Can women still get pregnant during their periods?


Yes, women can get pregnant if sexual intercourse happens during periods. However, the chances are less when compared with the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle. Does this mean that you can have unprotected sex during your periods? Well, you can if you are willing to take a risk. But what if the odds were stacked against you for that one particular period sex and you end up having an unwanted pregnancy?

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Is pregnancy possible during periods?

To understand this, you must first familiarize yourself with the menstrual cycle. For most women, the menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days.

If you have been counting your cycle after your period ends, then you have been doing it all wrong! The first day of your period is the first day of your menstrual cycle. 

Within a few days after your periods you will have ovulation. Ovulation is the process by which an egg is released from the ovary. A broad range of 7th day to 19th day is given to calculate ovulation. Ovulation days vary from woman to woman and depend largely on the duration of the menstrual cycle. If a woman has a 28 days cycle, then usually the ovulation happens on the 14th day. If a woman has a 35 days cycle, then ovulation can happen on the 21st day. If a woman has a 21 days cycle, then the ovulation can happen on the 7th day.

You are at your most fertile time during this ovulation. The chances of getting pregnant are very high. When an egg is released from the ovary, it is alive for 12 – 24 hours. During this time if the egg meets a sperm and fertilization occurs, then it is highly likely that very soon the fertilized egg will implant itself on the wall of the uterus and pregnancy will progress.

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Ovulation days can change?

The thing about the menstrual cycle is that it is not always a 28 days cycle. The days vary from woman to woman. For that matter, variations in the number of days happen for the same woman over different months. What this means is that if you have a cycle that lasted for 28 days for a month, it can last for 32 days in another month or 21 days in another month. And when the duration of the cycle changes, then the days of the ovulation cannot be calculated with certainty by depending on the previous month’s cycles. The ovulation days will also keep shifting according to the duration of the cycle.

Viable sperm and short cycle:

If you are a woman with a short cycle that lasts less than 28 days, then there is not many days gap between your menstruation days and your ovulation day. What this means is that, if you have unprotected sex during any day of your periods, then the sperms inside you can be active for up to 5 days and within those days if you happen to ovulate, then you are likely to get pregnant. Thus women with shorter cycles have higher chances of getting pregnant when having unprotected sex during periods. 

Bleeding does not mean periods:

For some women, during ovulation days, there can be mild vaginal bleeding. Very often this bleeding is mistaken for periods. Since most women think periods mean no chance of getting pregnant and thus proceed with having unprotected sex, without realizing that it is not in fact periods, well, chances of getting pregnant are very very high! Ovulation days are one of the most fertile days in your cycle. 

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