The Best Protection Against Pregnancy Is Birth Control
Tracking your cycle also known as the rhythm method isn’t a surefire way to avoid pregnancy. “The rhythm method is not terribly reliable for a number of reasons, including variability in timing of ovulation, in recording the first day of the last menstrual period, and in the longevity of both sperm and ova,” Copel says.
The best way to prevent becoming pregnant at any time during your cycle, short of abstinence, is to use birth control.
Hormonal birth control, like pills, patches, and contraceptive rings, work by changing hormone levels to stop ovulation and make it harder for sperm to reach the egg and fertilize it These birth control methods are very effective at preventing pregnancy, with success rates ranging from 93% for birth control pills to 99% for arm implants.
Moreover, “I recommend condom use for anybody in a non-monogamous relationship,” Childson says. Male and female condoms are less effective 87% and 79% respectively but they have the added benefit of preventing STIs like hepatitis, HIV, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
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.
How Does Conception Occur
The ability to conceive is miraculous. It requires the meeting of a males sperm with a females egg. Once a womans ovary releases an egg, the egg lives for only between 12 and 24 hours. The male sperm can live for about three days.
The typical female cycle is 28 days. Day 1 is when she starts her period. A woman typically ovulates around day 14 .
Ovulation is when a womans ovary releases an egg for fertilization. If a sperm is available in the uterus, pregnancy can occur.
Ovulation can vary based on a womans cycle. Some women have a longer cycle of around 35 days between periods. Ovulation would then happen around day 21. Women with a shorter cycle of 21 days ovulate around day 7.
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Can I Be Pregnant And Still Have A Period
Short answer: No, you cant.
Its not possible for someone whos pregnant to still have a period…Simply, because youre pregnant and you wouldnt be undergoing menstruation, said Dr. Rad. If you have bleeding in pregnancy, its due to something else not your regular period.
Quick sex ed refresher: While your body prepares for pregnancy, its building up the uterine lining . If you become pregnant, then this lining is used to help nourish the fertilized egg during the early stages of pregnancy. But if you dont become pregnant, the uterine lining is then shed through your period. So since you dont shed that uterine lining during pregnancy , its not possible to have a period while pregnant.
But you could have period-like symptoms during pregnancy aside from bleeding.
You can have cramping and groin pain during pregnancy, which might be similar to a period, said Dr. Rad. “Such pain usually occurs in the first trimester, and is light and temporary lasting seconds, not more than one hour.
The pain in the groin, on both lower sides, is known as round ligament pain. The pain begins to subside once the second trimester starts, which is after 14 weeks, said Dr. Rad. If pain is severe or not going away , then I would be concerned regarding miscarriage or another complication and would seek medical care with your doctor.
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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So How Likely Is It That You Could Get Pregnant On Your Period
The real question is, should you avoid period sex if you dont want to get pregnant? Well, that depends on your current birth control methods. If youre on the pill and take it religiously, your chances of getting pregnant while bleeding are much lower than if you werent on birth control because it prevents the release of an egg in the first place.
Even though birth control is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, Jen Lincoln, M.D., ob-gyn from The Body Agency, tells SELF the chances of getting pregnant on your period are rare. I get this question all the time, and its less than 1 to 2%so not impossible, but highly unlikely, she says. In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Human Reproduction found that of 5,830 pregnancies, about 58% estimated the date of connection around day 12 or 13 of the menstrual cycle. However, about 1 to 2% of participants reported being within their fertility window on day four, demonstrating that it is possible.2
Dr. Haque agrees that there is a low likelihood of getting pregnant while on your period. During a period, a persons body sheds blood, unfertilized egg, and tissue from the lining of the uterus, with the average length of bleeding being five days, she says. And since most people do not ovulate until one week after the period stops, Dr. Haque says it is unlikely to get pregnant on your period unless your cycles are short and you have sex at the end of the period.
Can You Become Pregnant During Your Period While Using Birth Control
No, if you use birth control properly, then only you can save yourself from unwanted pregnancy. But even these birth controls have their failure rates. So you can say that the 100% effective birth control is not to have sex at all when during your period.
