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Can A Woman Become Pregnant During Her Period?

Put it down to old wives tales and common misconceptions, because even though it is unlikely that a woman will fall pregnant during her period, it is still absolutely possible!

 

 

 

Defining a period.

A woman’s period is commonly defined as the blood loss that occurs at the end of her ovulatory cycle. This is as a result of an egg not being fertilised by a sperm. Each and every month a woman will release an egg on approximately day 14 of her cycle. As the body prepares itself for the release of the egg, the hormones will increase to prepare and thicken the lining of the uterus in case the egg is successfully fertilised and a pregnancy occurs. In the absence of fertilisation the lining of the uterus is sloughed off around 14 days later – this blood loss is called your period.

The majority of women will experience periods that last from two to eight days and occur every 26 to 34 days. Ovulation normally takes place midway through this cycle and is what it is termed your ‘fertility window’ – your fertility window is when you are at your most fertile and most likely to conceive. The egg that is released during this process if not fertilised by a viable sperm will not survive and will come out will the menstrual blood around 14 days later. Generally most women will experience a normal 28-32 day cycle, however if a woman with this cycle has an average two to eight-day period she will not fall pregnant during her period.

There are special circumstances.

The world of ovulation and the individual differences in us all means that not every woman follows a 28-32 day cycle. For example, some women may have a shorter menstrual cycle (24 days for example) and may experience 7 days of bleeding, engage in intercourse on her final day of bleeding and ovulate three days later. And because sperm can live for three to five days, she most certainly could fall pregnant.

Many women also experience breakthrough spotting and bleeding between periods, this may occur during ovulation and can be mistaken for a period, making it extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly where she may be in her menstrual cycle. You can confirm your ovulation cycle with our Ovulation Calculator, if this is of a concern for you.

Remember if you engage in unprotected sex throughout your period and are concerned that you may be pregnant (or ecstatic as the case may be!) watch out for symptoms such as mild lower abdominal cramping, implantation spotting, breast tenderness and a tendency for mood swings. These symptoms may present themselves as early as two weeks after ovulation. The more noticeable symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and severe fatigue usually manifest closer to the six or seven-week mark.

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