12 DPO: Am I Pregnant?

12 DPO

Are you a couple planning on getting pregnant? Are you searching for information regarding how, what and why about getting pregnant? Did you learn about 9 DPO, 12 DPO or 13 DPO and now want to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing now are signs of an early pregnancy? You are in the right place. Since we have already written about 13 DPO, this article will mainly focus on 9 DPO and 12 DPO as similar things occur in this time frame.

What are 9 DPO and 12 DPO?

DPO means ‘days post ovulation’ and the numbers associated with the abbreviation DPO indicate the number of days. Defining that, 9 DPO means 9 days after ovulation and 12 DPO means 12 days after ovulation. If you are reading this, you’ve made it one-week post ovulation.

Let’s briefly go through ovulation and the subsequent events so that you can have a clear idea of what takes place. Ovulation is a biological event taking place in either of your ovaries. When ovulation happens, one of your ovaries will release a mature egg. A mature egg will be ready to meet and become fertilized if it meets the sperm on time. The egg will travel toward the uterus using tunnels called fallopian tubes. This is the landmark site where fertilization occurs. Once fertilized, the egg will continue to move toward the uterus and subsequently be implanted within the uterine wall.

If the ovum does not become fertilized by sperm, the uterus will begin to shed the well-prepared layers of the uterine wall and expel the tissues through the vagina. This process is known as menstruation.

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Menstruation happens in a cycle. Every woman is unique, hence the duration of her menstrual cycle too. Ovulation happens anywhere between 11 to 21 days of your cycle and it depends on your cycle. All these events related to menstruation and pregnancy are under the influence of female reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone namely.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

The third hormone which comes into play is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is the hormone that is detected by most of the home pregnancy kits to determine the presence of pregnancy. hCG levels begin to rise from the day of implantation. However, it needs at least 2 days to reach a level that can be detected by the pregnancy test strips. In comparison, 12 DPO is the most appropriate time to go for a home pregnancy test when compared to 9 DPO.

What are the early signs of pregnancy at 9 DPO and 12 DPO?

The initial signs produced during pregnancy are due to hormonal changes in the blood. Even though the hormones involved are the same for everyone, the occurrence of signs and symptoms might differ between individuals. Hence, pregnancy symptoms at 9 DPO are rare compared to 12 DPO.

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If the implantation takes place as early as 6 DPO (between 6 DPO – 8 DPO), a rise of hCG within 2 days might you may experience 9DPO symptoms of pregnancy. But this is very unlikely.

Meanwhile, these symptoms might mimic the same symptoms you experience around your periods. However, you can track and identify them to see whether they are related to your pregnancy or periods.

You will experience signs because of hormonal and physiological changes due to pregnancy. The following are some pregnancy signs that occur mostly 12 days past ovulation or 12 DPO. Few of these symptoms might occur at 9 DPO provided that the ovulation took place at 6 DPO.

12 DPO BFPCramps

9 DPO Cramping is common, it may occur similar to the cramps you experience during your periods. The reason for cramps is the changes in the uterus after implantation. Hence, you will feel the pangs in your lower abdomen. Since cramps are not specific to pregnancy, this is not the sole evidence of pregnancy.


Fatigue is another common symptom experienced by many pregnant women as a result of implantation. Progesterone levels also increase. Progesterone is an important hormone in maintaining pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone hormones can be linked to the fatigue you might experience.

On the other hand, there are changes in the blood (such as increased blood flow) to the uterus. Subsequently, this affects the circulatory system of the body. Similarly, low sugar levels might also cause fatigue. Ultimately, an increase in the demand for sugar, oxygen and changes in the circulatory system make you feel tired.

Eating foods rich in iron and protein, drinking adequate amounts of water, and taking rest can help you feel relief from pregnancy-related fatigue.

Changes in breasts

Like the ovaries, the breasts are also under the influence of the female reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone. An increase in progesterone during pregnancy affects the breasts as well. Hence, breast changes are notable during the early days of pregnancy.

Your breasts start becoming larger, and your nipples and areola also start to turn darker. Your breasts will become more sensitive. They will be tender to touch. As the pregnancy progresses, these symptoms begin to recede.


Morning sickness is a well-known symptom of pregnancy. But this will happen later in pregnancy, contrary to it’s depiction in movies and TV shows. As the previous paragraph described, a significant rise of hCG occurs following implantation. The build-up of hCG doubles up its levels every 48 hours. This is the cause of nausea. By 9 DPO this can occur but is highly unlikely.

It has also been established that women who experience more nausea usually have higher levels of hCG hormones in pregnancy. Therefore, experiencing 12 DPO nausea can be one of the pregnancy signs for you! Fortunately, these symptoms will fade within 13–14 weeks of your pregnancy.

