18 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect

18 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect

You’re 18 DPO. Your pregnancy tests might be BFP (congrats!) or BFN, or you might be too nervous to test. Here’s the lowdown, whatever the stick says.
Welcome to 18 DPO (aka 18 days past ovulation or 18 days after ovulation, whatever takes your fancy).

By this point, you might know if you’re four and a half weeks pregnant or four days late.

But whether you’ve already tested or not, here’s everything you need to know about this time (medically reviewed by embryologist and fertility expert, Navya Muralidhar) ‒ symptoms, what’s going on in your body, and what’s up next.

Let’s go, 18 DPO!

In this article: 📝

  • What should I expect at 18 DPO?
  • How many DPO is considered late?
  • Can implantation occur 18 days post ovulation?
  • Is 18 DPO too early to test?
  • What DPO are you considered pregnant?
  • What are the symptoms of 18 days pregnancy?

What should I expect at 18 DPO?

At 18 days after ovulation, you could be feeling a lot of things ‒ not just potential pregnancy symptoms, but feelings.

After all, this TTC thing isn’t always easy.

But every woman is unique and every TTC journey is different, too.

So you might be feeling lousy right now, or you might feel like your normal self.

The only universal at this point is the nerves.

Maybe you’re anxious because you’re waiting for a certain day to test, you’re worried that your period is still going to show up, or you’ve already tested and it’s come back with life-changing news.

Nerves are totally normal.

How many DPO is considered late?

If you have a 28-day cycle, anything after 15 DPO is considered late, so if you’re 18 DPO with no AF (Aunt Flo, aka period), that ship sailed a few days ago.

But you know your body best and if you normally have a 32-day cycle instead of a 28-day one, it might be that 18 days past ovulation, no period is totally normal.

So it’s worth tracking your period and any symptoms for a few months if you’re trying to conceive, so you can get a more accurate idea of when you’re ovulating and when you can expect your next period.

But if you are pregnant, chances are that by now, even with a longer cycle, you’ve hit that magic two-week mark.

Fun fact: If you are 18 DPO and pregnant, you’re already in week 5 of your pregnancy, since the first week of pregnancy technically begins on the first day of your last period.

Can implantation occur 18 days post ovulation?

Not often, no.

Usually implantation happens at about 6 to 12 DPO9 DPO is the rough average.

And 12 DPO is on the later end of the scale, so if you have a cycle longer than 28 days, it might be that implantation happens at about that time.

So implantation at 18 DPO might not be the case ‒ although every pregnancy journey is different, and stranger things have happened.

Can implantation bleeding occur 18 DPO?

If you have 18 DPO spotting, you might be wondering if it’s implantation bleeding.

It can happen, and will likely be the last remnants of implantation spotting, which can last a few days.

Generally speaking, implantation bleeding isn’t often more than a few bits of blood when you wipe ‒ it can look like pink discharge or bright red spots when you pee.

But that doesn’t mean that every bit of blood at 18 DPO is implantation spotting.

It might be early pregnancy spotting, a UTI (urinary tract infection), or it could be the start of this cycle’s period.

If it’s particularly heavy bleeding, with clots, it can be worth checking in with your doctor, just in case.

Is 18 DPO too early to test?

No. Definitely not.

You can absolutely get a positive pregnancy test at 18 DPO ‒ pregnancy tests are usually most accurate after about 14 DPO.

This is because your 18 DPO hCG levels are likely to be high enough to show up on a pregnancy test ‒ it can take a few days for these levels to build up enough to be seen.

It can be a strong positive result, too, with an unmistakable line in the window.

You can even get a BFP (Big Fat Positive) if you test just a few hours after you last went to the bathroom, with no need to wait until the morning when the hormones in your pee are most concentrated.

Having said that, even a really faint line is a positive result, and many of our Peanut moms-to-be have said they didn’t get their BFP until 22 DPO!

Test away, and we hope you get the answer you’re waiting for.

What if I get an 18 DPO BFP?

If you’ve had your BFP at 18 DPO, congratulations!

Give yourself time and permission to feel however you’re feeling right now.

You might be delighted, nervous, or both at once.

Mixed feelings are normal, even if you’ve been TTC for a long time.

Physically, though, there are definitely some things to get started on if you can (here’s a handy list of things to do when you find out you’re pregnant).

Start preparing for your first medical appointments, and think about taking some prenatal vitamins, especially this week as the structures that will become your baby’s spinal cord and brain are starting to form.

And if you find yourself needing to rest, rest.

Take care of yourself, mama-to-be!

What if I get an 18 DPO BFN?

So you’re four days late, but the test has come back BFN (that’s Big Fat Negative).

Home pregnancy tests are usually pretty accurate from the first day of your missed period.

So if you’re using the tests correctly (and you’ve calculated your cycle day accurately) and you’re still getting a BFN, this might just not be your month.

You don’t have to spend long on TTC forums though before you find women who had to wait until they were at 21 or 22 DPO before they got their BFP.

