How Can You Get Pregnant On Your Period
The chances of getting pregnant when you’re on your period are low, but they’re not zero. So how could a pregnancy happen at the same time your body is deciding its not pregnant?
Lets break it down: At ovulation, your ovary releases an egg into your fallopian tube, where it can live for 24 hours awaiting fertilization before it travels to the uterus. Meanwhile, the uterus is building up a lining just in case it needs to host a growing embryo.
If egg meets sperm during ovulation and implants in that lining, bingo baby on board. If not, your body sheds both lining and egg .
Most womens menstrual cycles last about 24 to 28 days, from the first day of their period to the first day of the next period. Because the egg can survive for 24 hours after ovulation and sperm can live inside a woman for up to five days, a woman can get pregnant starting five days before ovulation and ending a day after.
Ovulation usually occurs 14 days before the first day of your next cycle which, if you have a 28-day cycle and a week-long period, leaves you a week between the last day of your period and the first day you ovulate.
But what if you have sex on the last day of your period and you ovulate a few days early? There could still be viable sperm inside you, and you could get pregnant.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant Right After Your Period
“I recommend having sex frequentlytwo to three times a week, but every other day if you canshortly after you stop menstruating to cover your window of pre-ovulation,” says Kelly Pagidas, M.D., a fertility specialist with Women & Infants Center for Reproduction and Infertility in Providence.
Here’s why: Around day seven of your cycle, you’ll notice a vaginal discharge that seems a little springy to the touch. Within a few days, it will turn white and creamy, a cue that your fertility is returning once again. It doesn’t mean the egg has been released yet, but it indicates that ovulation is on the way and that your cervical mucus is a friendly environment for sperm.
Remember, you can get pregnant right after your period, even if you’re not yet ovulating. That’s because sperm can live up to five days if it’s trapped in fertile cervical mucusso it behooves you to get a few of his swimmers in place. “One study showed that people who had sex only one time during this phase, even four to five days before ovulation, still got pregnant,” says Steven R. Bayer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF fertility clinic in Boston.
Your chances of conceiving: Good. An egg isn’t technically released during this phase, but you’ll want to step up your sexual routine in the event that you ovulate earlier than planned.
Anovulation: What Can It Mean
In an anovulatory cycle, no ovulation takes place, meaning that your ovaries dont release an egg. During this type of cycle, women may have some bleeding caused by uterine lining buildup or a drop in the estrogen hormone without having a true menstrual period.
Anovulation will make you skip fertile days if youre trying to get pregnant, and is responsible for around 25 percent of female infertility cases.
Its normal to have anovulatory cycles from time to time. It occurs most often when a person is first starting to menstruate or approaching menopause, as the body has a hormonal imbalance during these transitional periods, which interrupts ovulation.
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Cycles Without Ovulation: Can You Conceive
Just like periods arent always regular, neither is ovulation. The day you ovulate can vary from cycle to cycle, and in some cycles, ovulation may not happen at all. This is also normal.
Irregular ovulation occurs when the ovaries and pituitary gland arent communicating properly about when to release an egg.
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.
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Why Can’t You Technically Have A Period When You’re Pregnant
Throughout the month, your body prepares for pregnancy. It does this by building up the endometrium, or uterine lining. If you become pregnant, this lining serves to help nourish the fertilized egg at the very early stages of pregnancy. If you don’t become pregnant, your body sheds the endometrium, via your period. Therefore, it’s impossible to be pregnant and have a period, because you don’t shed your endometrium while pregnant.
When To Call The Doctor
David McKenna, MD, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist with Perinatal Partners, advises calling your doctor if you see any sign of bleeding during pregnancy and have not yet talked to your doctor about it. This is especially the case for women who are pregnant for the first time. Explain whats happening to your doctor. Talk about your next steps and if and when you should call back, he says.
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What Causes Bleeding During Early Pregnancy
Occasionally, there is a clear cause for spotting or bleeding during early pregnancy:
But much of the time, no clear cause can be found for episodes of bleeding or spotting during pregnancy.
It has been theorized that early pregnancy bleeding may have something to do with the formation of the placenta. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the corpus luteum is responsible for producing the progesterone necessary to maintain the pregnancy. But progesterone production shifts to the placenta around week 7.
The authors of the study in Obstetrics & Gynecology note that this coincides with when bleeding is most commonly observed, during gestational weeks 5 8. They surmise that heavy bleeding during this time may signal a problem with development of the placenta.