Spotting or bleeding may be implantation bleeding

Spotting occurs after 12 DPO and is a result of tissue shedding in the uterus due to the implantation of the fertilized egg. It is called ‘implantation spotting’. This spotting can occur 7 to 12 days following fertilization, which might coincide with the dates of your next period. Also, it might last for 2 or 3 days. This might cause confusion with menstruation. However, the amount and characteristics of bleeding or spotting are not similar to menstrual bleeding. The color might range from pink to red to brownish-black.

9 DPO watery milky cervical mucus and Vaginal discharge

Apart from bleeding or spotting, you may notice a whitish discharge from the vagina. The implantation results in changes in vaginal walls. Subsequent changes in vaginal wall thickening result in this discharge. However, it is not harmful and doesn’t need treatment. But, if you feel any itching or burning sensations related to the discharge or a smell, it is always advisable to seek medical attention to rule out bacterial or yeast infections. This secretion might continue throughout your pregnancy.

Food cravings

The hormonal changes affect your preferences over the foods you consume as well. You may start liking or disliking certain food items, flavors or smells. Common food cravings are chocolates, sweets, salty food, spicy food, citric food, coffee, ice, and ice cream. There is no well-defined explanation for food cravings, but it is thought to be a sign of nutritional deficiency in the mother. Since the demand for the nutrients like minerals and vitamins is high during pregnancy, the craving for specific foods sets in. Meanwhile, the female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone are linked to these carvings.

On the other hand, you may also start disliking or developing an aversion toward certain food items or smells. The good news is that this may not last for the entire duration of your pregnancy!

Testing for pregnancy

On average, implantation occurs around the ninth day after ovulation (9 DPO). You might assume that since implantation takes place on 9 DPO, it is the appropriate time to go for a pregnancy test. But nope. Of course, it is your choice to go for a pregnancy test whenever you want to. However, it is too early to determine whether you are truly pregnant.

In the rare cases where implantation takes place as early as between 6 DPO-8DPO, a positive result can be possible on 9 DPO. But this is very unlikely. On the other hand, the 9 DPO pregnancy test can be negative while you are pregnant (which should give you a 9DPO BFP).

Pregnancy kits

Since its introduction in 1976, home pregnancy tests are the most common diagnostic method for pregnancy (R). These kits use antibodies to detect the presence of hCG in the urine. These pregnancy test kits are freely available over the counter and reliably used worldwide. Even though the package inserts claim ‘over 99% accuracy’, they have not been tested in independent studies.

How sensitive are the tests? – Since the sensitivity of the pregnancy test kits varies, always read the information leaflet that comes with the test kit.

How to check? – Methods of testing urine hCG differs between products. Some sticks require you to pee on the test stick, some test strips need to be put in your urine collected in a cup or container. Read the instructions that come with the kit.

How are the results shown? – The way the strips show the result might be different for each kit. Pink or blue lines, plus or minus signs or even changes of color in the urine are a few methods to show the result. Some digital kits display pregnant or not pregnant and give an estimate of time since your conception in weeks.

When to check?

hCG will be present in the blood eight days after conception, i.e. 9-10 days after ovulation. At day 1 after conception, the level of hCG concentration doubles daily until it reaches a plateau phase after 45 days. To prevent dilution of hCG level in urine, try not to drink too much before the test. Since the urine is concentrated overnight, it is recommended to perform any test on the morning of your expected date of the next period.

Positives and negatives are straightforward indications from home pregnancy test kits. But there may be false positives and false negatives which might raise concern over the results shown by the kits. A false positive result is seen when the kit says you are pregnant but actually you are not. It is possible but rare and some medications might cause such confusion. Meanwhile, a false negative is when you are actually pregnant, but the kit says you are not. Read further to understand more about false negative results. An IUI procedure is too early to consider at this point as well.

BFP, BFN and no symptoms in 9 DPO and 12 DPO

Since they are used frequently when it comes to pregnancy, you might already know that BFP stands for ‘big fat positive’, and BFN is the opposite, ‘big fat negative’. In the absence of symptoms, you may be wondering what’s happening inside. It is possible that you might be pregnant, but generally a bit hard to determine for sure. Similarly, you might not get a positive pregnancy test result while you are pregnant.

Similar to the differing menstrual cycles, each pregnancy differs from another in the same person. Hence, the symptoms you feel in one pregnancy may not be present in another. Or there would be no symptoms at all. So remember that the connection between pregnancy, symptoms and BFN or BFP have many possible combinations. This means there is a chance that you might get pregnant with symptoms and BFP or pregnancy with no symptoms and BFN. BFP is highly possible to occur on 12 DPO pregnancy test. However, having a negative pregnancy test by 9 DPO or 12DPO BFN does not mean there is no pregnancy for sure.

