When you’re tracking ovulation and trying to conceive, it’s common to notice each twinge and cramp. You spend much of the two week wait wondering if your cramping is a sign of implantation or if your period is about to begin.
At 3dpo (days post ovulation), it’s too soon to take a pregnancy test. However, there are plenty of signs and symptoms people trying to get pregnant look for.
Having to wait two weeks to know if you’ve conceived or not can feel like a long time. So, during this two week wait, many choose to document their symptoms. Then they often share with others to see if they just might be pregnant.
Cramping is a symptom many women look for. Could cramping at 3dpo be a sign that you’ve conceived? While cramps can occur for many reasons, it’s one of the most common early pregnancy signs women look for.
While a test is still over a week away, cramping can begin around ovulation. If you’re experiencing cramping at 3dpo, here are a few questions you’re likely wondering about:
What’s happening 3 days after ovulation?
Understanding what is happening in each stage of your cycle can make it easier to understand your symptoms. At 3dpo, if you’ve conceived, you’d be about 2-3 weeks pregnant. This is because we calculate pregnancy from your last menstrual period (LMP) and not when you ovulate.
Knowing where you’re at in your cycle won’t change the outcome, but it can help you understand what you’re feeling. At 3dpo you’re more than halfway through your menstrual cycle but still very early into a potential pregnancy.
At 3dpo you’re in the luteal phase of your cycle. This phase happens after the follicular phase (when the egg is maturing). This luteal phase continues from ovulation until you get your period or a positive pregnancy test.
During a cycle where you conceive, the egg is fertilized within about 12-24 hours after ovulation. This means by 3 days post ovulation, your newly fertilized egg may be gearing up to implant. However, at this stage it is typically still traveling down the fallopian tube and into the uterus where it will implant.
An egg makes its way through the fallopian tube and into the uterus regardless of fertilization. This can make it difficult to know whether the cramping is related to conception or your typical menstrual cycle.
Can implantation occur at 3dpo?
At 3 days past ovulation, the hopefully fertilized egg is still navigating its way from the fallopian tube to the uterus. This journey can take a few days making it most common for implantation to occur about 6 to 12 days post ovulation.
One thing to keep in mind, even with close tracking, it is possible to miss the exact day of ovulation. If you are tracking just using a calendar-based app versus a method which uses temping, there could be a wider range between when you think ovulation occurred and when it actually did.
Unless you’re working with a fertility professional and monitoring via ultrasound and blood work, your estimated day of ovulation could be a bit off. If that’s the case, it may seem like you’ve implanted as early as 3 DPO but it would be more likely that implantation occurred after 5 DPO.
While implantation hasn’t occurred yet, there are still lots of exciting things happening. As soon as an egg is fertilized, the cells begin to divide and it’s working hard to be ready for implantation. While we can’t say with certainty this creates cramps and twinges, some women say they feel different during cycles they conceive compared to cycles they don’t.
Can you feel pregnancy symptoms 3 days after ovulation?
When a fertilized egg implants into the uterus, a surge of hormonal changes occurs. These hormonal changes are responsible for the pregnancy symptoms many women experience. At 3dpo it’s unlikely you will experience any notable symptoms.
Even though there isn’t clear evidence of how or why some women experience what seems like early pregnancy symptoms at 3dpo, some do feel different early into a cycle they conceived. At 3dpo, you can remain optimistic that you’ll have clear answers about your possible pregnancy in just another week or two.
However, in the coming days, some women feel different after conceiving compared to a typical week before their period. A few will even experience very strong typical pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and a heightened sense of smell.
Some early pregnancy symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Nausea and morning sickness
- Changes in smell
- Higher basal body temp
- Sore breasts
As you read through this, you might notice that these are also common symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This can make it difficult to know for sure why you’re feeling cramps.
While these symptoms can be related to pregnancy or PMS, if they continue to increase in intensity over the next several days, implantation may have occurred. Once implantation occurs and hcg is released, you may notice more cramping, fatigue and frequent urination.
While the embryo is still quite tiny, the hormone changes can be big even in early pregnancy. Not noticing any symptoms? Don’t count yourself out. Many women have appropriate hormone changes during early pregnancy without experiencing notable symptoms.
To learn more be sure to read Pregnancy Symptoms – 16 Early Signs You Might Be Pregnant
Where do you feel implantation cramping?
While 3dpo is a bit too early for implantation, it’s likely to happen very soon. Many women feel nothing and can go well beyond their missed period before knowing they are pregnant. For people trying to conceive, they are more likely to notice symptoms because they’re actively looking for them.
Some women experience a PMS type cramping with a bit more of a localized feeling. Other women notice general uterine cramping and aches, backaches or even pelvic/hip pain.
A few may even experience painful cramps during implantation. If any pain persists and you aren’t sure the cause, it’s important to reach out to your midwife or doctor.
One nice thing about watching for early signs of pregnancy is that a lack of symptoms means nothing. Plenty of healthy pregnancies occur without any notable symptoms of cramping or implantation. It’s hard not to get excited or worried while trying to conceive. However, just remember that your symptoms or lack of aren’t a concern at just 3dpo.
Why do I feel cramping at 3dpo?
Anecdotally, meaning some women’s personal experiences, they only notice cramps when they’ve conceived. However, what is more likely is that they are simply looking for and more aware of every cramp and twinge while trying to conceive.
Cramping around and after ovulation can occur for several reasons including:
- Hormonal changes
- Follicle or corpus luteum cysts
- Midcycle ovulation pain as exact ovulation time can vary
- Endometriosis, PCOS (polycystic ovaries) or fibroids
- Physiology of your fallopian tubes
If you do not typically experience ovulation pain and you notice an increase in pain during one cycle, you may want to reach out to your midwife or physician. While ovulation pain can be common, it can also be a sign of an underlying condition. Find out more about the causes of ovulation pain.
If you experience cramping and go on to have a positive pregnancy in another week or two, it’s possible your body responded to the physiological and hormonal changes of conception early.
It’s very common to experience cramping during early pregnancy. In addition to hormone changes, your uterus is getting ready to stretch and expand, and your little embryo is attaching deeper into your lining.
Wondering how soon you can take a pregnancy test? Be sure to read When To Take A Pregnancy Test For An Accurate Result.