If that is not possible, then you need to look for birth control that has fewer failing rates. The most used condoms have a 13% failure rate and the oral contraceptive pills have a 7% failure rate. The vaginal contraceptive ring has a 7% failure rate. But the intrauterine device or IUD is the most effective birth control with less than a 1% failure rate.
Hope you get the answer of can you get pregnant during your period. If you do not want a child now then using birth controls is the only solution to avoid pregnancy. And if you want a baby then choose the middle days of your menstrual cycle for the act of reproduction.
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Can You Get Pregnant On The First Day Of Your Period
It’s possible though not very likely for you to get pregnant on the first day of your period, especially if you have a regular, 28-day cycle.
If you have an irregular or a shorter menstrual cycle, however, ovulation might occur much closer to day one of your period, which would cause you to get pregnant on the first day.
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.
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Ovulation And Fertility: How Do I Know
Because periods can be different lengths and not all bleeding is a period, it can be confusing to track your ovulation. The best way to track your ovulatory cycle is by watching it for three to four months, Harper said. To track, Harper recommends determining the average time between the start of one period to the start of the next. Because this is an average number, it does not have to be exactly the same every month. If this average number is between 21 and 35 days, then you can divide that number in half, which is MOST LIKELY, but not guaranteed, to be the time of ovulation.
Once you have monitored a few cycles and think you know when you are ovulating, check on your vaginal discharge. Around the time of ovulation, discharge becomes thick and stretchyjust like an uncooked egg white, Harper mentioned. This is the best way to verify that you are on track when it comes to predicting ovulation. If you take a birth control pill, then you do not ovulate at all and do not need to pay attention to discharge.
Cervical mucus accepts, filters, prepares and releases sperm for the successful fertilization of an egg. If you do not want to become pregnant and are not using another birth control, Harper says it is best to avoid intercourse the week you notice the mucus.
What Are The Odds Of Getting Pregnant On Your Period
Is it possible to conceive while menstruating? Can sperm survive in blood? Fertility expert and OBGYN Dr. Gleaton gives us the 4-1-1.
By OBGYN and fertility expert Dr. Kenosha Gleaton
Whether youre trying to conceive or not, its helpful to know how to plan around your fertile and not-so-fertile windows. Lets talk about how menstruating can impact your chances of conceiving.
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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.
How Do I Get Pregnant
Heres a brief overview of what happens for a couple to conceive naturally:
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Why Can A Woman Become Pregnant While On Her Period
Bleeding is typically associated with being on ones period. However, a woman may also bleed during ovulation the most fertile time in her cycle. Having intercourse without birth control is most likely to lead to conception during this stage.
Similarly, sperm can survive inside a womans body for up to 72 hours. Can you get pregnant on your period? Yes, because conception may occur days after intercourse.
Additionally, the chances of conception increase towards the conclusion of a womans period. Women with shorter cycles may have a higher chance of conception than those who menstruate for longer. Can you get pregnant on the last day of your period? It is much more likely.
Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period
A person can get pregnant during their period, but it is unlikely.
A person is most likely to become pregnant in the middle of their menstrual cycle, which is when the ovary releases an egg in a process called ovulation.
The egg then travels to the uterus, where a sperm cell can fertilize it.
According to the Office on Womens Health , the average menstrual cycle is 28 days. The menstrual cycle is the time between the first day of one period and the first day of the next period. Ovulation usually occurs 719 days after a persons period ends.
The egg can only survive for 1224 hours after ovulation. For this reason, it must meet a sperm cell in this time for pregnancy to occur.
A person is most likely to get pregnant if they have sexual intercourse in the 3 days before and up to the day of ovulation.
Since a person with 28-day cycles typically does not ovulate until around a week after they stop bleeding, they cannot usually get pregnant during their period.
However, it is not quite as simple as this due to three main factors:
- a persons menstrual cycle length
- monthly differences in the timing of ovulation
- how long sperm stays alive inside the female body
Menstrual cycles are still normal if the period comes every 2438 days, so cycle length varies significantly between people. People with shorter menstrual cycles may ovulate closer to their period than people with longer cycles.
So, although it is possible to become pregnant during the period, it is unlikely.
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