6 DPO: Symptoms & Likelihood of BFP
Medically reviewed by Janine Kelbach, BSN, RNC-OB on September 27, 2020
You’re 6 DPO (days past ovulation), and you can’t believe you’re not even halfway through the two-week wait. You may be analyzing your body for every little twinge and possible pregnancy symptom, and wondering when you can take a pregnancy test.
Can you have pregnancy symptoms at 6 DPO?
It’s unlikely that you would experience any pregnancy symptoms at 6 DPO. Why? Because even if conception has occurred, you are not technically pregnant yet.
Implantation is when pregnancy begins. According to a 1999 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, implantation can occur as early as 6 DPO, but this was very rare—less than 0.5% of women. For 84% of women, implantation occurred between 8 – 10 DPO.
And most early signs of pregnancy don’t show up until about two weeks after your period was supposed to arrive. At 6 DPO, your period is still about a week away!
Can I test at 6 DPO?
You can take a pregnancy test if you must, but it will probably be negative—even if you are pregnant.
A pregnancy test will not turn positive until there is a high enough hCG level in your urine. According to a 2008 study published in Human Reproduction, this can take up to two days from when implantation occurs (depending on your pregnancy test’s sensitivity level. Here are our recommendations for the best pregnancy test).
So even if you are one of the 0.5% of women with implantation at 6 DPO, you still probably would not get a positive pregnancy test until 7 or 8 DPO.
We recommend waiting until at least 10 DPO, or better yet, 12 DPO, to take a pregnancy test. By then, the chances of getting a positive pregnancy test if you are truly pregnant are high, and the chances of getting false negative pregnancy test are low.
Can you get a BFP at 6 DPO?
Probably not. Most women who are pregnant don’t get a positive pregnancy test until around 12 DPO. It is possible to get a BFP earlier, but this is not common.
If you get a negative pregnancy test at 6 DPO, you may go on to get a positive pregnancy test several days later. In fact, if you get a negative test, it’s recommended to test again a week later if your period still hasn’t arrived.
Have you seen lots of other women post photos of positive pregnancy tests from 6 DPO? The most likely explanation for this is that they miscalculated their ovulation date, and were actually more than 6 days out from ovulation.
Can you implant at 6 DPO?
It is possible for implantation to occur at 6 DPO, but this is rare. The 1999 study from the New England Journal of Medicine mentioned above looked at implantation windows among 221 women. It found that implantation can occur as early as 6 DPO, but this only occurred 0.5% of the time.
For most women, implantation occurs between 8 – 10 DPO, with 9 DPO being the most common day.
What happens after ovulation if you are pregnant?
In terms of physical symptoms like cramping or spotting, nothing special happens right after ovulation if conception has occurred. The very earliest you would notice pregnancy symptoms would be after implantation, which usually occurs 8 – 10 days after ovulation.
But most women don’t notice any pregnancy symptoms until a week or two after their period was due.
On the other hand, there’s a lot going inside your body after ovulation. Your egg is released into the fallopian tube, where it is fertilized by a sperm. This fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where is implants in the uterine lining.
Once implantation is complete—usually 9 days after ovulation—the fertilized egg, now called an embryo, begins producing hCG. This hormone sends a chemical signal for your body to produce more progesterone, which prevents your period from starting.
Does cervical mucus change after conception?
Changes in cervical mucus can’t tell you if you are pregnant. Cervical mucus is not any different if conception has occurred.
The typical pattern for your cervical mucus is to dry up after ovulation. You may notice that it is sticky or tacky just after ovulation has occurred.
Around 6 DPO, some women notice fertile cervical mucus again. If you’ve already confirmed ovulation, this does not mean you are fertile again. Rather, it is caused by the secondary estrogen surge that occurs during the middle of the luteal phase.
What symptoms at 6 DPO lead to a BFP?
It’s tempting to start looking for symptoms of pregnancy soon after ovulation, but the truth is, at 6 DPO, there is no difference in symptoms between someone who is pregnant and someone who isn’t.
Most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by the hormone progesterone, which is elevated after ovulation whether you are pregnant or not. Progesterone levels can vary from cycle to cycle, causing differing symptoms. That means you might experience a symptom that is unusual for you—like sore nipples, for instance—without it meaning that you are pregnant.
Progesterone-related symptoms include:
- Sore breasts or nipples
- Cramping (read more about implantation cramps)
- Increased hunger or cravings (because elevated progesterone increases your metabolic rate, making you hungrier)
Remember, these symptoms are common during the second half of the menstrual cycle whether or not someone is pregnant.
Can you have implantation symptoms at 6 DPO?
You can’t have implantation symptoms at 6 DPO—or any day, for that matter. Implantation symptoms are a myth; the process of implantation cannot be felt physically.
Early pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, and cramping are likely caused by the hormones progesterone and hCG. Typically these symptoms start 1 – 2 weeks after your period was due, but in some women they can start as early as 9 – 10 DPO (a few days before your period is due).
What do cramps at 6 DPO mean?
Cramps at 6 DPO don’t mean anything in terms of your chances for pregnancy. They may be related to the hormone progesterone, which is elevated at 6 DPO whether or not you are pregnant.
Cramping may also be caused by stress or digestion—it’s a common symptom and not necessarily related to your menstrual cycle. Of course, when you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s hard not to over-analyze every symptom as a potential sign of pregnancy!
What does it mean if you feel nausea at 6 DPO?
As with cramping, nausea at 6 DPO is unlikely to be a sign of pregnancy; it’s just too early. Most pregnant women don’t experience nausea until a week or two after their period was due.
Nausea does start earlier for some women, but the earliest it would start would be at the time of implantation. For most women, implantation occurs at 8 – 10 DPO.
What does it mean if you have no symptoms at 6 DPO?
If you’re trying to get pregnant and have no symptoms at 6 DPO, this is certainly not cause for concern. Many pregnant women feel completely normal until a week or two after their period was supposed to arrive.
P.A. Nepomnaschy, C.R. Weinberg, A.J. Wilcox, D.D. Baird, Urinary hCG patterns during the week following implantation, Human Reproduction, Volume 23, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 271–277, https://doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dem397