Your Menstrual Cycle And Conception
“There are two phases to the menstrual cycle: the follicular phase occurs before ovulation, and the luteal phase occurs after ovulation,” says Lauren Sundheimer, M.D., MS, FACOG, an OB-GYN practicing in Orange County, California. “Typically, in a 28-day cycle, a woman will ovulate approximately 14 days after the first day of her period.”
The egg that’s released during ovulation survives for only 24 hours. Sperm can survive three to five days in the uterus and fallopian tubes, says Barbara Stegmann, M.D., a triple board-certified OB-GYN and women’s health clinical lead at Organon. Having PIV sex during ovulation or the days beforehand can result in pregnancy, since the egg can meet with existing sperm in the reproductive tract.
But “if the egg is not fertilized by a sperm during this time, it does not survive,” says Michele Hakakha, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist based in Los Angeles and co-author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy. About 12 to 16 days later, your uterine lining sheds, resulting in your period.
Im Pregnant But Have Some Bleeding Is This My Period
Implantation bleeding sometimes happens pregnant women around the time theto period would have been due. Implantation is when the developing embryo plants itself in the wall of your womb. An implantation bleed is very light bleeding that is usually pinkish and sometimes brown. Not everyone will have an implantation bleed.
Its common to have light bleeding or spotting without pain before 12 weeks. This isnt often serious, but you should contact your doctor, midwife or Early Pregnancy Unit immediately to be checked, just in case.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant During Ovulation
Welcome to prime time for conception! No matter the length of menstruation, ovulation generally starts about 14 days before your next scheduled period. When it happens, your body temperature rises about a half a degree but bear in mind that this also takes place after you’re already ovulating, which could be too late for conception.
“That’s where ovulation test kits become so helpful,” Dr. Bayer explains. These kits detect a surge in luteinizing hormone that happens about 36 hours before you ovulate. After the test kit shows this surge, Dr. Bayer recommends having sex in the next 24 to 36 hours. Sperm can survive for some time in the reproductive tract, so it will be ready to meet the egg once it’s released during ovulation.
Another good indication of fertility is a change in the consistency of your cervical mucus. “You’ll see vaginal discharge that increases in amount and has the consistency of egg whites, signaling it’s the perfect time to have intercourse,” Dr. Bayer says. Test yours by sticking your index finger and thumb in your vagina to get a sample, then tapping your finger and thumb together. If the consistency is thin and spreads easily between two fingers, you’re good to go.
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Top Reasons Your Vaginal Bleeding May Not Be A Period
One of the biggest margins for error while using fertility awareness as a method of birth control comes from a misidentified period. Not all vaginal bleeding is a period. A woman may bleed from a hormonal imbalance, cervical lesion, recent trauma and even pregnancy.
If you are tracking your menstrual cycle and the bleeding is consistent in terms of heaviness, color and timing, then you can likely count on it being your period, Harper said. However, there are many women that find it difficult to track their period because irregular bleeding can be due to illness or another underlying cause.
If you are having difficulty or need help starting, talk with your OB-GYN or primary care provider.
Can I Get Pregnant A Couple Of Days After My Period Has Ended
Its possible, but also unlikely. Though there is always risk of pregnancy if you have sex without contraception. If you ovulate early when you have short menstrual cycles you may be able to get pregnant this time of the month. However, once youve finished your period youre moving into your fertility window, which means your chances of getting pregnant increase as you approach ovulation.
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Immediately Before Your Period
A “regular” cycle is 28 days long, but many people have slightly shorter or longer cycles. In one study of 32,595 people, people with self-reported regular periods had menstrual cycles ranging from 23 to 35 days long. The most common day to ovulate is day 15 LMP.
If you are trying to be mindful of your cycles as a natural form of birth control, be aware there’s a slight chance of pregnancy if you ovulate later in the cycle or simply miscalculate the dates of your next period. In one large study, even people who reported having regular menstrual cycles had a 6% chance of being in their fertile window on the day they expected their next period to begin.
If you are trying to conceive, now would not be the best time to start. You can still enjoy sex but are more likely to get pregnant if you try again after your period.
Can You Get Pregnant On The Last Day Of Your Period
If you stop bleeding on Day 6, have sex on Day 7 and ovulate on Day 11, its possible the sperm from Day 6 will be waiting in your fallopian tubes for conception. Your chances of conceiving right after your period increase each day after your bleeding has stopped. If you are trying to conceive this is a good time to have sex. Increase your chances of conception by having sex every other day for the next 14 days.
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Options For Infertile Couples
If you are having fertility issues, your doctor can refer you to a fertility specialist, a doctor who treats infertility. The doctor will need to test both you and your partner to find out what the problem is. Depending on the problem, your doctor might recommend treatment.
- About 9 in 10 cases of infertility are treated with drugs or surgery.
Don’t delay seeing your doctor, as age also affects the success rates of these treatments.
For some couples, adoption or foster care offers a way to share their love with a child and to build a family.
Emergency Contraception Types And Side Effects
Emergency contraception is a medication or device used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse has occurred. Emergency hormonal contraceptives are sometimes known as “morning-after” pills. These drugs prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after intercourse. This is also known as emergency contraception. Insertion of a copper intrauterine device is also an effective method of emergency contraception.
