What Is The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is what your body goes through to get ready for pregnancy. This cycle is the time from the first day of your period up to the day before the start of your next period.
Ovulation usually happens during the second half of the cycle. This is when an egg is released from one of your ovaries. To get pregnant, the egg needs to be fertilised by the sperm.
Ovulation doesnt happen every month for every woman. There are some conditions that may interfere with ovulation, such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome . If you are not getting a monthly period and are trying to get pregnant, speak to your doctor.
Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Sex During Your Period
Most likely you will not get pregnant having sex while on your period. Thats because your ovulation time is several days away decreasing any chances of getting pregnant during this time. However, there are exceptions. This applies to women who have a typical 28 to 30 day or longer cycle. If you have a shorter cycle, say every 21 to 24 days, that means you are ovulating earlier in the cycle. Because sperm can live inside you for up to 5 days, you could have sex towards the end of your period and then conceive 4 or 5 days later with your early ovulation.
The probabilities of getting pregnant during your period are low, but the possibilities are there. This is not the time to have sex if you are trying to get pregnant.
How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
You should wait at least one to two weeks after you have sex to take a home pregnancy test. That is the earliest the test will detect levels of human chorionic gonadotropin , a hormone produced during pregnancy.
If you take a test too early, it may not yet be able to detect hCG. If possible, you should wait and test the week after you miss your period.
After getting a positive home pregnancy test, see a doctor and let them know. They will be able to confirm the pregnancy and discuss next steps in your prenatal care.
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How Else Can I Prepare For Pregnancy
In addition to tracking your ovulation to determine your fertile window, its important to schedule preconception counseling with your doctor. There are a variety of screenings and lifestyle modifications that can help increase your chances of a successful planned pregnancy.
If youre under 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than a year, or if youre over 35 and have been trying for six months, it may be time to talk to your doctor about why you cant get pregnant.
Morning Sickness Or Nausea
That telltale, queasy feeling known as morning sickness can hit you at any time of day and it typically begins when you’re about 6 weeks pregnant, though it can vary and strike even earlier. For most women, nausea starts by week 9.
Hormones, mainly increased levels of progesterone , can cause the stomach to empty more slowly, resulting in this early pregnancy symptom resembling seasickness.
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Safe Sex And Birth Control Options
If youre trying to avoid pregnancy, you dont necessarily have to rely on figuring out when youre the most fertile. You have a bunch of birth control options, which include:
Remember, that outside of barrier methods, these birth control methods will not protect you from STIs and you should be tested regularly if you are sexually active.
Additionally, if you think youve just had sex during your fertile window and want to avoid giving birth to Junior in 9 months, you can take emergency contraception. This includes morning-after pills that can be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex or getting a Paragard IUD within the same timeframe.
Can I Get Pregnant Just After My Period Has Finished
Yes, although it’s not very likely. If you have sex without using contraception, you can conceive at any time during your menstrual cycle, even during or just after your period.
You can also get pregnant if you have never had a period before, during your first period, or after the first time you have sex.
There’s no “safe” time of the month when you can have sex without contraception and not risk becoming pregnant.
But there are times in your menstrual cycle when you’re at your most fertile, and this is when you’re most likely to conceive.
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What If You Have A 28
The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, with the first day of menstruation as cycle day 1.
Most periods last two to seven days. Pregnancy is uncommon during this time, because your peak fertility window is still about a week or so away.
Around days 6 to 14 of your cycle, your body will start releasing follicle-stimulating hormone .
This helps develop an egg inside your ovary. Your body will also begin rebuilding the endometrial lining in your uterus.
Pregnancy is slightly more likely during this time. Sperm can live up to five days inside the body, so it could still be present when the egg matures.
Once the egg is mature, your body will release lutenizing hormone , triggering the eggs release from your ovary .
Ovulation usually occurs around cycle day 14. Pregnancy is likely on ovulation day.
That said, ovulation doesnt always happen like clockwork. It can occur anywhere from four days before to four days after the midpoint of your menstrual cycle.
The bottom Line
If you ovulate later in your cycle or start your period sooner than usual, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the days leading up to your period.
Lots of people dont have 28-day cycles. Some have cycles as short as 21 days and others as long as 35 days.
