Getting Pregnant During Your Period Is Highly Unlikely
Abdominal cramps, constipation, and bloating are some of the most common symptoms women feel during the 5-7 days of their period and are caused by the shedding of the uterine lining .
Is it possible to get pregnant on your period? Yes, if you have unprotected sex, it is possible to get pregnant during your period. However, the likelihood is low compared to other parts of the menstrual cycle. This is also the time many women understandably are not in the mood to have sex.
Your period happens as long as the egg from the previous menstrual cycle hasnt been fertilized. So getting your period is also a pretty reliable sign you are not pregnant. During the approx 5-7 days of your period, you shed your uterine lining through your vagina and the unfertilized, disintegrating egg is released along with it.
Can You Get Pregnant Outside A Fertile Window
Your fertile window refers to the time its possible to get pregnant. In a typical menstrual cycle of 28 days, there are around six days when youre most fertile .
But its important to keep in mind that cycle length can vary greatly from person to person, which was shown in a study conducted by Flo and the University of Adelaide. Even in people with regular cycles each month, the timing of the fertile window can be highly unpredictable as ovulation can take place on different days.
So, can you get pregnant when youre not ovulating? The short answer is yes. Its possible to get pregnant outside of your predicted fertile window because timing of ovulation may differ each month and sperm lives in the body for several days. Therefore, though more unlikely at some points, pregnancy can result from unprotected sex at any time during your menstrual cycle. If you want to avoid pregnancy, theres actually no safe time of the month to have unprotected sex so its important to always use contraception.
You can calculate your fertile window by tracking your cycles with Flo, observing your cervical fluid, and taking your bodys basal temperature. Using ovulation test kits will also make your predictions even more accurate.
Lets take a closer look at the possibility of conception at the different phases of your cycle.
What Are Ovulatory Disorders
Anything that hampers the normal ovulation process and causes irregular or failed ovulation can be termed as an ovulatory disorder. Anovulation is an ovulatory disorder where there is an absence of ovulation. Oligo-ovulation is a disorder where the ovulation occurs, but not every month. Here the ovulation is irregular.
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You’re Over 44 Years Old
Thanks to that good-old biological clock, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant wane over time. Women are born with some 1 million to 2 million eggs there’s only about 300,000 left when they get their first period and 25,000 left by their late 30s. This means that a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant in her early 40s are pretty slim, though it’s by no means impossible. “As we get closer to 40, the ticking of our biological clock becomes louder and by 44, it can be deafening,” she says. “Fertility decreases by as much as 95 percent in women between 40 and 45 years of age.”
How hard is it to get pregnant over 44 years old? According to Dr. Ross, women over the age of 44 have a less than 5 percent chance of getting pregnant each month.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period and continues up to the first day of your next period.
You’re most fertile at the time of ovulation , which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. This is the time of the month when you’re most likely to get pregnant.
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just after your period, although it can happen. It’s important to remember that sperm can sometimes survive in the body for up to 7 days after you have sex.
This means it may be possible to get pregnant soon after your period finishes if you ovulate early, especially if you have a naturally short menstrual cycle.
You should always use contraception when you have sex if you don’t want to become pregnant.
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What Happens In Anovulatory Cycles
Anovulatory cycles are fairly common in women affecting 1 in 10 women. In this condition, you do not ovulate.
When ovulation does not occur, the follicles keep growing in size. But they do not mature enough to rupture and release an egg. Thus corpus luteum never gets formed to release progesterone.
Despite no ovulation, you can get your period. This is known as breakthrough bleeding.
This is because your body has already prepared the uterine line for pregnancy by increasing the production of estrogen. Estrogen went on increasing to build the uterine lining.
Hence, no follicle rupture = no ovulation = no corpus luteum formation = no progesterone.
Progesterone is missing and hence is not available for maintaining the uterine lining.
Some women shed this lining on their own while many others require help from their doctor to shed the lining and get their periods.
Anovulation is one of the few reasons some women cant become pregnant and accounts for 30% of infertility cases. Contact your doctor if you have experienced anovulation for a while and think it is responsible for your infertility issues. Anovulation varies in individuals but it occurs more often as you reach menopause due to hormonal imbalance.
