Whether trying to get pregnant or not, one question that we all seek an answer to is that, ‘can you get pregnant on your period?‘
Well, this scenario is unlikely and definitely not desirable but surely possible. Who would want to indulge in sex at that time of the month when it is messier and dirty? The answer to such a question varies from one woman to another.
Period or menses is the blood loss that occurs at the end of the menstrual cycle when a mature ovum fails to get fertilized by a sperm.
Most women have menstrual cycles lasting 28 days but for other women, the number of days could be as less as 22. Women with shorter cycles ovulate soon after they end their periods.
You are highly fertile in the five-day span surrounding your ovulation.
Table of Contents
What happens during menstrual cycle?
Menstrual cycle starts from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period.
The ovum stays in the Fallopian tubes for 24 hours only. If it is not fertilized by a sperm, it sheds along with the lining of the uterus during your period.
The cervical mucus around this time is white in color, thick and springy when touched. It facilitates the movements of sperms in the reproductive tract.
Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?
Conception occurs when the sperm travels all the way to the Fallopian tubes from the uterus to fertilize the mature ovum.
In the middle of the cycle or on the 14th day of the cycle, a mature ovum is released from either of the ovaries.
This occurs between day 12th and day 16th of the cycle. Fallopian tubes suck in the egg released by the ovary.
If sperms are present in your Fallopian tubes at the time, then it can lead to pregnancy.
Short menstrual cycle can cause pregnancy while on period
A sperm can survive inside a female’s body for 3 to 6 days. A woman, who has a shorter menstrual cycle and has unprotected intercourse during your period, will have a higher chance of conceiving. The sperm might be sticking around waiting for the egg to release from the ovaries.
When menstrual cycle is short, say 21 to 24 days then ovulation date will fall shortly afterward periods.
Unprotected intercourse towards the last days of bleeding will allow sperm to fertilize the egg.
The egg will release sooner as your ovulation date will fall close to your periods. This increases the chance of getting pregnant on your period.
Long menstrual cycles prevent pregnancy during periods
For a woman with a longer menstrual cycle of say 28 days, chances of conceiving are less. Her ovulation might be a few days away, and the sperm will pass away till then.
Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period?
For a woman whose menstrual cycle is the usual 28 days long, her fertility window starts from day 11 to day 21.
So if your period lasts for 6 to 7 days and you have sex within the next couple of days, the chances of conception to occur are high. You are closer to ovulation and near your fertility window.
For example, if your period ended on day 7, had intercourse on day 8 and your ovulation occurred on day 12th. The sperm from day 7 could be waiting in your reproductive tract till day 12 to fertilize the egg.
As it has mentioned above that a sperm can survive within a female’s reproductive tract for 2-5 days.
Thus, your chances of conceiving increases with each day after your period ends.
A misconception regarding getting pregnant on periods is:
Some women mistake breakthrough bleeding occurring on ovulation for regular periods. Later fail to understand how they possibly conceived if they were on their periods.
Can You Get Pregnant Right Before Your Period?
If you had intercourse a few days before your periods began, then it is safe to say that you are less likely to get pregnant. Ovulation has already occurred between day 11 and day 21, and now it is several days away.
The days just before your period are the safest for having coitus as the chances of conception are least. Women with longer cycles have more safe days than the women with shorter cycles.
So the answer to the question whether you can get pregnant during periods varies, and the chances are comparatively low but the chances of a woman getting pregnant right after her periods are strong.