What Are the Chances of Getting Pregnant While on Your Period?

It is extremely unlikely that a woman will become pregnant in the first one to two days after she experiences menstrual bleeding. In spite of the fact that she is still bleeding, the likelihood of it happening starts to rise again with each passing day. It is estimated that she has a 9 percent chance of becoming pregnant approximately 13 days after the beginning of her period.

When you are on your period, there is a very low risk of becoming pregnant even if you engage in sexual activity. Because your ovulation time is still several days away, your chances of becoming pregnant during this time are significantly lower than they would be otherwise. Having said that, there are some notable exceptions. This is relevant for women who have cycles that are typically between 28 and 30 days long, or longer. If your cycle is shorter, say every 21 to 24 days, this indicates that you ovulate earlier in the cycle than the average woman does. It is possible for you to have sexual activity near the end of your period and then conceive four or five days later with your early ovulation. This is because sperm can live inside of you for up to five days.

Even though there is a small chance of becoming pregnant while you are experiencing your period, it is still possible to do so. If you are trying to conceive a child, now is not the time to have sexual relations.

Can you be fertile on your period?

While it’s extremely unlikely, the simple answer is yes. Women are not able to conceive whilst on their period, but sperm survives within the female reproductive system for up to five days. This means that a tiny fraction of women do have a small chance of becoming pregnant from unprotected sex during their period. It all depends on the length of your menstrual cycle… simple, right?

Let’s take an example, say you have a menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days. You have sex towards the end of your six-day-long period and ovulate shortly after, then there is a chance that some of the sperm survive and you could get pregnant. So while getting pregnant is unlikely, it’s technically possible if you don’t know your fertile window.

Can you ovulate on your period?

You cannot ovulate on your period. If you are trying to plan a pregnancy, the best time to conceive is on the day of ovulation and 24 hours before – so the chances of being fertile on your period are extremely low. It’s also worth knowing that some women may experience spotting around ovulation – this is a much smaller amount of blood than you get with period bleeding. If you are spotting, you may be fertile.

Chances of getting pregnant while on your period

It’s very unlikely you will get pregnant in the days immediately before your period. However, we are all unique and our cycles are not the same and so our peak fertility varies. This means for some women the days before menstruation are fertile. Getting pregnant 5 days before your period is a possibility for some women, if they ovulate close to the end of their menstrual cycle, but typically peak fertility occurs earlier in the menstrual cycle. 

Can you get pregnant on your period with birth control?

Unfortunately, no method of birth control method is 100% effective. So if you use a condom on your period, it breaks and you are fertile directly after your period, there is still a risk of pregnancy – although this is extremely unlikely. If you are using hormonal birth control, then the monthly bleeding you may experience is not in fact a period, it’s called a withdrawal bleed. Since hormonal birth control works by stopping ovulation, you will not have a fertile window in the same way as with non-hormonal birth control. If you’re using Natural Cycles as a birth control method – then you will know your own fertile window. 

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The ins and outs of period sex 

So now we know it is possible to get pregnant on your period, it’s 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 it’s 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.

Period tracking and logging sex

Women who use Natural Cycles take their temperature every morning and record it in the app. The method works by identifying a rise in body temperature just before ovulation. This means Natural Cycles can tell you when you can and can’t get pregnant, so you will know your own fertility whilst on your period, or any day of your cycle, for that matter. On top of this, you will also know where you are in your cycle, meaning you can plan for your period, PMS or when to do a self-breast exam.

If you are looking for a hormone-free birth control option that learns your unique cycle, then Natural Cycles could be the solution you’ve been searching for.

Can You Get Pregnant easily on Your Period?

A woman’s ovulation cycles can vary, so it’s statistically possible you could become pregnant while on your period. While pregnancy is less likely in the earlier days of your period, the chances increase in the later days.

When it comes to sex during periods, opinions can vary widely. While it may be a common occurrence in the sexual lives of some people, for others it is an unpleasant and unsanitary no-no. We at Natural Cycles are all about dispelling the myths and misunderstandings surrounding reproductive health, and since one of the most common questions we get asked is “can you get pregnant on your period? ” regardless of where you stand on the issue, we are here to provide an answer to this straightforward query.

Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period?

You are moving into your fertility window, so yes, you can get pregnant right after your period. On a typical cycle that occurs every 28 to 30 days, the fertility window is usually between Day 11 and Day 21.  Remember, sperm can live up to 5 days. If your period (bleeding time) lasts for 5 to 7 days, and you have sex right after that, you are approaching your fertility window.

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, it’s 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.

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.

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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.  It’s still a good time to enjoy intimacy with your partner.

Bottom Line

A woman’s ovulation cycles can vary, so it’s statistically possible you could become pregnant while on your period. While pregnancy is less likely in the earlier days of your period, the chances increase in the later days.

If you’re trying to become pregnant and haven’t conceived after a year or more of having unprotected sex, download our new e-book The Ultimate Fertility Resource Guide. It’s a free download and has the essential information and tips you need to improve your fertility and get pregnant faster.

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