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Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?

Having your period and pregnancy“Can you get pregnant on your period?” and “can you get pregnant right after your period?” are the two frequently asked questions in my blog’s comments.

The answer – yes, it is possible for you to get pregnant while having your period (and right after your menstrual period, too). But conception under these circumstances is highly unlikely for most women, because it involves two key reproductive elements. For one, you must be ovulating early. And two, you have unprotected sex while on your period.

Unprotected sex automatically puts you at risk for pregnancy. Although your chance of getting pregnant on your period is fairly low, it can happen under the right circumstances. Women with shorter menstrual cycles (for example: 21 day cycles) are often at higher risk of getting pregnant on their period.

How Can You Get Pregnant on Your Period?

In order for you to get pregnant on your period, you need to ovulate early. For a majority of women, they ovulate two weeks (or fourteen days) prior to the beginning of their period. During ovulation, your ovaries release a mature egg, which is then quickly swept into the nearest fallopian tube. The egg can stay alive for up to 24 hours after ovulation, and if there’s sperm waiting in the fallopian tube, fertilization and conception can occur.

Women will 28-day cycles will ovulate on day 14. Women with very short menstrual cycles (for example: 21 or 22 day cycles) can ovulate a couple of days after their period begins, and when you consider the fact that sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days, it’s theoretically possible for sperm to survive long enough until ovulation occurs and an egg is available for fertilization. Under this situation, it is possible for a woman to get pregnant on her period.

While it is possible for you to get pregnant on your period, the risk is very, very low for the average woman. When you’re having your period, your ovaries are developing another egg for release later in that cycle. For the average woman, it takes weeks before her eggs are mature enough to be released. But there are a lot of factors that can complicate ovulation, and cause you to ovulate on your period. For example, stress, poor diet, certain medications, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, and lifestyle factors can mess up your ovulation. Unless you’re using an ovulation predicting kit, there is really no way for you to predict whether or not you’ll ovulate early in a certain month. So if you do not want to get pregnant on your period, please use a form of birth control.

Mistaking Spotting for a Regular Period

Some women who have irregular periods can sometimes mistake spotting between their periods for a real menstrual period. Spotting around ovulation is often an ovulation symptom that can go along with one-sided pain (called “middle pain” or mittelschmerz). Light bleeding or spotting can also be the result of breakthrough bleeding – irregular bleeding that can occur within the first few months of using hormonal contraceptives.

When you have unprotected sex when you’re experiencing this spotting, it’s very common for you to get pregnant. You’ll actually think that you got pregnant on your period!

Always Use Birth Control

Because you can get pregnant on your period, it’s always best if you use a form of birth control during sex.

If you think you might be pregnant, take a home pregnancy test. You can pick this up at any pharmacy or grocery store. They are also available online. They’re inexpensive and easy to use. You should know the results in 10 minutes. If you first test negative, and you’re noticing early pregnancy symptoms, wait a week and take another test. Good luck!

About the author: DP Nguyen is founder and editor of Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies. She’s an expert pregnancy and women’s health blogger. She is NOT a medical doctor and does NOT offer medical advice. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Diet is simply not always the response, but eating well helps.
    Statistics show that over five million American woman and their partners who have had unprotected sex for
    at least a year attempting to get pregnant have not been able to conceive.
    These women should be aware that even if their fat level
    remains the same, it is possible that they will experience something of an extra tummy bulge after their pregnancy.

  • katya June 29, 2013, 5:21 am

    My name is Katya am from united kingdom i married for 25 years but no child to call my own my mother in-law was calling me all kinds of name i prayed for God to give me a child i did every thing i could do visit many doctors to no what is wrong with my body system but the doctor said nothing is wrong with me then i said to my self what is wrong,a friend of my said to me that she know of a doctor that help people in this type of problem and his name is Dr LUKMAN i never want to do that but things was not easy with me i cook and eat alone no child to eat with me i was living in the dark,so one day i make up my mind and i said to my self i want to have child i discuss it with my husband and he refuse that at the first place after few months my husband called me and he said he needs a child and he is nothing getting any younger,that was how we visit Dr LUKMAN and he ask me to provide some things that he needs to prepare the medicine so i did that to cut the story shout after all i got pregnant and i deliver a baby boy am so happy to be called mother with the help of Dr LUKMAN you out there passing through this same problem you can get help from the great DOCTOR contact he via Emil templeofsolution@live.com

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  • Kellie June 25, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I had unprotected sex on the tail end of my period two weeks ago. I am currenlty on birth control and have been for 2 months (religiously take my pills). I am concerned I may be pregnant. The only symptoms I am really experiencing are fatigue (but I am stressed, so I know that could be it) and I feel light headed on occasion (maybe cuz I haven’t eaten). I am curious to know if pregnancy is possible, and if so, herbal abortificants? I am afraid to wait to late to start but I do still have 2 weeks before I start my period. Suggestions!? Help?!

  • Joan June 8, 2013, 2:38 am

    I got menstruation last may 02,6 days delayed i want i really to have a baby. I have diffrnt cycle but las mos 28 days and conceiv las 11,12,14,15 am i pregnant?

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  • mrs arnold May 21, 2013, 5:55 am

    Hello every one I want to use this medium to thank ASHRA for casting a pregnancy spell for me, I just came from the doctor clinic and it is confirm that am 3weeks pregnant, some few months ago I saw a testimony by one Mrs. Margret Bernard’s testifying how ashra helped her to become pregnant ,I copied the email of the spell caster and I sent an email and it was replied and then I narrated all my sorrow I have been married for over 14years now and am now 43years now with no issue , every day I would cry I told ASHRA my pain, I sent some of my details and picture it was after then he told me that there was an evil spirit inside me that is preventing me from become pregnant, ashra cast the evil spirit out of me and he then casted the pregnancy spell on me I just check with my doctor and I found out that am pregnant am so happy now ,you can contact this great and kind spell caster am sure he will help in your situation . this his personal email address:ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176311

    My thanks goes to mrs Margret Bernard’s for shearing such important message am also shearing mine ,I hope it also help somebody out there



  • Jessica bricks March 17, 2013, 1:14 am

    Pls communicate as matured fellows

  • tk January 26, 2013, 10:01 pm

    I am on my period now since the 24th of jan n ive had unprotected sex onpurpose with my boyfriend i was pregnant with his kid before but due to an incident we went thru i chose to get an abortion i feel bad n wish i never did it would have had the baby feb 11th this 2013 yr n on that day i no im going to be really depressed!!! :( i want to get pregnant again with him so weve tried but unsuccessfully did it for this jan month cuz i got my period so we are trying for next month b have been having unprotected sex while on my period any tips or advice on if my abortion may have had an affect on my fertilizing or wt?? I want to have a family like we could have and wanted since day one would really appreciate your feedback never wrote to anybody before like this so really would like to no i want another baby!… :(

  • annonymous October 10, 2012, 1:45 pm

    hi im 20 yr old lady im having a serious problem ,i lst had sex on july ,and i ws havn unprotected sex ,but mi boyfriend said he nvr ejaculated on me …den i also c mi normal date as f day but seens then i nvr c mi period again s that possible 2 find myclf pregnant n i also took home preagnant test ,tested nagative plz im suffering frm dis i nid hlp plz plz u cn email me @ dorphinamaponya@gmail.com,mxit dorrylicious 22 /whatsapp me as soon as possible 076474362 plz i nid hlp …

  • tashana jackson September 16, 2012, 12:24 pm

    I’ve had sex three days before my period and its been two das now and it still isn’t here.what could be the cause of that and it wasn’t unprotected???

  • Benedicta September 9, 2012, 10:27 am

    am 32years yet I have not get pregnant an my period is irregular and I have see different doctor concerned it all side no problem what Will I do now.

  • celina August 31, 2012, 2:31 pm

    i saw my period a week for 4days n thereafter had an unprotective sex d following week for different times n different days. This occurred last month July and now i missed my period dis month..August. Though, after sex, i took salt n water n andrew liver salt. Dear, is it dat wat i took can stop me from getting pregnant? Though av not gone for a checkup but do u think i am pregnant?

  • Lay July 11, 2012, 10:11 pm

    hi just wondering…
    I had unprotected sex maybe a day or two after my period and then it came early two weeks later and was shorter than normal. Then right after my period, i began to feel nauseated all the time, my sense of smell was through the roof, and I was constantly going from happy to sad. This has never happened to me between periods but when i took a pregnancy test it came up negative even though some of the people round me said i may be pregnant….any possible explanations?

    • hunny August 4, 2012, 2:06 am

      awww child if you thank u pregnant go to a doctor

  • seema July 10, 2012, 2:22 am

    i had an unprotected sex in my period on 1st may. I took a pill under 72 hours and i got my period again after 2 days for 4 days. But now i missed my period for that day. Am i pregnant plz help me.

  • peace June 5, 2012, 10:05 am

    I am married for a year now, and av been tryin to get pregnent but all to no avail for now, can u give me tips dat can help me get pregnant as fast as possiblean presently am mestrautin now and dis is my day four, I nid ur advise cos I dnt wnt to miss dis month.

    • DP Nguyen June 5, 2012, 11:25 pm

      I would have sex every 24-48 hours around the time that you ovulate. You have a 28 day cycle, then you should probably start having sex two weeks after your period first begins (so day 14 of your cycle). There are lots of factors that can play a role in whether or not you get pregnant. Try not to be discouraged. Good luck

      • sindi July 9, 2012, 4:43 am

        im a lady of 32 years of age i was using contraceptive(nordette) from june 2009 up to october 2011 now i want a baby but im not going to my periods normally sometimes i skip 3 months in a row but when i test for pregnancy is negative, may you pls help

  • shashou May 17, 2012, 10:06 pm

    i had unprotected sex by the end of february but my period never came so i started panicking n i assume i was pregnant but 2 weeks later my period came in the beginning of march so i thought okay tthen im not pregnant but now im in may n i cant seem 2 c my period since april and i been practicing abstinence after this first time. is it possible that i am pregnant?

  • lessica February 3, 2012, 12:44 am

    i,m lessica i had a period in dec 2011 and jan. i missed my period but when i came on the first 2 days i was not heavy just reaally light then after that i came but not heavy like i should be but i am cramping and when i go to the bathroom i have nothing but spots not reguar at all not heavy can i still be prrgant

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