Can You Get Your Period While Pregnant
A period will not be the cause of any bleeding during pregnancy.
When a woman is pregnant, she does not continue to ovulate and will not have a period. Menstruation only occurs when a person is not pregnant.
Although it is possible for women to experience some bleeding during pregnancy, this will not be due to their menstrual cycle.
Some women also do not have any periods while breast-feeding. However, they may still begin to ovulate again soon after giving birth. Therefore, doctors may recommend some form of birth control while a woman is breast-feeding if she does not wish to get pregnant.
The menstrual cycle occurs to facilitate pregnancy. The cycle begins on the first day of a persons period and ends on the first day of the following period.
Ovulation, when the ovary releases an egg, occurs midway through the cycle.
An egg is only viable for about 1224 hours after a woman ovulates. If sperm cells are present and able to fertilize the egg, the egg will implant itself in the uterus, resulting in pregnancy.
If there is no fertilization, menstruation will occur, and the body will shed the uterine lining so that it can begin making a new one for the next cycle.
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Can I Take Pain Relief Medication During Pregnancy
If you find that you need to take pain relief medication to relieve any pain, it is safest to use something simple such as paracetamol. Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided. If you find that you need a stronger pain relief medication, you must always check with your doctor, nurse or midwife first.
What If You Want To Get Pregnant After You’ve Hit Menopause
Okay, so let’s say you’ve already hit menopausemeaning you haven’t had a period in 12 months or morebut you would still like to get pregnant. Luckily, if that’s your choice, science is on your side through a process called in vitro fertilization .
According to the US National Library of Medicine , IVF is essentially the joining of a woman’s egg with a man’s sperm, outside of the woman’s body . In women who are of childbearing age, there are five steps to IVF: stimulation, egg retrieval, insemination and fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer. However, because women who have already gone through menopause are not producing eggs, they do not need to go through the first two steps, and will instead have to use eggs from a donor.
From there, it’s like any other IVF pregnancy: Once a fertilized egg divides and become an embryo outside of the body, per the NLM, it’s placed inside the woman’s womb, where she can carry the embryo, then fetus, to term.
The bottom line: If you havent yet reached menopause but are perimenopausal, you can definitely still get pregnant. But if youve already hit menopause when you decide you want to consider motherhood, its not necessarily too late” for that, either.
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Tampons And Pads Arent Your Only Choices
You have more options to help you manage that time of the month.
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that fits inside your vagina and collects blood during your period. Period panties are super-absorbent, and you can wear them on their own on your lighter days or with a tampon during heavier times. Reusable cloth pads can be washed and worn again.
These products can be cost-savers, since you can reuse them, and they also create less waste. In some cases, they give you more time between changes. For example, you need to change a tampon every 4 to 8 hours, but you may be able to go up to 12 hours with a menstrual cup before you empty it.
There are pros and cons to all these options, just as there are with tampons and pads. But you can find one that works best for you with some trial and error.
Can I Get Pregnant A Couple Of Days After My Period Has Finished
Its possible, but also unlikely. Though there is always risk of pregnancy if you have sex without contraception a. 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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In Some Cases Bleeding During Pregnancy Can Be A Sign Of A Serious Issue So If You’re Not Sure What’s Causing It Definitely Check In With Your Doctor
As SELF reported previously, if your bleeding is particularly heavy, comes with abdominal pain, or lasts for more than a few days, that’s a sign something more serious may be going on. You might be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should tell your doctor at your next regular appointment if you have any light spotting that goes away within a day. But if you have bleeding that lasts for more than a day, you should contact them within 24 hours. And if you pass any tissue from your vagina, experience moderate to heavy bleeding, or have bleeding along with abdominal pain, chills, or cramping, you should get in touch with them immediately. But, again, many cases of bleeding during early pregnancy aren’t serious.
And, on the other hand, if you’re not sure if you’re pregnant and notice youre having a period that comes at a weird time, isn’t as heavy as usual, doesnt last as long as usual, and comes with any other pregnancy symptoms, its worth taking a test, just in case.
Similarities Between Pms Vs Pregnancy Symptoms And Signs
For many women, the signs and symptoms of early pregnancy can resemble those of her approaching menstrual period or PMS. In fact, it is not possible to tell from early symptoms alone if a woman is pregnant or having symptoms related to her upcoming menstrual period.
The most similar common signs and symptoms that these conditions share include:
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