Ovulation during menstruation: is there a risk?

Ovulation generally occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. In theory, it's virtually impossible to conceive during your period. However, as the body is not a clock and every woman is different, it can happen that the menstrual cycle is somewhat out of kilter and ovulation occurs earlier or later.

When is it possible to ovulate during your period?

It is possible to ovulate during your period. The menstrual cycle lasts between 28 and 30 days on average. The menstrual cycle is made up of several phases, which influence discharge: quantity and appearance of mucus, bleeding, etc.
However, some women have shorter cycles or longer periods. So it's possible to ovulate during your period, and for fertilization to occur.
To give you an example, if you ovulate at the end of the 7th day of your cycle (so you're still having your period), as sperm can survive for up to 5 days and thus reach the uterus, if you have intercourse, it is theoretically possible for fertilization to take place.
However, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to know whether you're ovulating at the time. In fact, the possible symptoms of ovulation are hidden by those of menstruation: mucus mixed with blood, a bloated and swollen belly, etc. It's hard to know if you're really ovulating!

Should I have an ovulation test during my period?

Generally speaking, ovulation tests should not be carried out every day. It's an expense that can quickly prove to be unnecessary, especially during your period.
Only an ultrasound scan of the ovaries can be used to be sure that ovulation is taking place.
Even if it's difficult to predict the exact date of ovulation, there are observation techniques that can help you situate yourself in your cycle, by taking your body temperature, observing your mucus, bleeding, etc., to find out which phase of your cycle you're in, and whether or not you're fertile. Learning to spot these signs helps you to better understand your cycle and your health in general.

Can you ovulate at the beginning or end of your period?

Since your cycle is not a clock, it is indeed possible to ovulate either at the beginning or at the end of your period, even if the probability is rather low. There are a number of reasons for this.
When you ovulate early (i.e. your menstrual cycles are short), you can conceive at the end of your period.
As for ovulating just before your period, the probability is extremely low. In fact, your egg has a lifespan of 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, so the window of fertility is very small.
In any case, if you don't want to get pregnant, it's essential to protect yourself during intercourse. Sperm can survive for up to 5 days.

What is the fertilization rate during menstruation?

The percentage chance of fertilization is very low during menstruation. If you are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor, midwife or gynecologist, who will be able to help you with your plans.
If you don't want to conceive, it's still very important to protect yourself during your period. Even if the risk is low, it's still a risk. No period is risk-free. So contraception during men struation remains essential!
If you're not sure what contraception to choose, consult your gynecologist or doctor, who will be able to advise you.

What contraception should I choose to protect myself?

There are several types of contraception, both hormonal and non-hormonal, so it's up to you to find the one that suits you best.
Hormonal contraception (such as the pill) or IUDs protect you throughout your cycle.
If you don't want to get pregnant and you're not taking hormonal contraception, you'll need to use a condom (male or female) or other barrier method of contraception.
Relying on the period of your cycle as the only means of contraception is very risky. Even if you're going through a long period without menstruation. Ovulation can occur suddenly, even just after menstruation.

FAQs on ovulation during menstruation

Is it possible to get pregnant during your period?

Although rare, it is possible to get pregnant during your period. Ovulation normally takes place on the 14th day of the cycle, but since the body isn't a clock and every woman's cycle is longer or shorter, there's always a risk. In the end, it's hard to know when you're really fertile.

Can you get pregnant on the first day of your period?

Here again, the chances of getting pregnant on the first day of your period are small but very real. It's important to continue protecting yourself during your period if you don't want an unwanted pregnancy.