Hormones rocketing, lots of questions, lots of feelings. You’re 16 DPO. Find out what it all means, now that you’re definitely late.
At 16 DPO (16 days past ovulation, for anyone who hasn’t been on this ride with us so far) your period is definitely late.
Whether your tests are coming back BFP (big fat positive) or BFN (big fat negative), read on to find out what steps to take next.
Special thanks to embryologist and fertility expert, Navya Muralidhar for medically reviewing this article.
And drop by our complete TTC glossary if you need a refresher on all these acronyms!
In this article: 📝
- What should I expect at 16 DPO?
- How many DPO does your period start?
- Can implantation occur 16 days post ovulation?
- Can you test positive 16 days after conception?
- What if you get a 16 DPO BFN?
- What are 16 DPO pregnancy symptoms?
What should I expect at 16 DPO?
If you’re at 16 DPO and you’re pregnant, your body has been secreting the pregnancy hormone, hCG, since the embryo first implanted in your uterine wall at around 8 DPO.
There’s no set amount you should expect with your 16 DPO hCG levels, but anything over 25 mIU/ml will mean a positive result on a pregnancy test.
But our Peanut moms-to-be who shared their hCG levels said that at 16 days post-ovulation, they were anywhere between 25 to 1,000 mIU/ml ‒ now that’s range!
So this 16 DPO hCG might be setting off early pregnancy symptoms, or you might feel totally normal.
Every woman is unique.
However you’re feeling, the possibility that you’re nurturing a tiny ball of cells in your uterus means your body might already be using a lot of energy.
Your baby is hardly slacking off either.
Today, the layers of cells are all separating into the systems they’re going to start developing into in the coming weeks and months.
This is also the time to start taking prenatal vitamins (if you haven’t already) to support your babe’s essential early development.
How many DPO does your period start?
In general, if you think of the first day of your period as day one of your cycle, you ovulate on (around) day 14.
If you’re (fairly) regular, your next period should then start on day 28 — which is 14 days past ovulation, or 14 DPO.
That means that if you’re at 16 DPO with no period, you’re already two days late.
But, as we say, every woman’s body is unique, which means it’s normal and totally fine if your cycle follows a different pattern than this.
This is just the general timeline that we use for counting days and TTC.
Can implantation occur 16 days post ovulation?
Sometimes, yes, but it’s pretty rare for 16 DPO implantation to occur.
Even if your cycle has a longer-than-average luteal phase, implantation usually happens between 6 and 12 DPO.
So if you’re experiencing implantation symptoms, there’s a chance they could be early pregnancy symptoms or PMS.
Sigh. All these symptoms are so similar…
Not sure which are typically signs of implantation? Here’s a quick list:
- Spotting: Implantation bleeding or spotting often happens shortly after the zygote has made its home in your uterus lining. But spotting at 16 DPO isn’t likely to be implantation bleeding ‒ it could be your period or it could be that your ovulation actually happened later than you thought.
- Breast tenderness: Just like with PMS, you can get some mild breast pain with implantation, too.
- Mood swings: Again, just like PMS.
- Cramping: Yet another PMS/implantation symptom, our Peanut community describe implantation cramps as “period pain-lite”.
Can you test positive 16 days after conception?
The short answer is yes.
A 16 DPO pregnancy test will probably give an accurate result because your hCG levels have had enough time to build up.
At this point, the placental cells of the embryo are rapidly increasing their production of hCG every day.
Just make sure you:
- Test when your pee is concentrated, usually first thing in the morning.
- Read the test when you’re supposed to—not too early (the line needs time to develop) or too late (what looks like a positive result might be something called an evaporation line).
- Store the tests correctly and use them while they’re still in date.
And when you do your pregnancy test at 16 DPO (if you’re comfortable), why not share it with the rest of the TTC community on Peanut?
What if you get a 16 DPO BFN?
If you’re seeing a 16 DPO negative test, there’s a chance you’re testing negative because you ovulated later than you thought, and this isn’t actually 16 DPO at all.
At this early stage, days can make a big difference and anything from travel to illness to losing weight can delay ovulation.
So, try again over the next couple of days.
If you spend some time talking to other women who’ve been there, you’ll see how common it is for tests to come back negative until you’re at least 22 DPO.
When it comes to TTC, it’s not over until your period shows up.
If you’re using the tests correctly and you’ve calculated your cycle day accurately, it might be that you’re just not going to get your BFP this month.
This can always be disheartening, but it doesn’t mean you need to lose hope. Implantation can fail for many reasons.
The important things to remember are that this doesn’t mean it will fail next time, and that none of these reasons are your fault.
Whatever the tests are telling you, take care of yourself and remember that the Peanut community is always there.
What are 16 DPO pregnancy symptoms?
Eagle-eyed for 16 DPO symptoms? You’re not alone!
Even before you see your 16 DPO positive pregnancy test, there could be a whole host of 16 DPO symptoms doing all sorts to your bod.
If your rocketing hormones have got you noticing changes in your body, they’ll most likely be:
- Your energy levels: Which might be non-existent. 7pm bedtime? Don’t mind if I do.
- Your sense of smell: Which might be super-duper, smell-your-partner’s-sandwich-from-the-other-side-of-the-apartment, strong.
- Your boobs: Which might be feeling extra sensitive or looking bigger than usual. Your areola (the area around your nipple) may also be darker.
- Your mood: Feeling mad? Anxious? Tearful? All at once? That may be the hormones talking, but that doesn’t mean that all those feelings aren’t valid.
- Your stomach: Bloating, cramping, and the famous pregnancy nausea can all start very early on. It sounds counterintuitive, but eating regularly can help.
How did you feel at 16 DPO?
So how can these symptoms show in real women?
Well, we asked our TTC community how they felt at 16 DPO ‒ whether they had their BFP or a BFN:
- “Tracking my hCG during my TTC cycle, currently at 89 for 16 DPO hCG.” ‒ Audrey
- “Got my confirmation this morning: 16 DPO BFP. I got a super faint positive the day before AF was due, and a “Not Pregnant” on digital. 3 days later, my hCG is high enough for confirmation on digital and the line is darker. My symptoms were ovulation cramps, and then sore nipples only. No implantation cramps or implantation bleeding. And nothing else. Baby dust to everyone still waiting for their BFP!” ‒ Zee
- “I’m 16 DPO and 6 days late, but only getting negatives. I have most of the symptoms for pregnancy, such as sore boobs, morning sickness, backache, acne, cramps, fatigue, mood swings, bloating, constipation…” ‒ Alexus
- “Period was due yesterday, currently at 16 DPO, got a very faint line!” ‒ Kim
- “Today makes 16 DPO. I took a test on 13 DPO and 15 DPO, and today and all came up BFN, but I find it odd that my AF is running behind (2 days late). My discharge has been normal, however, I think there has been a little more than normal (egg white or watery). Update: Took it today! I GOT A BFP!” ‒ Megan
- “16 DPO 1 day late… symptoms: nausea without vomiting, fatigue, headaches, backaches, food aversions, and very emotional. tests are coming back negative though. I also had some weird spotting just shy of 2 weeks before my period.” ‒ Kalina
- “Got my BFP at 10 DPO, super faint, taken tests every day until 16 DPO to see the line progression.” ‒ Chelsea
So there’s no one way to experience 16 DPO ‒ whether you’ve got your BFP or not.
If you want to share your journey or talk to someone who gets it, you’re always welcome on Peanut.
➡️ Read next: 17 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect