9 DPO Symptoms: What to Expect and When to Test

by Jul 7, 2021

When you are trying to conceive, it can be difficult to make it through the infamous two-week waiting period before taking a pregnancy test.  While pregnancy symptoms at 9 DPO are usually mild and many women don’t even notice them, it is possible to be experiencing symptoms and wondering if they are early signs of pregnancy.

Every woman experiences pregnancy and menstruation differently, but at 9 DPO your body and hormones will shift either due to an upcoming menstrual cycle or an early pregnancy.  At 9 DPO you might expect physical signs and symptoms and this post will explore what those symptoms mean and when to test for pregnancy.

What is happening to your body at 9 DPO?

At 9 DPO you are in the luteal phase of your cycle and one of two things can happen:

  • Progesterone is being released to signal the uterine lining to become an egg-friendly environment, but fertilization doesn’t always take place.  If the egg successfully embeds itself in the uterine lining, this is known as implantation and production of the hormone hCG is released, along with rising progesterone levels to protect the pregnancy.  The hormone hCG is measured by most home pregnancy tests, and production can take several days after implantation to get up to levels detectable by those tests.
  • If fertilization of the egg hasn’t taken place, the corpus luteum that synthesises progesterone shrinks and hormone levels drop.  This drop in hormones signals that the uterine lining is no longer needed, and triggers menstruation.

Conception involves a series of complicated steps biologically, but once implantation has occurred the pregnancy may be detected.  At 9 DPO, your body may still be in the process of implantation.  In other words, the fertilized egg may still be on its journey to attach to the wall of the uterus.  If this step hasn’t occurred yet, no pregnancy test in the world will show a positive result because you simply do not have the right hormones in your system.

What are the pregnancy symptoms at 9 days past ovulation?

Now that we know what is happening in the body during this phase of your cycle, we can look at the symptoms and whether they might indicate pregnancy.  As hormones change, many women begin to experience common symptoms of early pregnancy such as fatigue, nausea, cramping, and breast changes.

Any changes you see at this stage are closely related to what you might see before you get your period since progesterone is still high at 9 DPO and the likely culprit of many symptoms.  Progesterone is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle, but also an important hormone in getting your body ready for pregnancy.

Once implantation has occurred, production of progesterone partly switches to the forming placenta and it’s primary job is to support your body in maintaining a pregnancy.  Higher progesterone levels are behind PMS symptoms such as cramps, fatigue, sore, breasts, bloating, and backache.  Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy and PMS are similar since PMS usually occurs when progesterone peaks.

Unusual fatigue

Unusual fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of early pregnancy.  Making a baby takes a lot of energy, and your body is working hard to build the systems and supports needed for a successful pregnancy.  Rising hormone levels and the extra energy needed to support a fetus means that even if you are getting enough sleep, you may still feel exhausted.

Changes in blood vessels carrying oxygen to the brain, as well as the energy needed to build the placenta all contribute to these feelings of fatigue.  Although fatigue around the time of ovulation may be normal, it’s likely to be more exaggerated as a 9 DPO pregnancy symptom.  Unusual levels of sleepiness and exhaustion may be noticed as early as 1 week after conception.

Nausea

Despite being called morning sickness, nausea can happen at any time of the day and is a well-known sign of early pregnancy.  As many as 80% of women experience this uncomfortable but common symptom.  It can begin any time during your first trimester, but if you tracked your ovulation to get pregnant, you might notice it earlier.

The exact cause of morning sickness isn’t known but hormonal changes are suspected.   Pregnancy-related nausea is a common 9 DPO symptom for many women and the American Pregnancy Association reports that 4 out of 5 women will experience pregnancy-related nausea before a missed period.

Cramps

9 DPO cramping can feel a lot like PMS or period cramps and is quite normal during early pregnancy.  Some women can even experience cramping at the time of implantation while others may feel nothing at all.

9 DPO symptoms like cramping can be confusing since it can be challenging to tell the difference between 9 DPO pregnancy symptoms and your period.  Because symptoms at 9 DPO are heavily influenced by progesterone, you may notice changes in your digestion as production ramps up.  Progesterone is responsible for relaxing smooth muscles, like the walls of your uterus, but it can have knock-on effects.

As smooth muscles throughout the body are relaxed, like those in your digestive tract, digestion can slow down, increasing the risk of constipation and cramping.  This is also a time of rapid growth for your womb, which may bring on uncomfortable growing pains or cramps.  For some, they may be nothing more than a mild pressure or quick sharp pain, while for others they can be excruciating.

Changes in breasts

With the rising hormone levels, increased blood flow, and fluid retention of early pregnancy you may notice changes in your breasts.  As breast tissue reacts to these changes, you may begin to feel heavy, tender, or swollen in the area.  Your nipples may also change in size, color, and sensitivity.

Your breasts are adapting as they prepare your body to feed a baby and will continue to change over the course of your pregnancy.  Your breasts will continue to grow in size and you may notice the veins on your breast become larger, bluer, and more visible.  You may also feel a general ache, or tenderness in the area, especially in the first trimester, but symptoms often dissipate as your body adjusts to the influx of hormones.

Spotting

Although often concerning for women, a small amount of slight bleeding or spotting is completely normal in early pregnancy.  As many as 30% of women experience this, with the blood usually lighter in color than a normal menstrual bleed.

This can occur at the time of implantation, known as implantation bleeding, as the fertilized egg burrows its way into the uterine lining but it is a common enough symptom to be considered normal.  Although for some women this may indicate a problem, like an ectopic pregnancy or early miscarriage, 9 DPO spotting is quite normal but you should see your doctor if you are concerned.

What if you don’t have any symptoms at 9 days past ovulation?

Because many early pregnancy symptoms are mild, or can be mistaken for premenstrual symptoms, having no symptoms at 9 DPO is not a cause for concern or even abnormal.  In fact, most pregnant women don’t even begin to experience pregnancy symptoms until 1-2 weeks after a missed period.

A pregnancy test at 9 DPO could very well test negative before getting a positive test a few days later.  One analysis even found that fewer than 10% of pregnancy charts analyzed showed a positive test at 9 DPO.  No symptoms at 9 days post ovulation doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t pregnant, you simply need to wait longer before testing.  Every woman experiences pregnancy differently and even though some symptoms are common, you may experience none at all.

When should you test?

When you are trying to conceive, waiting to take a pregnancy test can feel like forever.  However, since pregnancy tests depend on hormone levels, it’s important to time your test properly for the best possible result.

Of course you can test at any time, but that doesn’t mean you should. A 9 DPO test is still likely to get a negative result, even if you are pregnant.  It’s simply too early for the necessary hormones to register on a home pregnancy test.

What does it mean to get BFP at 9 DPO?

It is possible to get a 9 DPO BFP if implantation has taken place and enough hCG is being produced to register on the test.  But a BFP at 9 DPO could also indicate an ectopic pregnancy if one of the two lines is pale.   Ectopic pregnancies are extremely rare and are usually accompanied by other symptoms such as pain in the pelvic area.  If you are experiencing early signs of pregnancy before the two-week wait is over, you may want to take a pregnancy test.

Can you get BFN at 9 DPO and still be pregnant?

A 9 DPO BFN doesn’t mean you are pregnant or not, it simply means it is too early to tell.  Hormone levels may not have risen enough yet to be detectable by home tests, meaning even if you are pregnant, you can still get a BFN at 9 DPO.  If you get a BFN, it’s best to wait at least 3 days before you test again. 

✔️ 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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