In fact, in one study , only about 30 percent of participants had their fertile window fall within days 10 to 17 of their cycle. Only 10 percent had ovulation fall exactly 14 days before their next period.
You can do this a number of ways, including:
Can You Get Pregnant 4 Days Before Your Period
It can occur anywhere from four days before to four days after the midpoint of your menstrual cycle. If you ovulate later in your cycle or start your period sooner than usual, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the days leading up to your period. What if your cycle is shorter or longer than 28 days?
Can you get pregnant if you ovulate later in your cycle?
If you ovulate later in your cycle or start your period sooner than usual, you could become pregnant if you have sex in the days leading up to your period. What if your cycle is shorter or longer than 28 days?
How long does it take to get pregnant after your last period?
Researchers have shown that a persons chances of conception jumps starting 7 days after the start of your last period and rises steadily after that, peaking around day 15 LMP. 5
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Basal Body Temperature Method
Also called the temperature method, you take your temperature each morning as soon as you wake up . You use a basal body thermometer, which may go in your mouth or your rectum. A basal thermometer is more sensitive than a regular thermometer. It measures body temperature to a tenth of a degree.
A womans basal body temperature rises slightly during ovulation . If you track your temperatures leading up to ovulation, you should see a sustained rise in your basal body temperature after ovulation.
To help you plan, write your body temperature down each day on a tracking sheet. You should track your temperature for at least three months before using this method for family planning.
However, its important to note that the basal body temperature method is not good at predicting your ovulation when trying to conceive. Once you identify the rise in your temperature, youve already ovulated. However, this method is a good tool to monitor your pattern of ovulation.
How Not To Get Pregnant
If you want to get pregnant, plan to get frisky halfway between periods for the best chances. But if youre trying to avoid pregnancy, dont use your period as a guide. Instead, choose a reliable form of birth control.
Thats the best way to prevent pregnancy, Dr. Stephens says.
Yeah, you probably already knew that. But now you know the whole story.
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Previous Stds Do Not Impact The Chances Of Conceiving
The damage to sexual organs from previous sexually transmitted diseases can seriously impact fertility. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhoea can adversely affect the fertility of both men and women. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID is a particularly serious condition and can permanently damage the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
Can You Have A Period And Still Be Pregnant
No once pregnancy begins, the uterine lining no longer sheds each month. Once the body starts releasing a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, monthly periods will stop. However, some people experience light bleeding after conception, around the same time their period would have started. This is called implantation bleeding.
If youre pregnant and experience bleeding or spotting, contact your health care provider.
Pregnancy can occur even if youre on your period. To avoid pregnancy, it is important to use contraception.
Birth control methods that can prevent pregnancy on your period include:
- Male condom
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Trying Very Late In Life
The difference in fertility goes down by almost 50% from your 20s to your 40s. If you really want a child, it is better to try while you have better chances for success.
When it comes to conception, timing is almost everything but only almost! There are still several other factors that can affect your chances of being able to get pregnant. Make sure you take the necessary precautions and measures to achieve your objective and stay healthy.
Calculating Your Monthly Fertility Window
Your fertility window is the time during your menstrual cycle when youre most likely to get pregnant. For most people, its the five days leading up to ovulation, the day of ovulation and the day after ovulation. Calculating your monthly fertility window can help you target the optimal time to have sex if youre trying to conceive. However, natural family planning is a less reliable form of contraception and does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
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How To Prevent A False Negative Result
The number one cause of a false negative test is taking the test too soon after you conceive. Also, if you dont follow the test instructions carefully, it could affect your result.
Urine, even in women who drink large amounts of water, should still yield a positive result. But urine shouldnt be diluted with water before taking a test. A good time to take the test is in the morning when you first wake up.
If a test is negative in a woman who suspects shes pregnant or if she has irregular cycles, she should repeat the test in one week.
What About Right Before Your Period
The likelihood of getting pregnant right before your period is extremely low. For women with a typical 28- to 30-day cycle or longer and their cycles are regular, it is fairly safe to say your ovulation occurred between Day 11 and Day 21. The egg is only available for 12 to 24 hours for conception.
This means the days right before your period are the safest to have sex without the expectation of getting pregnant. The number of safe days right before your period go up with longer cycles and lessen with shorter cycles.
