4 DPO, also known as four days post ovulation. Knowing the possible time frame of becoming pregnant is very important for women. In the recent series on 13 DPO, 9, and 12 DPO 4 DPO, this article focuses on 4 DPO.
What Happens During 4 DPO?
Ovaries ovulate the ovum like dropping the ball; they are the mature eggs ready to meet and fertilize the sperm in the fallopian tube. The flower-like structure takes the dropped egg at the end of your fallopian tube. The egg then moves towards the uterus via your fallopian tube. The egg meets the sperm in the fallopian tube, and once they meet up, the sperm fertilizes the egg and forms the zygote, which moves towards the uterus and implants into the uterine wall.
During this movement, it multiplies its cell count further and grows as an embryo. Uterine walls also would be developed with a rich blood supply and bedding to receive the zygote. Since this travel will be happening through the first 4-6 days, it is now quite challenging to be sure about your pregnancy during this period. However, you can read our follow-up article on 7 DPO here.
Meanwhile, the uterine wall will start to shed off if fertilization did not happen. This shedding off of the uterine layer is known as menstruation. Menstruation takes place in cycles, and the duration of the cycle differs between women. Ovulation would occur anywhere between 11 to 21 days of your menstrual cycle; it depends on the average duration of your menstrual cycle. These events are under the guidance of female reproductive hormones – estrogen and progesterone.
4 DPO & Estrogen
The ovaries secrete estrogen, which is the female reproductive hormone. Estriol is a common type of estrogen which is predominant during pregnancy. Estrogen controls the growth of the uterine lining called the endometrium. If no fertilization happens, estrogen levels drop abruptly, leading to the endometrium’s shedding. Subsequently, menstruation occurs.In the case of fertilization, estrogen joins hands with another sex hormone, progesterone. The duo maintains the pregnancy and stops ovulation during pregnancy. Estrogen is also responsible for females’ secondary sexual characteristics, such as breasts, wider hips, pubic hair, and armpit hair.
Progesterone is the other primary sex hormone, regulating menstruation and supporting pregnancy. A part of the ovary, adrenal glands, and placenta produce progesterone. When fertilization takes place, progesterone prepares the uterus to hold the pregnancy. It stimulates the development of glandular tissue and new blood vessels in the uterus. In the absence of fertilization, the endometrium sheds down, and menstruation begins.
4 DPO & Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
A rise in human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels begins when the zygote implants in the uterine cavity. Levels of hCG differ between individuals, so as the symptoms. If at all these symptoms occur, they are usually identical to those of your perimenstrual symptoms. Tracking your menstruation would help you identify those symptoms and distinguish whether they are related to pregnancy or periods.
Usually, the signs are indicators of altered hormonal levels in the blood. The hormone levels differ between individuals, and the symptoms vary. Similarly, the 4 DPO symptoms are infrequent and differ too. Having pregnancy symptoms at 4 DPO is very rare compared to 9, 12, or 13 DPO. Since the implantation takes place between 6 DPO – 8 DPO, subsequently, a rise of hCG occurs. You might experience symptoms of pregnancy on 4 DPO, but very unlikely.
By 4 DPO, you might experience the following signs that usually occur 12 days past ovulation or 12 DPO or later.
If you get cramps during the 4 DPO, that would be similar to the cramps during your periods. You would feel the pangs in your lower abdomen, but cramps are not specific and unreliable evidence of pregnancy.
Spotting or Bleeding
The spotting usually occurs after the implantation of the embryo. The reason behind this is the tissue shedding in the uterus when the fertilized egg gets implanted. But this ‘implantation spotting’ can occur 7 to 12 days following fertilization, which might coincide with the dates of your next period. Since it might last for 2 or 3 days, you might get confused with menstruation despite the amount and characteristics of bleeding. But in 4 DPO, it is less likely to have these symptoms since the ovum is still in transit towards its destination – the uterus.
Nausea is a famous symptom of pregnancy. A substantial rise of hCG following implantation doubles up hCG levels every 48 hours to cause nausea. Nausea striking due to the pregnancy is called morning sickness, but it can occur at any time of the day. Higher levels of hCG usually result in more nausea. But this symptom will go away by the 13 – 14 weeks of your pregnancy. Since the hCG does not rise significantly enough to create an imbalance, nausea would not set in by 4 DPO.
Changes in Breasts
The female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone influence the breasts just like they control ovaries. Increasing levels of progesterone affect the breasts. Hence, changes in the breast changes are appreciable during the initial days of pregnancy.
Your breast becomes more prominent, and your nipples and areola (the dark pigmented area around the nipples) also start to turn darker. Your breasts will start becoming more sensitive. They will be tender to touch. When the pregnancy progresses, these symptoms disappear. But by 4 DPO, since your ovum is not implanted, you will not have any significant changes in the hormonal levels. Subsequently, changes in breasts also might not become significant.
Usually, your preferences towards specific food change due to hormonal changes. You may start to crave certain foods, flavors, or smells. On the other hand, you might begin disliking or avoiding certain food items or fragrances. Common food cravings are sweets, salty food, spicy food, citric food, chocolates, coffee, and ice cream.
Even though we do not have a clear explanation for this alteration, it may relate to the nutritional status. Pregnancy increases the demand for the nutrients like minerals and vitamins, subsequently resulting in the craving for specific foods. Meanwhile, the female reproductive hormones, namely estrogen, and progesterone, are linked to these cravings by influencing the nervous system.
The good news is that this may not stay for the whole duration of your pregnancy! But again, 4 DPO is not a period where you would start craving or avoiding.
Pregnancy Test at 4 DPO
Pregnancy test kits are the most common tool used by women to diagnose pregnancy. They detect the presence of hCG in the urine using antibodies. These test kits are available over the counter worldwide, with ‘over 99%’ of accuracy, claimed by the manufacturers. Since the pregnancy test kits’ sensitivity differs, always check the information that comes with the test kit.