Polycystic Syndrome is another disorder that can cause the absence of ovulation. It prevents the maturation of eggs, hence no eggs are released for fertilization to take place.
Truth: To Get Pregnant Have Sex Before You Ovulate
If you want to get pregnant, you should have sex before you ovulate. Sex in the two days before ovulation is most likely to help you conceive.
While at first glance, it seems to make sense that the egg needs to be present before you send in the swimmers. However, thats not how it works.
First of all, sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for up to six days. The sperm will die off as the days pass, so the closer to ovulation you have sex, the better. But they dont need to get there “at the moment” of ovulation.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the egg becomes nonviable very quickly. If a sperm cell doesnt fertilize the egg within 12 to 24 hours of being released from the ovary, pregnancy cant occur.
When you take into consideration this short viability window, sex after ovulation could be too late.
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When Can You Get Pregnant
Whether you are trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid getting pregnant, it’s important to understand your menstrual cycle and how it relates to your fertility. There are a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding fertility. Once you learn exactly how and when pregnancy can happen, you’ll have a better idea of when you can and can’t get pregnant.
You can get pregnant if you have unprotected sex anywhere from 5 days before ovulation until 1 day after ovulation. You can’t get pregnant if you are not ovulating because there is no egg for the sperm to fertilize. When you have a menstrual cycle without ovulating, it’s called an anovulatory cycle. There are a lot of underlying issues that can cause this. It’s a common reason for infertility.
Exercise Or Lack Of Body Fat
You may be an athlete who is neither over- nor underweight . However, its not your weight that really impacts your reproductive cycleits the amount of fat.
Athletes may have a high percentage of muscle and a low percentage of body fat. This can cause their menstrual cycles to be irregular or even stop completely. Excessive exercise can also cause your periods to become irregular or stop.
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The Best Times In Your Menstrual Cycle To Get Pregnant
Whether youre trying to get pregnant knowing when you are most fertile is very important. If you and your partner are trying to have a baby, you can increase your chances of conceiving by having sex at the right time.
On the flip side, if you are trying not to get pregnant, understanding when your fertile window is can help avoid pregnancy by abstaining from sex at those times. Having said that, if you want to take the stress factor out of it completely, nothing beats protection like a condom, IUD, or another form of birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. We recommend you discuss birth control options with your healthcare provider.
What If I Have Irregular Periods
If you have irregular periods, meaning that your periods are outside of the 2135-day window or if your cycle intervals vary by more than seven days each month , you should speak with your Gyn/OB or a fertility specialist. This irregularity may be due to a hormone imbalance and could make it more challenging to get pregnant using natural family planning methods.
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Can You Get Pregnant Without Having A Period
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about womens health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.
Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Can you get pregnant without having a period in months? Yes, its possible, but its not likely. If youre not getting your periods, this is a good reason to see your gynecologist. There are some normaland some not-so-normalreasons this can occur. What could cause you not to get your periods? Could you be pregnant and not know it?
What do your periods have to do with getting pregnant? And, if you want to get pregnant, how can your doctor help you conceive if youre not menstruating?
Thyroid Dysfunction And Reproductive Health
Your thyroid gland is regulated by the hypothalamus-pituitary axis a dynamic duo featuring the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland . When something happens in one area of the HPA, it often triggers a chain reaction in other areas. What this means: When there are higher or lower levels of thyroid hormones, it can alter our reproductive hormones and disrupt the menstrual cycle which makes conception trickier. But just because you have hypo- or hyperthyroidism doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. In one study of a group of almost 400 women suffering from infertility, 24% of participants were found to have hypothyroidism but within a year of treatment, 76% were able to conceive.
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Can You Ovulate Right After Your Period
That is determined by how many days are in your cycle. The number of days in your cycle is calculated by counting the number of days from the beginning of one period to the beginning of the next period. If you have a short cycle, for example, 21 days, and you bleed for 7 days, then you could ovulate right after your period.
This is because ovulation generally occurs 12-16 days before your next period begins, and this would estimate you ovulating at days 6-10 of your cycle.
