While it’s not your most fertile time, you can get pregnant on your period.
But how could you get pregnant at the same time your body is deciding it’s not pregnant?
Pregnancy typically occurs during the five days before ovulation through to the day of ovulation. This is your ‘fertile window’ reflecting the lifespan of sperm (5 days) and the lifespan of the egg (1 day).
Even in women who have a “regular” 28-day cycle, the day ovulation starts can vary from month to month, and so you can’t guarantee the sperm from sex on your period will be dead by the time you ovulate next.
What if you’re irregular?
If you have an irregular period, it’s even harder to predict when you’ll be ovulating. That means it can be even harder to avoid having sex close to that time.
- You have a short cycle: This means there is not much time between finishing menstruating and ovulating. Sperm can live in your reproductive tract for a few days, if you happened to have sex during your period and then ovulate, that viable egg could encounter viable sperm.
- Your periods last a long time: If your lining takes a long time to shed, your next egg may show up while you’re still bleeding meaning you are already fertile again and can get pregnant.
- You have spotting when you ovulate: If you have light periods and spot during ovulation, you could mistake this for menstrual bleeding.
The best advice is to use protection and take advantage of a cycle tracking app. These are easy and effective methods for taking control of your health.