How to Test?
Different test kits require different methods of testing the urine hCG; it is critical to go through the instructions that come with the kit thoroughly. Some test sticks would require you to pee on the test stick, while some need to be put in your urine that is collected in a cup or container.
How are the Results Shown?
Like the way you test, the way those strips show the result might differ between each kit. Few methods to show the result display colored lines (pink or blue), plus and minus signs, or changes in urine color. Some digital kits say pregnant or not pregnant and show you an estimated time since your conception in weeks.
The above information is related to the regular pregnancy checks and probably after 9DPO. The hormone hCG appears in the blood 9-10 days after conception and doubles daily to reach a steady level in 45 days. The urine hCG test depends on the concentration of hCG in your urine. Performing a trial in the early morning of your next period would be better to get a reliable result since your urine gets concentrated overnight.
Even though these home pregnancy kits give straightforward results, there is a possibility of getting false positives and false negatives. False-positive is nothing, but your kit would say you are pregnant, but in reality, you are not. Similarly, a false negative is when you are pregnant and your test kit does not show a positive.
These false positives and false negatives might be confusing, so visit your physician if at all you are in doubt. Read further to understand more about the false negative.
Is 4 DPO BFP Possible?
BFP, also known as big fat positive, a BFP by 4 DPO is highly unlikely. Firstly, remember the duration between the ovulation and 4 DPO is short of predicting the possibility of a pregnancy. Within these four days, the ovum might have been fertilized by the sperm and still on the move toward the uterus. Hence, the sequence of effects usually occurring after implantation in pregnancy is improbable.
Let’s do a recap to understand why it may be negative. In a regularly menstruating woman, after intercourse, the sperm fertilizes the ovum to form the embryo, and it implants in 6 – 12 days. It can even delay as long as 15 days. A particular hormone level, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), produces a positive result while using the pregnancy kits. This is a hormone usually produced about 2 – 5 days following implantation. Considering this time frame, detecting hCG in your blood or urine might differ. Hence, the pregnancy test on your 4 DPO will not be positive. Rather than giving up hope, you can hopefully wait for a few more days or wait till you miss your next period and repeat the pregnancy test.
Even if it’s the most preferred 13 DPO and pregnant, you might not get a positive result in the urine hCG test with a home kit. That doesn’t mean that you are not pregnant. But, in 4 DPO tests, it is highly likely to have negative results since the implantation and related hormonal changes are not yet present. Hence BFP in 4 DPO is unlikely; however, having a negative pregnancy test does not mean there is no pregnancy for sure. Do not lose hope till you see a BFP at 13 DPO or get your pregnancy confirmed by your physician.
Most of the time, you will not experience symptoms by 4 DPO. Menstrual cycles are unique for each woman. Similarly, the symptoms also differ in time and intensity. These different times explain the variation of pregnancy signs. Meanwhile, there are instances where no pregnancy symptoms are experienced even at 9, 12, or 13 DPO. It does not necessarily mean that you did not conceive. If you have irregular menstrual cycles, then the ovulation might have happened later than usual. Consequently, the symptoms also get delayed. Using a symptom log like a CareClinic app would be beneficial to track your symptoms.
Also, the symptoms you feel in pregnancy may not be present in another pregnancy. Hence, it is nothing surprising even if you do not experience any symptoms at all.
In conclusion, do not worry if you do not experience any of these symptoms. There may be chances of getting a positive result in urine hCG but not definitely by 4 DPO. Hence, do the pregnancy test at 13 DPO and repeat the test in a few days to confirm the outcome.
Despite the presence or absence of symptoms at 4 DPO, always go for a 13 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, please consult your physician.
4 DPO & CareClinic
It is merely impossible to keep everything stored in our memory. We will not be able to remember everything happening around us, to us, and within us. When time flies, we tend to forget things. Tracking your health is essential and valuable for everyone. Especially being 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 an all-in-one personal health app, that provides numerous valuable 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 up your own healthcare team that manages your health and pregnancy. Add your physician, obstetrician, registered nurse, and family members to keep them in the loop.
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 would have realized how important monitoring your days to make sure about the pregnancy. 13 DPO might sound simple when we talk, but in reality, keeping days in memory is complex. Track your periods to learn the cycles, duration, and when you have increased chances of getting pregnant. You can read more about menstrual cycles and period tracking on our blog.
The symptom tracker feature lets you add symptoms you are experiencing. You can start by tracking them even before 13DPO 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 & Reminders Feature
Never forget your medications – including your multivitamins and folate with the CareClinic app. Please have a look at our blog article on pill tracking.
CareClinic provides a nutrition tracker feature, which helps you maintain your diet logs. When you are pregnant, it is essential to keep tracking food to ensure adequate nutrition is taken for your baby’s well-being and yourself. Meanwhile, this nutrition tracker would help identify your cravings and make you take control of them. If you have a specific diet to change your food habit, you can follow your diet and reflect on helping you live a healthy life.
Use this feature to track all activities you involve in. 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. For example, if 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. It can provide a lot of perception into your lifestyle change. It considers your logs in diary, nutrition, activities, symptoms, etc., and subsequently generates reports to show the association amid those entries. This connection would be helpful to learn more about yourself and your pregnancy-related changes.
4 DPO is a guide to check your pregnancy status. What is critical is you should always seek medical advice if you have any concerns about your pregnancy status, symptoms, or your pregnancy test itself. Using an all-inclusive holistic like the CareClinic app can help you lead a healthy pregnancy by getting into the habit of tracking and sticking with it.
Download the CareClinic app on the App Store or Google Play.