A common myth is that a woman can’t get pregnant while on her period. This is mostly true, but there is a catch here! Very rarely, a woman can get pregnant if she has unprotected sex on the first day of the period. This may happen if she has a 20-day period cycle.
In a woman with a 20-day cycle, the egg is released around the seventh day, and the most fertile days for this woman are Days 5, 6, and 7 of the period cycle. Now, sperms can live in the woman’s reproductive tract for about six days after the entry. Therefore, this means that pregnancy is possible in such cases.
Sometimes, women can bleed during ovulation (the most fertile period). This may often be mistaken as the first day of the period. Having unprotected sex during this time significantly increases the chances of becoming pregnant. The average menstrual cycle in most women is between 28 and 30 days. Young women often tend to have irregular periods; hence, it may not always be possible to predict the length of the menstrual cycle or ovulation period accurately.
If a woman is trying to get pregnant, tracking the menstrual cycle can play an important role. The woman can track her most fertile days, helping her conceive more easily. If a woman is not planning to get pregnant, it’s always advised to use protection or the morning-after pill (emergency contraception) to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse. The morning-after pill is effective up to five days after unprotected intercourse, but the sooner it’s taken, the better. Repeated consumption of the morning-after pill is not advised because it may cause hormonal imbalance in the body. These pills are available over the counter at pharmacies for those who are over 18 years. Those under 18 years need to get a prescription from a doctor. Women who aren’t planning to get pregnant may consider taking other contraceptive measures, such as oral contraceptive pills (birth control pills) or intrauterine devices (IUDs) if the couple decides not to use condoms. Oral contraceptive pills and IUDs do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes, syphilis, and gonorrhea. For protection against STDs, it is advised to use condoms. Consulting with a doctor regarding contraception can help choose an ideal method of contraception.
How does conception occur?
Conception occurs when a sperm from a man meets (fertilizes) the egg from the woman. Once the woman’s ovary releases an egg, the egg usually lives only for 12-24 hours. The male sperm can live for an average of 3 days and sometimes up to 6 days.
The typical female menstrual cycle is 28-30 days. Some may have a shorter cycle, around 20 days, or a longer cycle, around 35 days. The first day of the menstrual cycle is when she starts her period. The periods usually last 3 to 7 days in most women. Ovulation (release of the egg from the ovary) occurs between the 12th and 15th day of the menstrual cycle, most commonly on the 14th day. During ovulation, usually, only a single egg is released from the ovary and sometimes more, which increases the chances of twins, triplets, and more. If fertilization does not occur, the uterine lining sheds and presents with bleeding, marking the onset of the periods.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
2. Reed BG, Carr BR. The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., eds. Endotext [Internet]. MDText.com, Inc.; 2000. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279054/
3. Amy. Can You Get Pregnant If You Have Unprotected Sex on the First Day of Your Period?? Planned Parenthood. January 19, 2011. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/teens/ask-experts/can-you-get-pregnant-if-you-have-unprotected-sex-on-the-first-day-of-your-period#:~:text=Yes%2C%20especially%20if%20she%20has,first%20day%20of%20her%20period
Top Can I Get Pregnant Just After My Period Finished? Related Articles
15 Early Signs That You May Be PregnantSymptoms might vary from woman to woman. Not all women experience the same symptoms during pregnancy.
Can I Get Pregnant Shortly After My Period?Getting pregnant just after your period is unlikely, but it’s not impossible. However, the chances of getting pregnant are low right after the periods compared to a few days or a week in the menstrual cycle.
Cramps but No PeriodHaving cramps but no period can occur because of conditions other than your monthly menstrual cycle. They may feel like period cramps of the lower abdomen when you are not due for your period and produce no blood. These 12 diseases and conditions are examples of what can cause abdominal cramping when not on period.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms Before Missed PeriodPregnancy symptoms vary from one woman to another. Women could have none of the symptoms but can still go on to have a perfectly healthy pregnancy. Usually missing a period after conception is considered a sign of pregnancy.
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the same as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Menstrual cramps are common, and may be accompanied by headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Severity of menstrual cramp pain varies from woman to woman. Treatment includes OTC or prescription pain relief medication.
Periodic Limb Movement DisorderPeriodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic movements of the limbs during sleep. The movements typically involve the legs, but upper extremity movements may also occur. Movements occur periodically throughout the night and can fluctuate in severity from one night to the next. They tend to cluster in episodes that last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. These movements are very different from the normal spasms, called hypnic myoclonia, that we often experience initially while trying to fall asleep.
Periodic Paralysis SyndromePeriodic paralysis syndrome comprises several types of rare muscle diseases in which a person experiences temporary muscle paralysis of one area of the body, or the entire body for a few minutes or days. The person regains normal muscle strength between periods of muscle weakness. You inherit the syndrome from your biological mother or father, or from a mutation in your genes. This gene mutation determines the type of periodic paralysis you have. The other symptoms depend upon the type of periodic paralysis you have.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and SignsPregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience pregnancy symptoms they may include symptoms include missed menstrual period, mood changes, headaches, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and heartburn. Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.
25 Ways to Relieve Menstrual CrampsMenstrual cramps happen when prostaglandins force the uterus to contract. Dysmenorrhea, or period pain, may be relieved by heating pads, ibuprofen, and other measures. Endometriosis may cause severe cramps during the menstrual cycle. Luckily, women have many options for period pain relief.
Spotting vs. PeriodMenstruation (a female's "period") occurs due to the shedding of the lining of the uterus. Menstrual bleeding lasts about three to five days, and the bleeding is heavy the first couple of days and then it lessens. Spotting is vaginal bleeding between periods.
Getting Pregnant (Tips for Trying to Conceive)Trying to get conceive, or become pregnant can be challenging, frustrating, and an emotional rollercoaster for some couples. A couple can chart their progress, which may ultimately lead to a successful healthy pregnancy, or, when necessary, lead to discussions with a fertility specialist.