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12 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect

last month11 min read
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Last updated: Jan 23 2023

12 DPO and wondering why TTC requires learning a whole new language? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

12 DPO symptoms

So what does 12 DPO mean? 12 days post ovulation.

12 DPO is a significant time when you’re trying to conceive (TTC) because it’s just before you reach the end of the two-week wait (TWW) ‒ after ovulation and before finding out if you’re pregnant.

But what can you expect at 12 DPO? Can you test? What are the symptoms?

So let’s find out all there is to know about 12 DPO, with a little help from embryologist and fertility expert, Navya Muralidhar.

In this article: 📝

  • What can I expect at 12 DPO?
  • Is 12 DPO still early to test?
  • Can you implant at 12 DPO?
  • Can you have pregnancy symptoms 12 DPO?
  • Key takeaway

What can I expect at 12 DPO?

The thing about TTC is that no two experiences are alike ‒ so while we’ll give you a general idea of what’s going on at this time, your experience of it will ultimately be unique.











Let’s get started.

First off, a super-quick science lesson.

If you’re going to get a period, it will arrive at about 14 or 15 DPO.

That’s because your cycle works something like this:

  • Day 1 is the first day of your period.
  • Between Day 6 and 14, the lining of your uterus prepares itself for pregnancy.
  • Day 14 (or thereabouts), you ovulate, releasing an egg into your fallopian tube. The day after this happens is 1 DPO.

(But not all cycles are the same. There’s no one-size-fits-all ‒ cycles vary in both length and regularity. Your cycle is your own.)

So, 1 DPO = about Day 15 of your menstrual cycle.

If your egg meets up with an eligible sperm, you might be at the start of your pregnancy journey.

As this 2013 study tells us, the likelihood of conceiving is at its max at Day 15 of your cycle, with a leeway of about two days on either side.

Between Day 21 and 28, you might be hyper-aware of time passing as you wait to see whether you’re pregnant.

If your egg is fertilized, it will become a zygote and attempt to implant itself in the lining of your uterus.

(Remember all that uterine lining prep work earlier in your cycle? Yeah, that’s what it was for ‒ to get ready for the zygote and eventually the embryo’s arrival.)

If this doesn’t happen, your hormones give the signal that it’s time to get ready to shed the uterine lining (all that hard work) that it had built up.

Day 1 of your next cycle (about 14 DPO) is when your period starts.

That means that at 12 days post ovulation (around Day 26 of your menstrual cycle), you’re pretty close to getting more info on your current pregnancy status ‒ exciting, awesome, stressful.

Is 12 DPO still early to test?

So is 12 DPO too early to test?

Well, yes and no.

Many of our Peanut moms-to-be take 12 DPO pregnancy tests and get their BFP (big fat positive), some get a BFN (big fat negative) that turns into a BFP, a positive that turns into a negative, or a negative that stays that way.

But taking a 12 DPO test isn’t the most accurate time.

You’re close ‒ but for a reliable result, it’s worth waiting a few days.

That’s because at 12 days post ovulation, you may get a false BFP or BFN.

Most pregnancy tests work by testing for the pregnancy hormone known as hCG.

You might get a false 12 DPO negative if you test too early, since you might actually be pregnant but your body hasn’t built up enough hCG yet.

On the other hand, a false positive can also occur for several reasons.

One possibility is a chemical pregnancy, which is very early pregnancy loss.

Other reasons for a false result are recent pregnancies and some fertility drugs because in both cases there might be extra hCG in your system.

This can be seen particularly in fresh transfer IVF cycles where synthetic hCG trigger shots are given prior to egg retrieval.

The hCG may stay around for longer, causing false positives if the test is taken too early.

So it can be better to wait until the day after your next expected period to take your pregnancy test, to avoid any unnecessary heartache.

Should I have a positive test by 12 DPO?

While it’s true that some women can get a 12 DPO positive pregnancy test, it’s not set in stone.

In fact, a pregnancy test at 12 DPO isn’t the most accurate.

Here’s a quick (and rough) breakdown:

  • 7-8 DPO pregnancy tests are 25% accurate
  • 8-9 DPO pregnancy tests are 33% accurate
  • 9-10 DPO pregnancy tests are 42% accurate
  • 10-11 DPO pregnancy tests are 68% accurate
  • 11-12 DPO pregnancy tests are 81% accurate
  • 12-13 DPO pregnancy tests are 93% accurate
  • 13-14 DPO pregnancy tests are 96% accurate
  • 14-15 DPO pregnancy test are 99.9% accurate

So if you get a 12 DPO negative pregnancy test, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not pregnant ‒ it might be that your hCG levels haven’t built up enough to be detected.

Try to wait until the day after your next expected period to make sure.

Can you implant at 12 DPO?

Yes, implantation at 12 DPO is totally normal.

Usually, implantation happens between 6 to 12 DPO, so while 12 DPO is on the further end of the scale, it’s nothing to worry about.

This could also be the reason why your 12 DPO BFN turns into a BFP ‒ after implantation, your hCG levels increase rapidly, so it might be that the little zygote has only just implanted.

