There is a common misconception that a woman cannot get pregnant while on her period. This is simply untrue. The question can you get pregnant on your period can be answered with one word…yes! It is absolutely possible to get pregnant while menstruating and there have been many documented cases of just such a situation. However, the possibility of getting pregnant during your pregnancy is very low and happens when your menstrual cycle is very irregular. Read on to learn if it is possible for you to get pregnant before and after your period as well.
Why Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?
While it is highly unlikely, it is indeed possible to get pregnant while you are on your period. This usually takes place when a woman has a cycle that is very short and where ovulation occurs very close to the start of their period.
In most cases a woman is most fertile in the middle of her cycle and this is usually when conception occurs. It is at this point that a woman’s egg reaches maturity and she can become pregnant. It is also possible for an egg to remain fertile in the fallopian tube for up to 24 hours after it is released from the ovary. If sperm is present, conception can occur.
During menstruation, a new egg is preparing itself for fertilization while the old egg is flushed from the system. This environment is usually not conducive to the process of conception as neither egg is ready to be fertilized.
Some women may think that their period has started when in fact they are experiencing breakthrough bleeding. She may engage in unprotected sex thinking she won’t get pregnant but if the bleeding is indeed only breakthrough bleeding, she can conceive.
It is important to become familiar with your cycle length and duration and above all it is important to use some form of contraception if you don’t want to become pregnant. This is the only sure-fire way to guard against an unexpected pregnancy.
Can You Get Pregnant Right Before Your Period?
Besides "can you get pregnant on your period", and "can you get pregnant right after your period" also you want to get to know if you can get pregnant right before your period. It can be difficult to become pregnant just before your period due to the fact that ovulation has taken place two weeks before the start of your period. In order to become pregnant you must have a viable egg waiting to be fertilized. Of course, the timing all depends on when you ovulate. Some women ovulate late in their cycle making it more likely that they could become pregnant right before their period. It is important to understand the unique timing of your own cycle. There have been cases of women ovulating multiple times within a cycle. This may increase the likelihood that a woman could become pregnant close to the beginning her next expected period. Do not rely on timing to keep you from getting pregnant. The only reliable way to prevent pregnancy is to use contraceptives.
Know When You Are Most Likely to Get Pregnant
If you are actively trying to get pregnant you will need to keep close track of your cycle. Knowing which day you ovulate and when you are most fertile will help you determine which day is best to try to conceive. Typically a woman, whose cycle is the standard 28 days, will ovulate between 12 and 14 days after the last day of her period. If your cycle is longer, you will typically ovulate at a later time.
It can be hard to determine exactly when you will ovulate; however, you may experience symptoms that can give you a clue and these symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness
- Cramping/ Discomfort in middle abdomen
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Slight increase in basal body temperature (0.4 to 1 degree Fahrenheit)
You may experience some, all, or none of these symptoms. It is different for every woman. Watch the following video to learn more about ovulation and the most fertile days: