At 3 DPO, the end of the TWW might look very far away. What can you expect at this time? Can you have symptoms this early? Let’s take a look.
One thing few people tell you about TTC is how much waiting around there will be.
At 3 DPO (or 3 days past ovulation), you might feel you still have miles to go to see if AF will BRB.
The suspense is truly nail-biting.
Don’t worry. We won’t add to it.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
(This article has been medically reviewed by embryologist and fertility expert, Navya Muralidhar.)
In this article: 📝
- What can I expect at 3 DPO?
- Can you implant at 3 DPO?
- Can I have pregnancy symptoms 3 days after ovulation?
- Is 3 DPO too early?
What can I expect at 3 DPO?
When you ovulate, the egg/s you release into your fallopian tube might be fertilized by an awaiting sperm.
This has to happen pretty quickly—as in, within 24 hours of release from your ovary.
If fertilization takes place, the newly formed zygote will travel down the fallopian tube to implant itself into the lining of the uterus.
Can you implant at 3 DPO?
Not usually ‒ 3 days post ovulation is still a bit early to expect implantation to happen.
When it does, your body starts producing a hormone called hCG (or human Chorionic Gonadotropin).
hCG communicates with your body to tell it to keep producing progesterone, the hormone that does all sorts of great things during pregnancy, from helping your uterus grow to staving off contractions until the time is right.
Thank goodness hCG is such a great messenger.
But the wonderful work of hCG doesn’t stop there.
It has another important function—it helps us detect pregnancy.
Most pregnancy tests work by looking for hCG in your urine.
To get a BFP, your hCG levels have to be above 25 mIU/mL.
That means that at 3 DPO, you’ll have to wait a bit to get a positive result.
Because if an egg has been fertilized, it’s probably still a few days away from implantation.
If you can stomach the wait, it’s not a bad idea to hang fire until after you’ve missed a period.
If you’d like to take a test before that, also fine.
You can take another one later to confirm the result you get (it’s not for nothing that many pregnancy tests are sold in multipacks).
Can I have pregnancy symptoms 3 days after ovulation?
If you’re TTC, you’re likely itching to know the 3 DPO symptoms ending in a BFP (big fat positive on your pregnancy test).
You may be hyper-aware of every ache, tingle, and change.
But 3 days post ovulation is very early for symptoms.
The first bout of possible pregnancy symptoms kick-off (for some) around implantation—and 3 DPO is too early for this to have happened.
So, if you’re experiencing cramping at 3 DPO, it’s more likely to be because of PMS or ovulation than implantation cramping.
Also, you can be pregnant and have no symptoms at all until you’re weeks into your pregnancy.
Experiences are all so diverse.
There’s no right way to do this thing.
While you might not have symptoms at day 3 after ovulation, it doesn’t mean you can’t prep yourself for the symptoms to come.
Here are some 3 DPO pregnancy symptoms that you may expect, or they might occur in the days and weeks ahead:
- Implantation cramps
- Implantation bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vaginal discharge (usually white or yellow and sticky)
- Mood swings
- Changes in your cervix positioning and softness
- Food cravings
- Food aversions
- Acid reflux
If you’re TTC, never has a list of uncomfortable symptoms looked so appealing ‒ yes, even, spotting 3 DPO and 3 DPO nausea!
What does discharge look like 3 days after ovulation?
If you have some unusual 3 DPO discharge, you may have noticed that it’s a bit more sticky or yellow than usual.
While this could be a classic ovulation symptom (you can get these for a few days before and after your fertile window), it could also be a very early 3 DPO pregnancy symptom.
What causes cramping 3 days after ovulation?
If you’ve got 3 DPO cramps, you’re certainly not alone.
Many of our Peanut TTC community members have this 3 DPO symptom.
But it’s not likely to be implantation cramping ‒ it’s more likely to be ovulation cramping.
But it’s also still too early to tell whether you’re going to get a BFP or a BFN, so try not to fret if you have 3 DPO cramping.
Is 3 DPO too early?
Yes, it’s too early to take a pregnancy test at 3 DPO.
This is because your hCG levels haven’t risen to the point that they’ll be detected on a pregnancy test.
So if you’re looking at a 3 DPO negative pregnancy test, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not pregnant.
It’s not a 3 DPO BFN because it’s not the most accurate result ‒ it’s better to wait until about 14 DPO (or the day after your next period) to take your pregnancy test.
We haven’t come across any 3 DPO positive pregnancy tests in our Peanut TTC community, because it’s usually too early for the embryo to implant, but if you have a positive at 3 DPO, let us know!
What are other 3 DPO symptoms?
It can feel a bit lonely going through TTC, so here are a few of our Peanut community’s experiences of 3 DPO symptoms, so you know you’re not alone.
After all, nothing’s off-limits with our Peanut community.
- “I’m 3 DPO and have had sore boobs and feels like my stomach is stretching, along with peeing more.” ‒ Faith
- “I had larger nipples like 2-3 days after ovulation! Could be a sign!” ‒ Kathryn
- “I have just found out I’m pregnant and this was the biggest sign for me, just after ovulation, my boobs and nipples hurt, and wearing a bra was painful!” ‒ Megan
- “I’m currently only 3 DPO and I’ve been experiencing a very sharp pain on my right ovary, and I’ve been having lower back pain along with it.” ‒ Kayla
- “I am currently 3 DPO and since ovulation, I have these really dull cramps in my lower abdomen and slightly down my thighs. I’ve also got a now and then stabbing pain to the right of my pelvic bone.” ‒ Alison
- “Having some thin clear cervical mucus this morning as well as some slight cramping on my right side again (it was mostly that side during ovulation). I’m 3 DPO so obviously way too early to know anything.” ‒ Ashley
- “I’m 3 DPO and I’ve got some cramping. The right side of my stomach is also tender…” ‒ Nicola
The TTC experience can feel pretty isolating.
Bodies are different; timelines are different; methods are different.
But you don’t have to do this alone.
Wishing you all the best. 💗
➡️ Read next: 4 DPO: Symptoms, Signs & What to Expect