happens at 7 DPO? Read on for all the details about what to expect.
What happens at 7 DPO?
Throughout the entire menstrual cycle, there are lots and lots of hormonal changes that occur. All of these changes work to get the body ready for a potential pregnancy. At 7 days post ovulation, a lot of these very important events have already happened.
Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary. The ovary releases the egg into the abdomen very close to the fallopian tube. It then begins to travel down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
Fertilization is when a single sperm cell joins with the mature egg after ovulation. This usually occurs in the fallopian tube within the first 24 hours after ovulation.
The fertilized egg, now called a zygote, travels down toward the uterus. The zygote divides in half over and over again until it is a ball of hundreds of cells known as a blastocyst.
Implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall may or may not have occurred. This process usually happens between day 6 and day 10 after ovulation.
If implantation has already occurred, the cells in the little embryo are busy dividing and growing into a baby. They also develop into the other structures needed for pregnancy.
If not; don’t worry! Implantation occurs most frequently between days 5 and 7 after ovulation.
What are possible 7 DPO Symptoms?
If implantation has already occurred, some women do experience early pregnancy symptoms. Here are some of the most common 7 DPO symptoms that women experience:
- Cramping: Some women experience mild abdominal or pelvic cramping. This is caused by the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall. Many women report that they are similar to menstrual cramps, but are often less intense or painful.
- Spotting: Implantation spotting is another possible symptom that women can experience at 7 DPO. At implantation, small blood vessels can rupture, which can cause light vaginal bleeding or spotting. This spotting is usually lighter than a period and light brown to red or pink in color. Implantation bleeding also tends to be shorter than a period and lasts only a day or two.
- Mood swings: Newly pregnant women are often subject to mood swings: happy one minute, crying the next, and angry the next. Changing hormone levels are responsible for this lovely symptom.
- Breast tenderness: One of the most common early pregnancy signs is breast enlargement and tenderness. Nipple soreness and sensitivity is also a common symptom in early pregnancy. Both are caused by rising progesterone levels.
- Increased urination: Even though it’s way too early for a growing babe to push on the bladder and cause more frequent bathroom trips, increased urination is still common in early pregnancy. This is most often thanks to, you guessed it again, hormonal changes.
- Headaches: Changing hormone levels can lead to headaches, and in some women, even dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Food cravings or aversions: That old wives’ tale about craving ice cream and pickles may not be too far off. Many women report craving strange foods during their pregnancy. Other women also mention having strong food aversions to certain foods or food smells.
- Nausea/vomiting: Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy is known as morning sickness, but in reality it can be all-day sickness. Many women have said that they realized they were pregnant only because of persistent nausea/vomiting.
- Fatigue: Early pregnancy fatigue is nothing to joke about. It can be debilitating, and for some women, starts before their missed period.
- Increased sense of smell: Early hormone changes can make a pregnant woman extremely sensitive to smells, even odors that didn’t bother them before. This often accompanies food aversions, as cooking smells can be especially triggering.
All of these symptoms are the result of changing progesterone levels. Here’s the thing though; rising progesterone levels are also present normally in the days leading up to your period. So, a lot of these symptoms can occur with early pregnancy or with plain-old, regular PMS.
How can you tell the difference? Unfortunately, there’s no real reliable way to know whether your symptoms are from a pregnancy or just your body getting ready for your period.
Are pregnancy tests reliable at 7 DPO?
It depends on a ton of different factors, though 7DPO is quite early for a test to give a positive result. The primary factor to keep in mind is whether pregnancy has actually occurred yet.
If implantation has not happened, which if you remember, occurs most often between days 5 and 7, the pregnancy test will not be positive.
Another factor is the test and its sensitivity. Home pregnancy tests look for the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Some early pregnancy tests can detect very low levels of this hormone. Other tests need a higher amount of hCG to register as a positive result. If your hormone levels aren’t high enough, the test won’t give you a positive result, even if you are pregnant.
When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?
The best and most reliable time to take a pregnancy test is with a missed period. HCG hormone levels will be most likely to be high enough to be detected by most pregnancy tests.
That said, it’s pretty hard for many women to wait the whole two weeks without taking a test. In this case, the answer really depends on your test. Is it one specifically designed to be used a certain number of days before a missed period? If so, go ahead! But just be aware that you could still get a false negative if your hormone levels aren’t high enough to register as a positive.
What if I get a negative pregnancy test at 7 DPO?
Don’t panic! There’s still a good chance that it is showing a negative result only because the hormone levels aren’t high enough. Wait a couple of days and try taking the test again. Try to stay busy and remind yourself that 7 DPO symptoms and pregnancy testing aren’t reliable just yet. There is still hope!
- 7 DPO is also known as 7 days past ovulation.
- Implantation occurs 5-7 days past ovulation.
- Some women experience early pregnancy symptoms at 7 DPO, like cramping, bleeding, headache, mood swings, breast/nipple tenderness, or nausea and vomiting.
- It is unlikely that early pregnancy tests will be positive at 7 DPO, but some very sensitive tests may register a positive result.
- If you get a negative pregnancy test at 7 DPO, retest in a few days.