Side effects of emergency contraception
Side effects of emergency contraception or “morning after” pills can include
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Fertility During Your Period
A menstrual cycle is a cycle that begins inside a woman’s reproductive system on the first day of her period. This is not to be mistaken for the actual ‘period’, which is simply the act of bleeding.
Cycles can be regular or irregular and can last anywhere between 21 and 35 days. They are not always consistent and even for the same woman, one cycle can be very different from the next. A regular menstrual cycle only fluctuates between 21 to 35 days while an irregular menstrual cycle can be inconsistent and unpredictable, this usually lasts less than 21 days or more than 35 days. Knowing your menstrual cycle, period, and when you ovulate can help you pick the right time to have unprotected sex to get pregnant.
If you are a woman who has been going through cycles for quite some time now, you will more or less have an idea of what you might find in this article. However, if you are new to all this, perhaps you are a person trying to conceive or are wanting to learn more about contraception, here are some explanations of terms that you need to know before moving forward.
Ovulation: This is when a mature egg cell is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube where it gets a chance to be fertilized by a sperm cell. The egg will stay in the tube for about 24 hours, which is the best time to have sexual intercourse and increase the chances of pregnancy. Whilst ovulation happens as part of a cycle, some women can ovulate early from time to time.
Getting To Know Your Cycle
Fertility After Your Period
Ovulation happens 14 days after the first day of your period. But since some cycles can be extremely irregular, its best to take note of these adjustments:
If your average cycle length is 28 days, ovulation occurs on day 14.
If your average cycle length is 35 days, ovulation occurs on day 21.
If your average cycle length is 21 days or less, ovulation occurs on day 7.
Please note that the most fertile days are within your ovulation period, specifically, the three days leading up to your ovulation and the day you actually ovulate. These days are the best days to try and conceive or get pregnant.
If you have extremely unpredictable, irregular cycles, figuring out your average cycle length, let alone your fertile period can be challenging. If you really want to get pregnant, having sexual intercourse every other day can help your chances of getting pregnant.
If you are reading this article to prevent pregnancy, the first seven days including your period days are considered a safe window where the egg has not dropped to the fallopian tubes, therefore making it inconducive for pregnancy.
If this is all proving to be too confusing, you can use an ovulation tracker, ovulation calendar, or ovulation calculator, which are all available online. Alternately, there are ovulation prediction kits that are available in most pharmacies. Similar to pregnancy tests, these kits use your urine samples to track your fertility.
Mild to severe cramps in the lower abdomen or lower back.
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Natural Birth Control Methods
Natural methods involve tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle to try to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur and avoiding sexual intercourse during that time. There are different ways to detect ovulation, including the basal body temperature method and the use of home ovulation test kits. Checking and recording the consistency of cervical mucus is another way to help determine when ovulation occurs.
These methods tend to be the least successful methods as they require discipline in recording and tracking and understanding the results.
What If My Cycle Is Irregular
It can be more difficult to get pregnant if you have irregular periods because you may not ovulate regularly.
There are many possible causes of irregular periods, which may affect your fertility. For example:
Having irregular periods does not mean you wont get pregnant and there are things you can do to boost your chances of success.
See your GP if your periods have stopped, youre missing monthly periods or you have irregular periods and are struggling to get pregnant.
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Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period While Using Birth Control
It’s possible to get pregnant when you’re using birth control, whether you’re on your period or not.
The likelihood that a contraceptive will fail varies depending on the method of birth control :
- Oral contraceptives : About 7 to 9 percent failure rate
- Progestin-only pill: About 7 percent failure rate
- Patch: About 7 to 9 percent failure rate
- Vaginal contraceptive ring: About 7 to 9 percent failure rate
- Male condoms: About 13 to 18 percent failure rate
- Diaphragms: About 12 to 17 percent failure rate
For what it’s worth, tracking your monthly cycle called “fertility awareness” in order to avoid pregnancy isn’t the most reliable birth control method the typical failure rate may be as high as 23 percent.
The bottom line: Although the odds are slim, you can get pregnant on your period or any other time of the month. It’s even possible to get pregnant on your period if you’re using birth control.
So unless youre trying to conceive, its always smart to be vigilant about contraception unless you like big surprises.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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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The Ins And Outs Of Period Sex
So now we know it is possible to get pregnant on your period, its important you take the right precautions. When used correctly, barrier methods such as the condom are very effective at preventing pregnancy and also offer protection against STIs.
While many may think its gross or messy, having sex on your period is perfectly healthy and lots of women swear by it for a number of reasons. Due to a dip in progesterone, you may find your sex drive increases around menstruation. On top of this, orgasms can alleviate period cramps and cause the uterus to contract more, which in the end can mean shorter periods too.
Before you get into the swing of things, make sure you remove any tampons or menstrual cups before sex. These block the vaginal passage and it can be dangerous if they are misused or left too long inside the vagina.
While you might be expecting a Stephen King-style horror scene, you may actually be surprised by how little menstrual blood there is. The heaviness of your period is a very personal thing that varies from cycle to cycle, however, the average woman will only produce 6-8 teaspoons worth of blood during her entire period. That being said, you might want to have an extra towel on hand, or suggest things get steamy in the shower.