For some reason, there remains a common misunderstanding that women cannot get pregnant on their period. While it is less likely to get pregnant on your period, it is still entirely possible. There have been numerous documented cases of women getting pregnant while they are menstruating, so it can happen. This is more common when you have an irregular menstrual cycle, but it can actually happen to anyone.
How Can You get Pregnant on Your Period?
Normally, you get pregnant during ovulation, and ovulation happens for most women around the middle of their menstrual cycle. At this point, an egg is released and travels down the Fallopian tubes to meet up with the sperm. If it does encounter sperm, you become pregnant and implantation happens about 8 to 10 days later.
While it is extremely unlikely to get pregnant on your period, it can and does happen. This normally occurs when the woman has a very short menstrual cycle. For example, if you normally have a 24 day cycle, you may ovulate around day 10 of the month. If you period lasted for five days and you had sex on the last day, there could still be sperm in your body for up to five days afterward. Without your cycle being irregular at all that month, you could get pregnant.
For most women, fertility is highest in the middle of the menstrual cycle. This is normally when someone will become pregnant. The egg reaches full maturity and has been released from the ovaries. Once the egg is ready, you have a window of 24 hours (and, in some cases, up to 48 hours) to get pregnant. If there are sperm present, you can get pregnant.
How Menstruation Works
When you go through menstruation, your body is basically getting another egg ready to be fertilized. The old uterine lining from the month before is shed since you did not become pregnant, and the old egg is flushed away. In this environment, your body is not conducive for conception because the egg and the uterus are not actually ready to be fertilized.
Sometimes, women think that they are on their menstrual cycle when they are actually just experiencing breakthrough bleeding. When this happens, the woman may have unprotected sex because she thinks that she cannot get pregnant. If she is having breakthrough bleeding and is not actually on her menstrual cycle though, she can certainly conceive.
Because of these reasons, it is extremely important to be familiar with your normal cycle duration and length. If you are not ready to become pregnant, it is important to use contraception or condoms at all times. The only way to prevent a pregnancy is by making sure that you are always using contraception, no matter what time of the month it is for you.
Is It Possible to Get Pregnant Right Before Your Period Starts?
Another common question women ask is if they can pregnant just before your period begins. For most women and menstrual cycles, the answer to this question is no, but it can happen. After you have ovulated, your body begins to prepare for your period. It needs to remove the old uterine lining and egg to get ready for another chance at fertilization. Because of this, it can be extremely difficult to become pregnant after ovulation has already finished. To get pregnant, you need to have a viable egg present that is ready to be fertilized.
Timing is everything when it comes to pregnancy. While most women ovulate in the middle of their menstrual cycles, other women may ovulate right before their period begins. If you do not have an ovulation predictor kit or do not track changes in your cervical mucus, there is no way to know for sure if you have already ovulated or not. There are even women who ovulate multiple times during their month, so it is important not to only rely on timing to prevent a pregnancy. If you absolutely do not want to become pregnant, either abstain from sexual intercourse or make sure that you are vigilant about using protection.
The Most Common Times for Becoming Pregnant
The average woman has a 28-day menstrual cycle, and the first day of the cycle is when your period actually starts. On about day 12 to 14, the average woman will ovulate. At this moment, your chances of becoming pregnant are at their highest. Unless you are tracking your cervical mucus or using an ovulation predictor kit, there is no way to know for sure when you are actually ovulating. Some women do experience symptoms at ovulation, so you may experience:
– Breast tenderness
– Increased vaginal discharge
– A higher basal body temperature
– Discomfort or cramping in your abdomen.
Each woman has a unique body chemistry, so you may experience some, none or all of these symptoms. Like always, your best bet is to use contraception if you do not want to get pregnant.