Getting pregnant on periods- What are the odds?

Sex during periods can be a divisive matter. For some, it is a part of their regular sex lives, but for others, it is a big messy no, no. 

A female is most likely to get pregnant during the ovulation phase. Ovulation happens around 14 days before the period starts. But, every female’s period cycle length is different, and the length of the cycle can change monthly or at any point. For females having a short menstrual cycle, the risk of getting pregnant during periods is higher. ( Also Read: How to calculate your most Fertile Days to get Pregnant? )

It is an important point to consider that the sperm can actually stay alive in the female’s body for up to 7 days. So, if a female has a 22-day period cycle and ovulates soon after getting her period, there is a high chance she will be releasing an egg while the sperm is still in her reproductive tract.


Are you fertile on periods?

missed period

Simply put, yes! While a female is not able to conceive while on her period, the sperm can survive in the female’s reproductive system for up to 5 days. This means that some females have a good chance of getting pregnant from unprotected sex during periods. It all depends on the length of her menstrual cycle.

For instance, a female has a menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days. She has sex towards the end of her 6-day long period and ovulates shortly after it. Then, there is a chance that some of the sperm survives and she gets pregnant. 

So, it means that it is possible to get pregnant in periods or from having unprotected sex during periods. 


What are the chances of getting pregnant in periods?

A fertile female’s likelihood of getting pregnant rises and falls throughout her ovulation phase. Some females have an average monthly cycle of 29 days while others may have an irregular cycle which varies from 20 to 40 days, or even longer. 

The likelihood of getting pregnant 1 to 2 days after a female starts bleeding is almost zero. But the chances increase with each successive day, even when the female is still bleeding. 

At around day 13 after the period has begun, the chances of pregnancy are about 9%. 

Even though these numbers seem to below, it does not mean that a woman can ever be 100% sure that she won’t get pregnant on period.

A highly fertile female with a short period cycle has a good chance of getting pregnant in her periods. 

Precautions- Birth control 

birth control

For those who are trying to get pregnant or would be happy to get pregnant, it is okay if you do not want to use birth control or condoms. But, an important note for you is that having sex on periods will not likely help you conceive unless your period cycle is less than 28 days. But it is always possible that you get pregnant the other way. 

If you are not trying to get pregnant, it is important to have protected sex, even in your periods. You can use any form of contraception you are comfortable with, from condom or birth control pills, all work the same on periods as they normally do. 

Birth control pills do not provide a barrier against STDs or sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, gonorrhea, or chlamydia. To prevent STIs, STDs or unwanted infections, use a condom.


woman holding pregnancy test

A female’s ovulation cycle can vary from time to time.  So, it is statistically possible for a female to get pregnant while on her period. While pregnancy is less likely in the earlier days of the period cycle, the chances of getting a pregnant increase in the latter days. 

If you are trying to get pregnant and have not conceived after a year or more of having unprotected vaginal intercourse, it is better to visit a doctor. An expert can recommend various methods that can help you get pregnant. 

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