Can you get pregnant during your period?

Have you had unsafe sex during your period and are wondering if it is possible to get pregnant during your period? It turns out that having your period does not protect you from becoming pregnant. We explain everything in this article.

Is it possible to get pregnant during your period?

The cycle begins on the first day of your period and ends on the first day of your next period. It usually lasts 28 days, although the length may vary from woman to woman. Ovulation takes place between the 12th and 16th day, a woman is often said to ovulate on the 14th day. The egg remains in the fallopian tube for about 24 hours. For fertilization to occur, a sperm must meet the egg. The lifespan of a sperm is 5 days, so if you have unprotected sex 2/3 days before ovulation and 2/3 days after, you can get pregnant. The period between ovulation and the end of the cycle (arrival of the next period), always lasts 15 days. It is during this period that women are most likely to become pregnant.
If fertilization does not occur, progesterone and estrogen levels drop, causing the endometrium to detach, which is when menstruation begins. This period lasts an average of 5 days (again, the length varies from person to person).

General principle: it is impossible to get pregnant during your period

As you will have understood, in theory it is unlikely to get pregnant during your period. We base ourselves on a 28-day cycle where ovulation takes place on the 14th day, but it is impossible to generalize. Indeed, the length of the menstrual cycle is not an exact science.Ovulation and menstruation do not always occur at the same frequency in each cycle, as several factors can influence this.
It depends on several factors:

  • the length of the cycle
  • the survival time of the spermatozoa
  • and finally, the length of the period

Exceptional case in case of irregular menstrual cycle

Since the menstrual cycle is not regular for all women, having unprotected sex during your period is risky. Menstruation is not a contraceptive.
In fact, women who have short, long or irregular cycles can become pregnant during their period. In these cases, ovulation may occur at the beginning of the period or a few days after, and since sperm can survive for up to 5 days in the genital tract, if there is unprotected intercourse before or during this period, fertilization can occur.

How to avoid getting pregnant during your period?

Since it is possible to become pregnant during your period, it is important to protect yourself if you do not want to become pregnant.

Taking a contraceptive method

Contraception is essential, even during your period. Whether you choose hormonal contraception such as the pill, implant, or hormonal intrauterine device, or another type of contraception such as the copper IUD, or simply the condom, it is important not to neglect your contraception during your period.
If you don't want to have children, it is important to protect yourself, no matter what time of the cycle. If you have questions about contraception, you can turn to your doctor, midwife or gynecologist. They will be able to advise you and present you with the various possible alternatives according to your preferences.

Watch out for bleeding that is not a period

If bleeding occurs between your periods, it may be metrorrhagia. This is especially true if you have had risky sex. Be careful not to confuse it with your period. If you have any doubts about your bleeding, if it is abnormally long or heavy, consult your health care professional: he or she will make sure that nothing abnormal is happening.

How to recognize the signs of pregnancy?

One of the first signs of pregnancy is obviously the absence of menstruation.
But other signs can also appear such as nausea, a sensitive, larger and more painful breast.
Among the possible signs, there is also brownish or pinkish bleeding. If the bleeding is heavy and very red, and also accompanied by clots, consult your doctor immediately.
Other signs that can put you on the trail of a pregnancy are

  • frequent urination
  • headaches
  • Heavy white discharge
  • Digestive problems such as constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • acne
  • water retention
  • and many other signs...

If you have any doubts, take a pregnancy test and consult your doctor, midwife or gynecologist.

FAQ: Getting pregnant during your period

What are the chances of getting pregnant during my period?

During your period, the chances of getting pregnant are minimal, but it is important to note that there is no such thing as zero risk. There is only one way to avoid an unwanted pregnancy: protect yourself.

Why can you get pregnant during your period?

Even though the menstrual cycle generally lasts 28 days, no two women are set the same. It is sometimes very difficult to know when you ovulate, multiple factors can influence your cycle, the moment you ovulate etc... Since sperm can survive up to 5 days in the genital tract, it is enough that you have a shorter cycle, or conversely longer and a sexual intercourse for you to be fertile. So to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, it is important to protect yourself.

Can you get pregnant during your period while having sex?

Even if your period does not prevent you from having sex, you can still get pregnant if you have sex during your period and do not protect yourself.