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Can Some Women Really Tell When Conception Occurred?

It may not be particularly scientific.  There have been no large-scale long-term research studies in the area.  In all reality, it is probably something that can’t really be measured anyways.  But, the fact of the matter is, there are many women who have claimed to believe that they can really tell when conception has occurred.  While this is most common for women who are on their second or a subsequent pregnancy, there are some first-time moms who have been able to tell that conception had occurred as well.

There may be some physiological changes that can indeed indicate that conception has occurred.  However, these changes, especially in the very early days after conception has occurred, are really difficult to measure.  In fact, even the most accurate of pregnancy tests can’t measure these changes until somewhere after 8 to 10 days after conception has occurred.  It certainly is conceivable that, on some level or another, a woman may be sensitive to these changes; and it is also conceivable that these changes can help a woman to really tell when conception occurred.

There are, however, external signs that a woman can look at to know if conception has occurred.  Sometimes, for example, a woman may experience implantation bleeding.  Implantation bleeding occurs when the egg that has been fertilized attaches to the uterus.  Implantation bleeding is usually very light, and will range in color from a pinkish color to reddish-brown in color.  Implantation bleeding typically will last for 1 to 2 days.

Then, of course, there are the more typical signs that conception has occurred.  A period has been missed, for example, or a woman may find that she is experiencing morning sickness.  She might find that her breasts are swollen, or that they are tender.

While these types of signs and symptoms that conception occurred aren’t exactly the same type of “women’s intuition” that sometimes occurs, they will often trigger a woman into thinking that perhaps conception has occurred.  And, it is probably somewhat naïve to rule out women’s intuition altogether.  Again, just because something cannot be measured scientifically doesn’t mean that it isn’t true.


Last modified: February 10, 2013


The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.