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Calculating Your Monthly Fertility Window
Your fertility window is the time during your menstrual cycle when youre most likely to get pregnant. For most people, its the five days leading up to ovulation, the day of ovulation and the day after ovulation. Calculating your monthly fertility window can help you target the optimal time to have sex if youre trying to conceive. However, natural family planning is a less reliable form of contraception and does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
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How Does Age Affect A Woman’s Ability To Have Children
Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. In fact, about 20 percent of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35. So age is a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have fertility problems.
Aging decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:
- Her ovaries become less able to release eggs
- She has a smaller number of eggs left
- Her eggs are not as healthy
- She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems
- She is more likely to have a miscarriage
What Causes Anovulatory Cycles
Anovulation is usually the result of an imbalance of the hormones that control ovulation. It begins with a surge in luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone levels. Anything that interferes with these hormones can cause anovulation, which can be caused by several underlying conditions, including:
Obesity. A high body mass index can cause you to have excess male hormones such as testosterone, called androgens. This can interfere with the hormones that regulate ovulation.
Low body weight or excessive exercise. As with having a high BMI, having a low BMI or excessively exercising can cause anovulation. It does this by disrupting the release of the hormones that control ovulation from your pituitary gland.
Stress.Stress also affects the hormones that control ovulation. One study found that women who had high levels of an enzyme that indicates stress in their saliva took 29% longer to conceive than those with low levels of the enzyme.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome .PCOS is the most common cause of hormonal imbalance in women of childbearing age. It affects approximately 1 in 10 women. PCOS causes you to produce excess androgens. High levels of androgens cause the follicles, or sacs, in your ovaries that contain your eggs to remain small. This can prevent your body from releasing eggs.
Can You Get Pregnant If You’re Not Ovulating Science Explains
There are a lot of myths about how you can get pregnant. Personally, I think more than a few are easy to believe because sex education is still, in the year 2017, lacking in this country. And since reproductive health is rarely discussed openly and honestly, many women don’t know how to tell and/or don’t notice when they’re ovulating. So, can you get pregnant if you’re not ovulating?
The very short and definitive answer to that question is no. You cannot get pregnant if you are not ovulating, according to New-Kids Center, a site dedicated to health information for pregnant women, babies, and kids. Turns out, ovulating is the key to the whole insemination process, which essentially kicks off pregnancy. There are, however, medical options made available to women that don’t require ovulation when attempting to get pregnant. For example, using In Vitro Fertilization doesn’t require a woman to ovulate, but instead uses a “process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish,” according to the American Pregnancy Association . Guys, science is rad.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with ovulation, don’t fret. The APA defines ovulation as the moment “when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is made available to be fertilized.”
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How Else Can I Prepare For Pregnancy
In addition to tracking your ovulation to determine your fertile window, its important to schedule preconception counseling with your doctor. There are a variety of screenings and lifestyle modifications that can help increase your chances of a successful planned pregnancy.
If youre under 35 and have been trying to conceive for more than a year, or if youre over 35 and have been trying for six months, it may be time to talk to your doctor about why you cant get pregnant.
I Never Used A Hormonal Birth Control Method So We Should Get Pregnant As Soon As We Start Trying
Just because your hormones havent been affected by hormonal contraceptives doesn’t necessarily put you at an advantage. Your body may be better able to regulate itself but this doesn’t mean you can get pregnant any more easily. Your fertility can be influenced by many factors other than contraceptives.
Using Ovulation Calculators And Kits
Ovulation calendars and kits can also help you predict ovulation.
Ovulation calendars are available on websites such as www.yourfertility.org.au, and use the date of your last period and the length of your cycle to predict when you are likely to be most fertile.
Home ovulation predictor kits are available from pharmacies. You use the kit a few days before your predicted ovulation day, to test for a rise in the level of a hormone called luteinising hormone in your urine. A positive result indicates you will ovulate within the next 24 to 36 hours.
A blood test, which your doctor can order, can also detect ovulation by measuring levels of the hormone progesterone.
For more information and support, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
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