Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation , which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just after your period, although it can happen. It’s important to remember that sperm can sometimes survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.
This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.
You should always use contraception when you have sex if you don’t want to become pregnant.
Can You Get Pregnant Outside Your Fertile Window
Yes, you can get pregnant at any time during your cycle, even during your period. If youre trying to prevent pregnancy, this is important to know. If your goal is to achieve pregnancy, youll be more focused on the higher fertility days, but its good to remember that any intercourse could potentially result in pregnancy, especially if your cycles are irregular.
How Long Should A Normal Menstrual Cycle Last
An average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, defined from the first day of menstrual bleeding to the first day of bleeding of the next period. However, irregular periods are very common. An irregular period is defined as a cycle that varies by more than seven to nine days.
There are several reasons why women may have abnormal periods, which can include fibroids, ovarian cysts, polyps, and even something as common as stress.
If youve constantly had an irregular period, please contact us for an appointment to determine the underlying cause and initiate treatment, said Dr. Martinelli.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Get My Period
What Is The Best Time For Conception
There are certain days in a woman’s menstrual cycle when pregnancy is possible. Pregnancy is technically possible during the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. These days are the ‘fertile window’ of opportunity to conceive. The likelihood of becoming pregnant is dramatically increased if you have intercourse in the three days leading up to and including ovulation.
How To Track Your Fertile Window
The following method will help you find out your fertile window.
Also Check: How Can You Delay Your Period
While Youre On Your Period
As any woman with a calendar and a bunch of best friends will tell you, the amount of days each woman spends menstruating can vary a lot.
Your menstrual flow may start to diminish and lighten in color, or turn brown towards the end of your cycle. It feels and looks like youre still menstruating, but your body is already gearing up for your next fertile time.
If you have sex towards the end of your period, you may actually be getting close to your fertile window, especially if you have a short cycle. Lets take a look at the math.
Say you ovulate early, about six days after your period starts. You have sex on the third day of your period. The sperm have no egg to fertilize, but theyre also in no hurry to die so they hang out, doin what sperm do.
A few days later, while theyre still swimming around, you ovulate and theyre drawn to that egg like a fish to water. One gets through, and there you have it fertilization has occurred as a result of period sex.
Counseling And Support Groups
If you’ve been having problems getting pregnant, you know how frustrating it can feel. Not being able to get pregnant can be one of the most stressful experiences a couple has. Both counseling and support groups can help you and your partner talk about your feelings and help you meet other couples struggling with the same issues. You will learn that anger, grief, blame, guilt, and depression are all normal. Couples do survive infertility, and can become closer and stronger in the process. Ask your doctor for the names of counselors or therapists with an interest in fertility.
Recommended Reading: Feeling Sick Before Period Could I Be Pregnant
How Long Does It Take To Get Pregnant After Your Period
On average, women ovulate on day 14 of their menstrual cycle, but their fertile days are from day 10 to 16. That means it would be about a week after your period ends when an egg is released and you can become pregnant during sex. Still, you may not know you are pregnant for another 2 weeks after that . Some women know they are pregnant before they get that BFP based on these early symptoms.
That being said, variation in cycle length is not uncommon and should be taken into account. For example, if you have a 24-day cycle and a period that lasts 6 days, the end of your period will run up against the beginning of your fertile window, meaning you could conceive as soon as your period ends.
Signs Of Ovulation To Look Out For
Here are the seven main ovulation symptoms lookout for:
- Your basal body temperature falls slightly, then rises again.
- Your cervical mucus becomes clearer and thinner with a more slippery consistency similar to that of egg whites.
- Your cervix softens and opens up.
- You may feel a slight twinge of pain or mild cramps in your lower abdomen.
- Your sex drive may increase.
- You may notice some light spotting.
- Your vulva or vagina may appear swollen.
Read Also: Why Does Your Back Hurt On Your Period
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.
How Many Days After Your Period Do You Ovulate
On average, a woman will ovulate about 14 days after her period begins. This is based on a 28-day cycle length and a 14-day luteal phase.
If your cycle is different than the average, youre better off counting backward 14 days from the next projected period. For example, if your cycle is 30 days long, you would ovulate 16 days after your period begins. Likewise, if you have an average 28-day cycle but your luteal phase is 16 days, you would ovulate 12 days after your past period began. This can all get a bit confusing, which is why an ovulation calculator and ovulation tracker is such a great tool. Just plug in your information and let the ovulation calculator determine your most fertile days, which are unique to your body.
Read Also: How To Get Your Period In One Hour
Calculate The Most Fertile Days
The most fertile period for women is the 4-5 days before ovulation begins and the day of ovulation. You cannot get pregnant having sex the day after ovulation. As sperm can live up to five days once deposited, having intercourse a few days before ovulation, during your fertile days, allows sperm to travel closer to the egg before it is released.
