When should I expect a BFP?

It’s already 13 DPO and I still haven’t gotten a positive pregnancy test. Should I assume I am out for this cycle?
This is one of the most popular questions I get asked – when can I expect a positive pregnancy test? Here are the stats from various sources on the interweb I’ve found:HPT accuracy by DPO:
10 dpo : 35%
11 dpo : 51%
12 dpo : 62%
13 dpo : 68%
14 dpo : 74%
15 dpo : 80%
16 dpo : 88%
17 dpo : 92%
18 dpo : 99%

Does that seem lower than you expected? You aren’t alone. Why else would we be whipping out our peesticks at 6 DPO? It’s because we think a BFP at 6 DPO is possible, and a BFP by 10 DPO is the norm. This expectation has been created by the culture of the online ttc community, and I am certainly guilty for being part of that. Yes, I am a classic peestick pusher. I just gotta know the second it is possible to know. In reality, though, even with sensitive tests a BFP is unlikely until you near your missed period.

Aside from the fact that on message boards, people are more likely to post and make a big deal over an early BFP than a late one — there is also the human error factor to consider. I don’t want to offend any of my beloved citizens of Peestick Paradise, but sometimes those super early BFPs are actually not BFPs at all… they are errors, evaps, or sometimes even just a case of looking to hard and seeing the reagent strip. Then a few days later, they get a real BFP. Of course, they think they got their BFP at 6 DPO… but in reality, they didn’t get a real line until 12 DPO.

The above stats are confirmed with other sources of data. Fertility Friend has an excellent page on this. You’ll see that according the Fertility Friend’s data, the average first BFP is 13.6 DPO, and the average first “false positive” is 10.6 DPO. This tells me that people are testing early, but the average is still close to 14 DPO. This means that a lot of women aren’t getting that first BFP until after 14 DPO. So I think the above stats are likely correct.

Fertility Friend, however, has a different breakdown of when first positive HPTs are recorded.  Keep in mind their database probably skews with more people testing early and using very sensitive tests:

17.2% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 9 DPO
34.4% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 10 DPO
50.4% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 11 DPO
65.7%  of positive pregnancy test are reported before 12 DPO
76.9% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 13 DPO
85.4% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 14 DPO
90.6%  of positive pregnancy test are reported before 15 DPO
93.6%  of positive pregnancy test are reported before 16 DPO
95.3% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 17 DPO
96.8% of positive pregnancy test are reported before 18 DPO

So this was my long-winded way of saying… don’t give up. Don’t give up at 13 DPO, or 14 DPO, or even 15 DPO. It ain’t over until AF crashes your peestick party.

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