Can I get pregnant when I have my period?
A lot of girls wonder about this but are too embarrassed to ask. We want YOU to be informed about your body, so today we’re going to answer it for you!
The answer to this question is all about the numbers…
- The first day of your period is day 1 of your cycle.
- Ovulation usually occurs between day 11 and 21. Ovulation is when an egg is released from one of the ovaries.
- Your fertile window is 5-7 days long, including the day of ovulation and 3-5 days before. (Learn more about how and when you can get pregnant in More than Just the Birds and the Bees.)
This means that a woman with a regular 28-30 day cycle would more than likely not get pregnant if she had sex during her period because her next ovulation is days away.
HOWEVER…Not all women have a regular cycle! If you have a shorter cycle, it is possible you could ovulate toward the end of your period. (Again, ovulation is when an egg is released from your ovaries.) Because you ovulate earlier, a woman with a shorter cycle who is sexually active toward the end of her period could get pregnant 4-5 days later.
While it is very unlikely for you to get pregnant during your period, let’s take an even closer look:
Can I get pregnant right after my period?
It is possible you could be fertile shortly after your period ends. Hypothetically, you could end your period on day 6, have sex on day 7, and ovulate and conceive on day 11.
The North Carolina Early Pregnancy Study of 221 women showed that 10% of them were fertile at day 6 of their cycle. 2
Keep in mind, the more days that pass since bleeding, the more likely it is you could get pregnant.
Can I get pregnant right before my period?
While the chances of this happening are very low, in the study mentioned above, 5% of the women were still fertile when anticipating their period.
ANSWER: There is smaller chance of getting pregnant during your period than at other times in your cycle. BUT…
ANYTIME you have sex there is potential to get pregnant. Birth control fails, and various circumstances can cause your cycle to change by a few days. Although there are ways to ALMOST completely eliminate chances of getting pregnant, always be aware that when you are having sex there is a possibility of getting pregnant.
At North Care Women’s Clinic we care about you, and we want to help you take control of your sexual health and your future. If you’d like to talk with someone about your sexual health goals give us a call at 215.855.2424 to make an appointment!
American Pregnancy Association. Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period? (N.d.) Retrieved from http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/can-get-pregnant-period/
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (June 2004.) Scientific Secrets of Getting Pregnant. Retrieved from http://www.jhsph.edu/news/stories/2004/wilcox-pregnancy.html
Mayo Clinic. “Ovulation.”(2016) Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/multimedia/ovulation/vid-20084729