So if your period still doesn’t arrive, or you are feeling definite pregnancy symptoms, it may be worth testing again in a couple of days.

Try and keep your spirits up and even if later tests do confirm a BFN, remember that it takes an average of 12 months to conceive a child, so don’t lose hope.

We get it, though.

This in-between, am-I-or-aren’t-I stage is so hard.

For something which is essentially a yes or no question, it’s ridiculous what an extension to a two-week wait can do to your emotions.

But hang in there and keep testing every few days.

And remember, you can always find women in the Peanut community who’re going through the same thing.

What DPO are you considered pregnant?

Weirdly enough, you’re considered pregnant on the first day of your last period ‒ before egg even meets sperm.

So at 18 days after ovulation, you’re actually considered four and a half weeks pregnant (give or take, depending on the length of your cycle).

In just a few short days, you’ll be five weeks pregnant!

What are the symptoms of 18 days pregnancy?

It’s perfectly normal to feel no pregnancy symptoms at all until the sixth week, when pregnancy nausea often starts to kick up a notch, or equally, to have no nausea, cravings, or aversions for your entire pregnancy.

There’s no link between how severe your symptoms are and how healthy your baby is (although some people swear that more nausea = baby girl).

Either way, if they’re in there and growing, buckle up for the following:

  • Fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness. Whatever you want to call it, you probably don’t feel like staying up late, or even getting out of bed in the first place.
  • Bloating, constipation and/or gas
  • Tender breasts
  • Heightened sense of smell
  • Headaches
  • Aches and pains, especially around your abdomen or lower back

How do you feel at 18 DPO?

There are so many different ways to feel at 18 DPO, whether you’re pregnant or not.

So you know you’re not alone, we asked our Peanut community to share their experiences:

  • “Today marks 18 DPO & 5 days missed AF. Naturally, I started testing early around the first day of my missed AF with strips, and have been getting a BFN.” ‒ Kathy
  • “18 DPO, been trying since last August (October now) and got my positive this morning. Scheduled an appointment already but I’m still in disbelief, shouldn’t be necessary to test again right? My brains scrambled.” ‒ Alyria
  • “I am 4 days late. 18 DPO. Still, all the tests are negative. I was never late before with my period. The only symptom I have is I am very bloated, but not constipated.” ‒ Isabel
  • “I tested when I was 18 DPO and it came out to be positive. I just found myself unusually bloated and more than usual hungry.” ‒ Saiyona
  • “We finally got our positive HCG test on day 13 DPO (after 18 months TTC) I’ve been having light cramping ever since; ALL day and night long. Today, I wiped and have bright pink spotting. Update: all good, just some pregnancy spotting while my uterus gets used to baby!” ‒ Laura
  • “Today is 18 DPO. My tests seem to be getting darker but slowly. Granted, I did start testing at 10 DPO and my blood test for that day only showed hCG at a 7, so my baseline was pretty low. Still waiting on dye stealer.” ‒ Willow
  • “Got my first dye-stealer at 18 DPO!” ‒ Jessica
  • “I’m 18 DPO, ovulated on day 21 after taking Clomid days 5-9. This is my second month on Clomid, the first month I got AF on day 21 (usually a 27-29 day cycle) and this month I’m on day 39 with no AF, and tests are negative. A few days ago I started smelling things in my store (I work in a boutique) that I’d never smelled before. I keep smelling what smells like cologne near our register and no one else seems to smell it. All the candles seem to smell more intense than before. I have nausea but no morning sickness, cervix is high. I don’t know what to think. Might be able to get a blood test in a few days.” ‒ Megan
  • “18 DPO, finally got my BFP!” ‒ Tessa
  • “Positive 17 DPO… period today 18 DPO. Had all the symptoms, had the positive test, and today I’m bleeding. It started as spotting and now is a heavy flow.” ‒ Tory
  • “I’m 18 DPO, 4 days late for my periods, have spotting before my periods for a couple of days, which was brown and pink. I had moderate cramps in those days of spotting and yesterday again at 17 DPO I saw brown discharge, IDK what’s going on. Update: my period showed up after being 19 days late, my cycle lasted 49 days.” ‒ Shinnie
  • “18 DPO, AF is 4 days late, still nauseous and feeling drained, and this morning a negative test.” ‒ Victoria
  • “18 DPO, 4 days late and still BFN. Every month my period comes on the day Flo predicted if not I’ve had spotting the day before. This month I’m now 4 days late and no signs or symptoms of any period coming anytime soon. I’ve been experiencing acid reflux (I already suffer but more than usual - vomited a couple of times from this also) heightened sense of smell, boating but no abdomen pain, and slight constipation.” ‒ Jade

There are so many ways to feel at 18 DPO.

Whether you’ve got your BFP or a BFN, we hope you get the result you’re after.

And if you need anyone to talk to who gets it, you’re always welcome to join our Peanut community.

➡️ Read next: 19 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect

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