10 DPO Symptoms: What to Expect and When to Test

by Jul 7, 2021

Waiting to take a pregnancy test can be an exciting but stressful time in a woman’s life. This is especially true if you’ve had bad news before or have been trying to conceive for some time.  You begin to look for any little sign of pregnancy, even before the two week wait after ovulation is up.

And while your body hasn’t produced enough pregnancy hormones to be detected on a home test, it has started to change in small (and sometimes noticeable) ways.  In this blog post we’ll take a look at what to expect from 10 DPO symptoms and when to test if you suspect a positive pregnancy.

What is happening to your body at 10 DPO?

At 10 DPO, progesterone is still high from your monthly cycle and is the likely culprit of most symptoms that you might experience.  Progesterone is the hormone responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle, but also getting the body ready for pregnancy (more on testing progesterone here).  Once implantation has occurred, progesterone production shifts to the placenta (once formed) and its primary job is to support your body in maintaining a pregnancy.

So what exactly is happening at 10 DPO? Implantation has usually (but not always) occurred by this time, and if you are positively pregnant, you may begin to see some signs of pregnancy. Of course any signs you see at this stage are closely related to what you might see before you get your period.

High progesterone, whether from your menstrual cycle or a pregnancy, can cause symptoms similar to PMS such as cramps, fatigue, sore breasts, bloating, and backaches.  Unsurprisingly, PMS usually occurs when progesterone peaks so many of the symptoms of early pregnancy and PMS are similar.

10 DPO pregnancy symptoms

Cramps at 10 DPO

One of the first 10 DPO symptoms you might experience is cramps.  Often mistaken as a sign of your period coming, 10 DPO cramps are usually the result of implantation.  Progesterone also plays a role and high progesterone levels cause a loosening of the smooth muscles in your intestines, which can slow down digestion and lead to cramping.  Cramps are normal during early pregnancy and may be experienced either as sharp pains or mild pressure in the abdominal area.

Fatigue at 10 DPO

Fatigue is an extremely common symptom in early pregnancy. New hormones and a growing womb mean your body is working extra hard to prepare for pregnancy and that can be tiring.  Changes in hormone levels, in addition to the extra energy your body needs to support a fetus, mean that even if you are getting enough sleep, you may still feel exhausted.  Fatigue around the time of ovulation is normal, but it’s likely to be more exaggerated as a 10 DPO pregnancy symptom.

Sore breasts at 10 DPO

Changes to the breast can occur as early as 1 DPO during pregnancy.  As hormone levels rise, blood flow and fluid retention do as well.  And as your breast tissue reacts to these changes, you may begin to feel heavy, tender, or swollen.  Your nipples may also change in size and colour as well as sensitivity.  Over the course of your pregnancy your breasts will change in many ways as they prepare to produce milk for your baby.  Although the pain usually peaks in the first trimester, as your pregnancy progresses your breasts will adapt as they prepare your body to feed a baby.

Bloating at DPO

Early in pregnancy the increase in progesterone can wreak havoc on your digestive system.  The hormone can cause your digestive system to slow down and the smooth muscle tissue to relax, leading to that bloated feeling.  An increase in water retention, gas trapped in the intestines, and constipation can all contribute to the sensation and the discomfort usually goes away after delivery.

Backaches at 10 DPO

Backaches are an unfortunately common part of pregnancy.  Related to both physical and hormonal changes you experience while pregnant, at 10 DPO it’s unlikely backaches are a result of obvious body changes.  At this stage, backaches are likely caused (again) by progesterone.  Together with the hormone relaxin, one of progesterone’s many jobs is to loosen the ligaments and joints, especially in the pelvic area, to prepare your body for pregnancy and birth.

As progesterone spikes, even your supporting discs and ligaments in your back are affected.  The loosened joints and ligaments can lead to discomfort, pain, and backaches.  As your body changes, your center of gravity will change with it, and the strain on your back becomes even greater with exaggerated postures to cope and increased strain from weight gain.

 
 
 
 
 

Can you test for pregnancy at 10 DPO?

While you can test for pregnancy at any time, 10 DPO is very early on the pregnancy timeline.  Research shows that the majority of women experience implantation between 8 – 10 DPO, meaning it’s not unrealistic to take a 10 DPO pregnancy test and get a positive result, but a 10 DPO BFN (big fat negative) isn’t out of the question either.

Knowing what to look for and how to read a pregnancy test is always a good idea, especially if you are testing early.  Your results of any test at this stage are simply too early to be considered reliable.  Waiting until the date of your next period (when your body will be secreting enough hCG to be detected by home pregnancy tests) will always give you more reliable results.

Tracking your ovulation to know where you’re at in your cycle and your exact fertile window helps to take some of the guesswork out of the process and can give you more confidence for pregnancy tests as early as 10 DPO.

10 DPO and negative pregnancy test (BFN)

10 DPO is very early to take a pregnancy test but having no symptoms at 10 DPO doesn’t mean it will come back negative. Home tests rely on detecting the hormone hCG which can take up to two days to show up in urine.   At 10 DPO, even if you are pregnant, your body may not have produced enough hCG yet to be detectable by home tests.  Taking a pregnancy test too early can lead to a false-negative result so waiting until you’ve missed your period is always recommended.

Tracking your cycle can help you know whether it’s the best time to test since actual ovulation dates vary from woman to woman and cycle to cycle.  Additionally, testing too early could lead to confusing results like faint lines that can be challenging to interpret.  If you get a BFN at 10 DPO, take the test again in a couple of days or after your period is due for more accurate results.

10 DPO and positive pregnancy test (BFP)

Waiting two weeks before taking a pregnancy test obviously gives the most accurate results, but it’s still possible to get a BFP at 10 DPO.  Since implantation is likely to have occurred by this point, you may be able to get a positive pregnancy test result if your body is producing enough hCG.

Keep in mind that hCG baselines and doubling patterns (about every 48 hours after implantation) vary from woman to woman and this can affect the timing and results of your test.  The benefits of tracking when you ovulate, and knowing your precise hormone levels, can also help you test at the right time for a BFP when you are trying to conceive.

If you’ve been trying to conceive, waiting two weeks to test can feel like a lifetime.  While the above signs don’t necessarily indicate pregnancy, if you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms at 10 DPO, it may be time to test.  Keep in mind that test sensitivity varies and results could be inconsistent.  Knowing your cycle and when you ovulate can help you get the timing just right for a positive pregnancy test.

✔️ Medically Reviewed by Katerina Shkodzik, M.D., OB-GYN

Dr. Katerina Shkodzik is a certified OB-GYN with a special focus on reproductive endocrinology and infertility issues. She has been practising since 2015.

Dr. Shkodzik completed her residency program in the Department of OB/GYN at the Belarusian State Medical University and fellowship program in the Department of Gynecological Surgery at the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland.

Dr. Shkodzik is extensively involved in digital health projects providing her medical expertise and integrating of cutting edge technologies in medical science and clinical practice since 2018.

Dr. Shkodzik has participated in several studies focused on PCOS, endometriosis, menstrual cycle characteristics and their abnormalities based on big data of digital health in collaboration with leading universities.

She believes that paying special attention to women's health is a crucial step to improving the world we live in.

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