Not sure if you’re implanting at 12 DPO? Here are a few potential implantation symptoms to keep your eye out for:

  • 12 DPO implantation bleeding: A little light spotting or pink discharge could be implantation bleeding, which is totally normal (it’s also totally normal not to happen, too). If you have particularly heavy implantation bleeding with clots and intense cramps, it can be worth seeing your doctor.
  • 12 DPO implantation cramps: Again, these are common to get, but not a necessity for a healthy pregnancy. Implantation cramps tend to be kind of like period cramps, but a lighter version.
  • 12 DPO implantation digestive issues: Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea… if there’s anything going on in your gut, that could be thanks to rising progesterone levels due to implantation.
  • 12 DPO implantation headaches: Another symptom we’ve got progesterone to thank.

How common is implantation at 12 DPO?

It’s hard to say how common implantation at 12 DPO is, because it’s tricky to pinpoint.

While implantation does happen between 6 to 12 DPO, the only real way to tell roughly when it happens is to check your symptoms.

Is 12 DPO too late for implantation cramps?

Not at all!

Many of our Peanut moms-to-be have 12 DPO cramps due to implantation, and go on to have healthy pregnancies.

Can you have pregnancy symptoms 12 DPO?

Oh, yes, you can get a wide range of 12 DPO symptoms ending in a BFP.

It’s also possible to be 12 DPO with no symptoms and still get a BFP.

Or to have 12 DPO symptoms and not get a BFP.

Sorry. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear.

But if you’re pregnant, there’s a good chance you might be experiencing some pregnancy symptoms by 12 days post ovulation.

Some of them look a lot like PMS symptoms, though, so it’s hard to tell from symptoms alone.

Pregnancy means some major hormonal shifts.

Estrogen and progesterone both rise during pregnancy.

Added to that, your blood volume increases by up to 50% during pregnancy and even at this early juncture, you may be feeling the effects.

Here are the common signs:

  • Implantation bleeding: If you’re experiencing 12 DPO spotting, it may be a sign that your embryo is busy implanting itself into the lining of your uterus. While implantation most commonly occurs around 8 or 9 DPO, you may still be feeling the effects at this stage. Implantation bleeding is typically light and pink-ish or brown-ish. (Period blood turns to a sort of merlot color after a day or two.)
  • Cramping: Implantation and the changes that are happening in your body can all lead to 12 DPO cramps in your lower abdomen and back.
  • You need to pee: All. The. Time. Yep, frequent urination can be a common 12 DPO symptom.
  • Tender or sensitive breasts: Your breasts score high on the sensitivity scale.
  • You’re tired.
  • You’re dizzy.
  • You have headaches.
  • You have nausea.
  • Your sense of smell is heightened.
  • You may have all sorts of fun digestive issues. Constipation and gassiness are particularly common.

But at the end of all this, many women go through 12 DPO with no symptoms at all.

Sigh. There really is no single way to do this.

How do you feel 12 days pregnant?

So how does it feel to be at day 12 post ovulation?

Well, here are a few stories of 12 DPO symptoms and experiences by our Peanut community, so you know you’re not alone:

  • “I’ve got my positive! 12 DPO and 10 years trying and FINALLY GOT MY MIRACLE BABY!” ‒ Rebecca
  • “12 DPO, mild nausea (all day), super hungry, breasts fuller, nipples sensitive, weepy, uterine cramping with pink CM (cervical mucus). BFN though.” ‒ Misses
  • “I’m 12 DPO, really tired despite good sleep, very heightened sense of smell, slight cramping, sore boobs (but not as sore as normal when I’m due on).” ‒ Mey
  • “I didn’t get my positive till 14 DPO and had a negative at 12 DPO.” ‒ Kylee
  • “Heartburn and foot cramp at 12 DPO!” ‒ Sally
  • “So I’m 12 days DPO today. I’ve had a trigger shot as well as progesterone suppositories which I am still taking. This month no implantation pain and no sore nipples so far. I did feel a mild sensation above my belly button yesterday but who knows if that’s related to anything. The only other symptom I’ve had this month is bloating but that could be due to the progesterone.” ‒ Afshan
  • “I’m 12 DPO and I’m not to sure if I’m having symptoms: I am sleeping more, haven’t had any implantation bleeding, but I’ve noticed today that I have had slight bruising on the right side of my lower belly and feels very slightly sensitive, and also got slightly sensitive boobs started today and really gassy.” ‒ Jess
  • “At 12 DPO, definitely fatigue/sleeping more, breast pain, and bloating/gas were my symptoms! Then I had my faint positive starting at 13 DPO.” ‒ Megan
  • “I am 12 DPO today. I haven’t really been feeling well all week, it almost feels like I have a cold (body aches, stuffy nose, and feeling so tired). My stomach has been acting up too, feels almost like a ball of butterflies and I have been having soft stools. Also, I have been having chest acne (I never get acne here!).” ‒ Amy
  • “Currently 12 DPO and feeling pretty tired all the time, rather hungry, and have on and off sore boobs. Last night I had some cramping but only on the left side of my pelvis… Trying to hang on a few more days before testing.” ‒ Nicky

Key takeaway

At 12 DPO, there’s a big spectrum of symptoms (or even a lack of symptoms) that could lead to your BFP.

And if you’re looking at a negative, it doesn’t mean it’s a BFN just yet ‒ the day after your next expected period is still the most accurate time to test.

We get it. Pregnancy can be hard. The TTC journey can be hard.

You don’t have to navigate any of it alone.

Reach out if you need support.

There’s a whole community on Peanut for this exact reason.

(And if all the TTC terms are getting a bit much, here’s a cheat sheet for you.)

➡️ Read next: 13 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect

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