Big Fat Negative (BFN)

Let’s do a recap to understand the reason behind a negative result. In a regularly menstruating woman, after copulation, the sperm fertilizes the ovum to form the embryo. The embryo implants in 6–12 days. It can even be late, as long as 15 days. The pregnancy kits depend on a certain level of the hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to give a positive result. The hormone hCG is produced about 2–5 days after implantation. If you consider these factors, you might have a slightly different day on which hCG may be detected in your blood or urine. Hence, your 12 DPO may not be positive. Rather than giving up hope, you can wait for 5-6 days or until you miss your upcoming period to repeat the pregnancy test.

No symptoms

Like the menstrual cycles that are unique to you, the time and intensity of symptoms are also unique. There are instances where no symptoms of pregnancy occur 12 DPO. It does not necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, then the ovulation might have happened later than usual. Consequently, the symptoms also get delayed.

In essence, if you do not have any of these symptoms, do not worry. There are good chances of getting a positive result. Hence, do the pregnancy test at 12 DPO and repeat the test in a few days to ensure the outcome.

Despite the presence or absence of symptoms, always go for a 12 DPO pregnancy test to confirm the status. Apart from all of these, if you have any concerns about your health, reach out to your physician. Especially when you experience unpleasant symptoms.

Monitoring 9 DPO and 12 DPO with CareClinic

Remembering things can be difficult. We do not always remember everything happening around us, to us and inside of us. Practicing regular tracking of your health is essential and useful for everyone. Especially as a woman, your menstrual cycle is a necessary part of your health for various reasons. When it comes to pregnancy and expectations or planning a family, recording your menstruation is a must to achieve your goal of getting pregnant.

CareClinic is a one-stop personal health app, providing numerous useful features to help you maintain a personal health record. Create a self-care action plan, add medications, supplements, diet, physical activities, and therapies you receive. You can even set your healthcare team that manages your health and pregnancy. Add your physician, RN and family members to keep them in the loop.

Diary Entry

The diary entry feature lets you make entries about your daily life. Use the app’s diary entry feature to track day-to-day activities or events you encounter. You will realize how important it is to monitor your days during your pregnancy. DPO might sound simple when we talk, but in reality, keeping track of days can be difficult. Track your periods to learn the cycles, duration and when you have an increased chance of getting pregnant. You can read more about menstrual cycles and period tracking on our blog here.

Symptom Tracker

The symptom tracker lets you add symptoms you are experiencing. You can start tracking them even before DPO if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. Including pregnancy, if you have any medical conditions or medications, you can start tracking your symptoms before seeking medical attention and compare how well the therapy relieves you from symptoms after visiting the doctor’s office. This helps seek medical attention during pregnancy-related symptoms, which might lead to complications.

Pill Tracker & Reminder

Medications are important. Never forget your medications – including your multi-vitamins and folate with the CareClinic app. Get reminders before you run out of medications. Have a look at our blog article on pill tracking.


CareClinic offers a nutrition tracker, which helps you maintain your diet log. When you are pregnant, it is essential to keep track of your food. This will ensure the intake of adequate nutrition for your baby’s well-being and yours. Meanwhile, this nutrition tracker will help identify your cravings and help you manage them. If you have a specific diet to change your food habit, you can follow your diet and reflect on how you can live a healthy life.


Use this feature to track any and all activities you do. CareClinic’s activity tracker lets you identify any actions that worsen or relieves your moods and symptoms. You can figure out which activities help improve your symptoms and which don’t. If you suffer from non-pregnancy-specific symptoms like fatigue, you can identify them easily by reviewing your activities. You can look back to see if there are any correlations between your symptoms and any activity you may have participated in.


Keep a record of therapies you may be receiving. Maybe you are seeing an obstetrician or even your family doctor. You can record all of your appointments so that you never forget something.


Reports are another great feature in the CareClinic app. They can provide a lot of perception into your lifestyle. CareClinic’s reports consider your logs in diary, nutrition, activities, symptoms etc., and subsequently generate reports to show the associations between those entries. This connection would be helpful to learn more about yourself and your pregnancy-related changes.

You should always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your pregnancy status, symptoms or pregnancy test itself. Using an all-in-one app like CareClinic can help you lead a healthy pregnancy by getting into the habit of tracking and sticking with it.

Download CareClinic now and plan for a healthy pregnancy and healthy life ahead.

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Mariano R Kanagaratnam