4 DPO Symptoms: What to Expect and When to Test

by Jul 21, 2021

If you and your partner are in the process of trying to conceive, it’s perfectly normal to be curious about what exactly is happening inside of your body in the days following your fertile window.

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To help, here is a brief overview of what is going on in your body as early as 4 days past ovulation (4 DPO), possible symptoms you may experience at this milestone, and when you can plan to know for sure that you are pregnant.

What is happening to your body at 4 DPO?

If you are pregnant at four days past ovulation (4 DPO), your egg will have been fertilized by a sperm to form a zygote – which is simply the scientific term for a fertilized egg cell. This zygote will then take a journey down your fallopian tubes until it reaches your uterus for implantation. Throughout this journey, your zygote will develop and grow into an embryo, and by 4 DPO your embryo will consist of about 50-60 cells.

Even though implantation will not likely have happened yet, your body may begin to start producing pregnancy-related hormones like progesterone as early as 4 DPO. This is to help prepare your uterus and uterine lining for successful implantation.

What are the pregnancy symptoms at 4 days past ovulation?

Even though four days past ovulation (4 DPO) is a bit early to be experiencing any major early pregnancy symptoms, there is still a possibility that you may have some minor symptoms due to the rising progesterone in your body.

However, please note that many of these symptoms are very similar to those related to the second half of your menstrual cycle. The only way to know for certain that you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test at the right time.

Here is a quick look at five of the most common early pregnancy symptoms that you may experience at 4 DPO.

Nausea

One of the most common early symptoms of pregnancy is nausea. For example, you may experience mild dizziness, have the urge to throw up, and/or feel a general sense of queasiness around food. Like many of the other early symptoms of pregnancy, this is most likely caused by rising hormone levels.

However, if you do not feel nauseous at 4 DPO, there is no reason to be worried that conception has not occurred. 4 DPO is still very early and not everyone will experience nausea at this point in their pregnancy.

Cramps

Although unlikely, light cramping is another symptom of early pregnancy that some women may experience at 4 days past ovulation.

However, bear in mind though that cramping is also common around the time of ovulation and just ahead of menstruation. This makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly what may be causing these cramps at 4 DPO. Therefore, cramping alone is not considered a reliable sign that you are pregnant.

Breast tenderness

Tender breasts are another possible symptom that may be experienced as early as 4 DPO. For example, your breasts may feel heavier than normal, more sensitive to the touch, and you may even experience frequent throbbing or “sharp” pains in them throughout the day. Again, this may be caused by changing hormones as your body prepares itself for pregnancy.

If this tenderness becomes extreme or unbearable, seek advice from your doctor or a medical professional immediately.

Bloating

Bloating is also an early symptom of pregnancy that some women may experience at 4 DPO. This could feel anything like stomach pain and discomfort, gas, and a general feeling of “fullness” in your stomach.

Fatigue

Feeling fatigued, tired, and exhausted during the early days of pregnancy is also possible – even as early as 4 DPO. While fatigue alone isn’t a definitive sign of pregnancy, it is still common and can be attributed to your body’s rise of pregnancy hormones.

What to do if you have no symptoms at 4 days past ovulation?

If you are at 4 days past ovulation (4 DPO) and still haven’t experienced any early pregnancy symptoms, don’t panic! Remember, the majority of women do not experience symptoms of pregnancy this early anyway, so you have nothing to worry about.

Until you can take a pregnancy test and know for sure, the best thing you can do for yourself and your partner is to relax.

When should you test?

The best time to test for pregnancy is at least a day or two after your missed period, as this is when the test will be the most accurate.

Even if you are technically pregnant at 4 DPO, your body will likely not be producing hormones to be able to be detected in a pregnancy test. Therefore, to prevent unnecessary disappointment, try to resist the urge to take a pregnancy test at 4 DPO.

What does it mean to get BFP at 4 DPO?

It is extremely rare to get a BFP or “Big Fat Positive” as early as 4 DPO. It’s just not likely that implantation is complete at this time and that your hCG levels can be detectable in a pregnancy test.

However, if you have tested and do receive a BFP at 4 DPO, there is a possibility that you could be pregnant. The best thing you can do in this situation is to wait until you have missed your period and then take another test to confirm your result.

Assuming that you are pregnant, it is also a good idea to avoid drinking or smoking during this time, as these activities can be extremely harmful to a developing fetus.

Can you get BFN at 4 DPO and still be pregnant?

Absolutely! There is a reason why it is not recommended to take a pregnancy test until after you have missed your period, and that’s because it is just simply too early to tell before then.

At 4 DPO, your fertilized egg is most likely still traveling down your fallopian tubes to your uterus. Even if implantation has begun, it is not likely that your body will be producing hCG at a detectable rate.

If you have just received a BFN or “Big Fat No” – try not to let it get you down. The healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to wait it out, maintain a healthy pre-pregnancy diet, and take another test after you have missed your period.

✔️ 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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