The short answer: YES!
The idea that you can’t get pregnant when on your period is a common misconception. However, although it may be statistically less likely, it still is quite possible!
How is this possible?
There are a couple of ways to get pregnant on your period, whether it’s just by chance, longer or shorter ovulation cycles, or an irregular period!
The chances of getting pregnant is dictated by your ovulation cycle. The highest chance of a woman conceiving stems from when she ovulates, or releases an egg. Typically, this happens midway between periods, so if your cycle is 28 days long, and day 1 is the first day of your period, you can expect to generally ovulate on the 14th day. However, even with the chances being higher on the 14th day, the chances of getting pregnant outside of this window are 100% possible.
Having a shorter or longer-than-average cycle may also increase the chances of getting pregnant during your period. For example, if we look at a shorter-than-average ovulation cycle it’s possible to ovulate just 4-5 days after finishing your period. Sperm can live inside of a woman’s uterus for up to 5 days, so it’s quite possible that the sperm will still be alive if you had sex on your period and then ovulate within the following days or weeks of your period.
Lastly, an irregular period can make it harder to track your ovulation date. Whether it has always been irregular or has become irregular due to stress or hormone
al and/or weight changes, an irregular period can make ovulation unpredictable.
When’s the safest time to have sex without getting pregnant, then?
Although you can track your ovulation cycle and try to have sex outside of the time frame when an egg releases, pregnancy is still always possible. For example, if you have sex at the end of your period, but happen to ovulate early, there’s a possibility that you can conceive. The safest route to avoid pregnancy is by using
contraceptives like birth control or by using condoms and other practices of safe sex!
Want to learn more? Have other questions about sex, STIs, HIV/AIDS, or contraception? Remember you can chat with Nivi on WhatsApp any time. It’s private, confidential, and free!