If you wait 36 to 48 hours after ovulation, you should be beyond the possibilities of conception. The further you are from ovulation, the less likely your chance for conceiving. This is not the time to have sex if you are trying to conceive. Its still a good time to enjoy intimacy with your partner.
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Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period If You Have An Irregular Cycle
Yes. If you have an irregular period, it can be harder to predict when youll be ovulating and that could cause you to get pregnant accidentally, since it can be harder to avoid having sex close to that time.
Here are a few types of irregular menstrual cycles, and how it’s still possible to get pregnant:
- You have a short cycle. Some women have cycles as short as 21 days and still ovulate, which means they dont have as much time between when they finish menstruating and when they next ovulate. And since sperm can live in your reproductive tract for a few days, if you happened to have sex during your period and then ovulated the following cycles egg two to three days later, that egg could encounter viable sperm. And you know what that means.
- Your periods last a long time. While your body is slowly shedding that uterine lining, the clock is ticking on ovulation and your next egg shows up while youre still bleeding from the previous months egg. So youre already fertile again which means you can get pregnant on your period.
- You have breakthrough bleeding, or spotting, when you ovulate. Especially if you have light or irregular periods, it would be easy to mistake this bleeding for a true period even though its happening when youre actually most fertile, since youve just ovulated.
Sometimes, however, an irregular period can be a sign that you’re not ovulating at all, which is one cause of infertility.
How Long Is The Menstrual Cycle
Womens cycles can vary in length and from month to month, but the average is around 28 days. Its normal to have regular cycles that are longer or shorter than this .
It doesnt matter how long your cycle is, most women will ovulate around 10 to 16 days before the start of their next menstrual cycle.
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So When Is Pregnancy Most Likely
The only time you can get pregnant is during your fertile window.
An egg only lives for about 24 hours after being released from your ovary, and sperm can only live for up to five days inside the body.
That means you can only get pregnant if you have sex:
- in the four to five days leading up to ovulation
- on the day of ovulation
- on the day after ovulation
If youre looking to conceive, the best time to have sex is right before ovulation. This will give sperm time to reach the fallopian tube and meet the egg there.
After that, if no sperm has fertilized the egg, it will dissolve. You wont be able to get pregnant until your cycle restarts.
Can You Be Pregnant If Your Cramping 2 Weeks Before Your Period
Many women experience similar cramping right before their regular menstrual period, but its a common early symptom of pregnancy. So, if you have cramps , dont give up hope that youre pregnant just yet.
Does early pregnancy feel like period cramps?
Pregnancy: Early in pregnancy, you may experience mild or light cramping. These cramps will probably feel like the light cramps you get during your period, but theyll be in your lower stomach or lower back.
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Could My Medications Be The Culprit
Painkillers, antibiotics, or other forms of medication unrelated to fertility wont affect your hormone levels or delay ovulation. Although fertility medications can produce false positives, they rarely produce false negative results.
However, birth control, blood pressure medications, or allergy relief meds could interfere in other ways . Some may change when you ovulate or create irregularities with your period, leading you to suspect pregnancy.
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What Are The Chances I Can Get Pregnant On My Period
The chances of getting pregnant if you have sex during your period are very low. However, if youve had unprotected sex, it is still possible to get pregnant during your period.
To understand how this can happen, you need to know how your menstrual cycle works.
- Your cycle starts on the first day of your period and lasts until the first day of your next period.
- About 10 to 16 days before the start of your next period, you will ovulate, which is when one of your ovaries releases an egg.
- Once youve ovulated, you enter the Luteal phase, when the now empty follicle develops the corpus luteum, which produces the hormone progesterone.
- The lining on your uterus thickens in preparation for a fertilized egg to implant.
- If you have not conceived, then the egg passes into the uterus, hormone levels drop, and the womb lining sheds as you begin your next period.
You are at your most fertile around the time you ovulate. Although the egg lives only for 12 to 24 hours after being released, you can get pregnant even if you have sex days before you ovulate as sperm can live up to five days in your body.
So how likely are you to get pregnant during your period? Well, it depends on a few factors like:
- whether you used contraception or not
- the length of your menstrual cycle
- the length of your period
- when you had sex
You can also conceive after having sex during your period if you have short menstrual cycles, as this means you ovulate a few days earlier, and closer to the end of your period.
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