One can formulate only two possibilities out of the question ‘Can I get pregnant if I have sex during periods’.
Either you are trying to conceive and want to know if you can count on period days for getting pregnant or You do not want to get pregnant and want to know if you have to opt for other contraception methods or not.
So, one of the most important things for both getting pregnant and avoiding a pregnancy is to start logging your menstrual cycle.
This will give you an idea about your fertile days which you can use to conceive and if you are trying not to get pregnant then you have to be very careful around this period.
Please note that you can never get an exact foolproof prediction of your fertile days. You can just formulate a rough idea of that.
And so, there is no “completely safe period” to avoid pregnancy in the month.
Generally, a lot of people believe that if you are having sex without protection while you’re on your period, then you cannot get pregnant. Please remember that during periods though the chances of conceiving are very less, they are not zero.
Keep reading to get a piece of detailed and complete information for everything you need to know about sex on your periods.
The process of conception
Let us help you to understand the complete process of conception so that you can know your fertile days and also get knowledge about the process of conception.
A female gets pregnant when the male gamete i.e, sperm fuse with the female gamete i.e, ova or egg and this fusion results in the formation of a zygote which gets embedded in the woman’s womb or uterus.
The man releases the sperms into the woman's vagina through the process of insemination/ejaculation during intercourse. The sperm then swims up into the woman’s body towards the uterus & the fallopian tube.
Now there are only two possibilities
- One possibility is that there is an egg in the fallopian tube waiting to get fertilized and form a zygote.
- Another possibility is that there is no egg present in the fallopian tube so no fertilization happens.
You must be wondering that from where does this egg come into the Fallopian tube?
An egg is released every month from either one of the ovaries of the female through the process of ovulation. This released egg is then transferred to the Fallopian tube where it stays for about 12 to 24 hours.
The time at which ovulation will happen depends on the menstrual cycle of the woman and it varies from person to person.
Some women have a longer menstrual cycle than average while others may have shorter cycles.
The sperms can stay alive & active in a woman’s genital tract for 5-6 days.
So any act of intercourse that occurs in the 5-6 days preceding ovulation or within 24 hours of ovulation, can lead to the fertilization of the egg by a sperm and thus lead to pregnancy.
Once fertilized, the zygote is then pushed by the fallopian into the cavity of the uterus where it implants and grows to form a baby.
How can a woman get pregnant when she is having a period?
It should be noted that every vaginal bleeding is not menstruation.
Many women mistake the occasional vaginal bleeding at the time of ovulation, for their periods and think that they are safe to have sex without protection. Unprotected intercourse in such a situation may lead to pregnancy.
Besides, if a woman has a shorter menstrual cycle & bleeds for 6-7 days, her last few days of bleeding may coincide with the fertile days and result in pregnancy.
For eg, if someone has a cycle of 22-25 days instead of 28-30 days, the ovulation will happen around the 8th – 11th day of the period.
So if the couple had intercourse anytime in the preceding 5 days, even though the woman was having her periods at that time, there is a good chance that she may get pregnant because the sperms from that sexual activity will be alive in the fallopian tubes when the egg is released.
Similarly, for someone who has irregular menstrual cycles, the timing of ovulation may not be fixed and random ovulation around the time of intercourse may lead to pregnancy.
Normally a woman's menstrual cycle is of around 28 to 30 days and usually, the blood flow lasts 5-6 days. So, if you have sex during periods in a menstrual cycle of 30 days then there is a very rare chance of you getting pregnant.
However, these are the following conditions that can get you pregnant while you are on your periods
- You have a very short menstrual cycle.
- You have a long duration of blood flow in the menstrual cycle.
- If your menstrual cycles are not regular and you ovulate irregularly.
- You did not ovulate in the middle of your menstrual cycle.
- You mistake the abnormal vaginal bleeding as your periods bleeding.
If you are someone who does not have regular periods, or your menstrual cycle is very long or short, then there is no safe time of the month. You cannot have sex without protection and assume that you would not get pregnant.
Precautions of birth control
If you are someone who is trying to get pregnant then having sex on your periods will not help you conceive until and unless you have a menstrual cycle of fewer than 25-26 days. Start logging your periods so that you know your expected ovulation dates & try to conceive on the fertile days. It will help you the most.
If you are someone who is trying to not get pregnant and wants to know whether unprotected sex during periods is a good call or not, then you should always have protected sex irrespective of the time during the month & menstrual cycle.
You can use any of the different birth control measures for this purpose
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine devices
If you are someone who is looking for a birth control measure that will save you from sexually transmitted disease, then a condom is the best option for you. Other options such as birth control pills, intrauterine devices will not save you from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS, genital herpes, chlamydia, etc.so discuss your options with your doctor & choose wisely.
The duration of the woman’s menstrual cycle can keep changing from time to time. This is the reason why it is possible that you can become pregnant while being on your period.
If you are facing problems in getting pregnant after a year of unprotected sex then you should consult your doctor. They will help you to formulate the fertile days for you and will check for complications if any.
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy, it is a good idea to keep a track of your menstrual cycle. You can do it manually by marking your periods on a calendar or can use different types of apps that are available online.
Logging your periods will help you to know fertile days and will help you to remember your period's date.
The average age at which periods start has changed now.
Did you know that the average age at which periods start in a girl has steadily decreased over the centuries? In 1800, the average age for a girl to start with her periods was 16-17 years whereas now, it is around 12-13 years and some girls may even get it around 9-10 years age.
A woman will spend nearly 10 years of their life on period.
From the time a woman experiences her first menstruation cycle to menopause, she will have approximately 450 periods in her life. And this is equal to around 10 years or about 3500 days that a woman spends on her menstruation.
For more information on Contraception & Safe Sex, please check our other videos.
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