What Is The Cervical Mucus Method Of Determining Fertility
The cervical mucus method involves being aware of the changes in your cervical mucus throughout the month. The hormones that control the menstrual cycle also change the kind and amount of mucus you have before and during ovulation.
Right after your period, there are usually a few days when there is no mucus present or “dry days.” As the egg starts to mature, mucus increases in the vagina, appears at the vaginal opening, and is white or yellow and cloudy and sticky. The greatest amount of mucus appears just before ovulation. During these “wet days” it becomes clear and slippery, like raw egg whites. Sometimes it can be stretched apart.
This is when you are most fertile. About four days after the wet days begin the mucus changes again. There will be much less and it becomes sticky and cloudy. You might have a few more dry days before your period returns. Describe changes in your mucus on a calendar. Label the days, “Sticky,””Dry,” or “Wet.” You are most fertile at the first sign of wetness after your period or a day or two before wetness begins.
The cervical mucus method is less reliable for some women. Women who are breastfeeding, taking hormonal birth control , using feminine hygiene products, have vaginitis or sexually transmitted infections , or have had surgery on the cervix should not rely on this method.
You May Like: What Age Does A Woman Stop Having Her Period
Facts You Should Know About Breasts
- The breasts are medically known as the mammary glands.
- The mammary glands are made up of lobules, milk-producing glandular structures, and a system of ducts that transport milk to the nipple.
- Lymphatic vessels in the breast drain excess fluid.
- Breast growth begins at puberty in humans, in contrast to other types of primates in which breasts enlarge only during lactation.
- Breast tissue develops in the fetus along the so-called “milk lines,” extending from the armpit to the groin.
Rhythm Method For Natural Family Planning
The rhythm method is also called the calendar rhythm method or just the calendar method. It is a natural family planning technique. You need to keep track of your menstrual history to help you predict when you will ovulate.
The rhythm method has been in use for many years to prevent pregnancy. It can also help you determine when you are likely to ovulate.
To use the rhythm method, you have to keep track of your menstrual cycle for 6-12 months/cycles. You have to note the day your period starts and when it ends. You will subtract 18 from the number of days in your shortest menstrual cycle. The result will represent the first fertile day of your menstrual cycle.
Similarly, subtract 11 from the number of days in the longest. The result will be the last fertile day of your menstrual cycle.
Read Also: How To Make Your Period Stop
When Can You Get Pregnant After Your Period
Understanding your menstrual cycle is crucial to defining when you ovulate and calculating when you are most likely to get pregnant.
Women should be aware that if they have an irregular period, it can make the ovulation days difficult to determine. Said Dr. Martinelli. When examining fertility, its important to realize that an egg can survive for about 24 hours after ovulation, and sperm can live inside a womans body for three daysthough sometimes its possible for them to survive for five days.
Can You Ovulate More Than Once During A Cycle
A woman should not ovulate more than once during each cycle. This is due to a careful balance of hormones and their levels it takes just the right timing and release of hormones to bring on the release of a mature egg. Therefore, she cannot get pregnant more than once during a cycle. Remember, if you are not using a tracking method such as OPKs, basal body temperature, or cervical mucus, there is no guaranteed way to pin down the day you are ovulating. Many period tracking apps will give you your day of ovulation, but this is only an estimation of when it might happen. Thus, two days after the predicted ovulation day may not be a safe day to have sex to avoid pregnancy, since its possible that you have not actually ovulated yet.
Multiple ovulation is another phenomenon that can occur and is when two or more eggs are released in a single cycle. The eggs are released during one 24 hour period and are responsible for the birth of fraternal twins. It is believed that this may occur in as many as 5-10% of all cycles but does not result in that many twins due to a type of miscarriage referred to as the vanishing twin phenomenon.
Don’t Miss: Things To Do To Help Period Cramps
Surgical Sterilization Side Effects And Risks
Surgical sterilization is a form of permanent birth control that is available for both women and men . Sterilization implants are a more recent type of permanent birth control that is available for women that allow women to avoid the surgical procedure associated with tubal ligation.
What are the risks of a vasectomy or tubal ligation?
Although women who have had tubal ligation do not have side effects after recovering from the procedure, any surgery itself carries a small risk of infection or bleeding as well as complications from the anesthetic agents.
Likewise, the vasectomy procedure is associated with small risks from the procedure as well as some swelling and pain in the days following the procedure. For a time period post-vasectomy, a man can still be fertile and it is usually recommended that a barrier method or other birth control method is used for 10-12 weeks or 15 to 20 ejaculations post-procedure.