If You Have Sex During Your Period You Can’t Get Pregnant
It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant, but not impossible. You are fertile on the days leading up to and around the time of ovulation due to the lifespan of sperm and if you have a short cycle you could be ovulating just after your period. So you could be fertile very early in your cycle when you are still bleeding.
What Are Ovulation Tests And Why Should I Use Them
Ovulation tests are at-home urine-based hormone tests that you can use to monitor your cycle. They detect the level of LH in your urine in order to predict when ovulation is going to occur.
During the follicular phase or first half of your cycle growing follicles mature and start producing estrogen. When your estrogen reaches a certain level, it sends a signal to your pituitary gland indicating the follicles are mature and your body is ready to ovulate.
The pituitary gland then releases a surge of LH that triggers the follicle to release the egg, causing ovulation to occur.
If you are trying to conceive, youll want to use ovulation tests to predict when ovulation will occur and time intercourse correctly. After all, an egg is only viable for 12-24 hours after its released, and you have a small timeframe in which sperm can fertilize it. This is referred to as your fertile window and it is the only time in each cycle when conception is possible.
Luckily, sperm can live in a womans reproductive tract for up to 5 days, meaning having intercourse before ovulation can ensure sperm is waiting for the egg once its released. Using ovulation tests helps you time intercourse before ovulation to increase your chances at conception.
Cons of ovulation tests include:
The pros, on the other hand, include:
Chances Of Getting Pregnant Right After Your Period
“I recommend having sex frequentlytwo to three times a week, but every other day if you canshortly after you stop menstruating to cover your window of pre-ovulation,” says Kelly Pagidas, M.D., a fertility specialist with Women & Infants Center for Reproduction and Infertility in Providence.
Here’s why: Around day seven of your cycle, you’ll notice a vaginal discharge that seems a little springy to the touch. Within a few days, it will turn white and creamy, a cue that your fertility is returning once again. It doesn’t mean the egg has been released yet, but it indicates that ovulation is on the way and that your cervical mucus is a friendly environment for sperm.
Remember, you can get pregnant right after your period, even if you’re not yet ovulating. That’s because sperm can live up to five days if it’s trapped in fertile cervical mucusso it behooves you to get a few of his swimmers in place. “One study showed that people who had sex only one time during this phase, even four to five days before ovulation, still got pregnant,” says Steven R. Bayer, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF fertility clinic in Boston.
Your chances of conceiving: Good. An egg isn’t technically released during this phase, but you’ll want to step up your sexual routine in the event that you ovulate earlier than planned.
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Chances Of Getting Pregnant On Your Period
In essence, menstruation is the monthly shedding of the endometrium, the inner membrane of the uterus. Menstruation lasts between three and seven days for most women. By the third day, levels of progesterone and estrogen are rising and working to rebuild your endometrium. Around day four, follicle ripening begins to go on the uptick, meaning the ovaries will start preparing eggs for release.
Unless you’re a very early ovulator , there’s little chance your man’s sperm will actually have any eggs to work with during this phase of your cycle.
Your chances of conceiving: Almost zero. It’s not detrimental to have intercourse, though, and some women see menstruation as a breather from the rigors of frequent procreation-oriented sex.
How Do I Know If Im Ovulating
As an adult, you are probably ovulating most of the time if your cycle is generally within range . Cycle that are consistently outside of those ranges âcan be an indication of anovulation, and a reason to talk to your healthcare provider.
To know if youâre ovulating , you might try:
Tracking your cycle length and regularity in Clue
Using ovulation urine tests, bought at your pharmacy
Tracking your physical signs of fertility for a few cycles, including your basal body temperature and cervical fluid
Having your healthcare provider check your hormonal profile
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Truth: You Can Get Pregnant During Your Period
You can get pregnant if you have sex during your period. Your ability to get pregnant is dependent on when you ovulate, and not directly associated with menstruation.
Some women mistakenly believe that if they are still on their period, they arent yet in the “fertile window.” But if your cycle is short, and you ovulate on day 7 or 8, you can conceive from sex during your period.
Another misconception people have is that menstruation will “wash out” any sperm along with period blood. But thats not true. Your period wont stop sperm from swimming up to your reproductive system.
Chances Of Getting Pregnant After Ovulation
Also known as the luteal phase, this final portion of your cycle lasts a minimum of 12 days and a maximum of 16 days. Progesterone starts to rise, signaling that the ovaries don’t need to release any more eggs this month. Your cervical mucus will dry up and create a plug to prevent any additional sperm from entering the uterus.
It takes about six days for any fertilized eggs to travel to your uterus. If one implants in your endometrium, you’ll start to see the rise in human chorionic gonadotropin , the hormone measured by home pregnancy tests, within a week.
Your chances of conceiving: Low. Once the egg has been released, there’s not much that can be done until next month. But there’s certainly no harm in having sex if you’re in the mood!
Don’t sweat it if it’s time for your cycle to start over again and you’re still not pregnant. You may not have tracked your most fertile days accurately, in which case your guy’s swimmers never had the chance to work their magic. The vast majority of couples who are trying to conceive do so within a year, with only about half achieving their goal by 6 months. Talk to your doctor or a fertility specialist about any concerns regarding your chances of getting pregnant.
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How Soon After An Abortion Can You Get Pregnant
Because your cycle can resume immediately following an abortion, it is possible to become pregnant straight away. If you ovulate within 2-3 weeks, this means that you can technically become pregnant within a month after having an abortion.
However, bear in mind that everyones bodies and timeliness are different, so the earliest you can get pregnant after an abortion can vary among women. If you want to prevent further pregnancies, you should begin taking birth control immediately following an abortion.
If I Check My Temperature Every Morning Will That Tell Me When I Can Get Pregnant
Carefully tracking your basal body temperature with a basal body thermometer will help you know when ovulation has occurred, but won’t predict when it will happen in the future. BBT is one component of certain Fertility Awareness-Based Methods of contraception, called symptothermal methods. By following careful rules that combine the changes in BBT with carefully-tracked changes in cervical mucus, you can estimate the days in your cycle when you have the highest likelihood of becoming pregnant . If you’re interested in using a FAM for contraception, talk to your healthcare provider to find out more. You can track your BBT and cervical mucus in Clue .
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Is There A Chance Of Conceiving If You’re Currently On Birth Control
Chances are, if you’re currently using birth control, you’re not TTC but how successful your birth control method is at preventing pregnancy differs significantly based on what you’re using.
The effectiveness of birth control methods are measured in two ways:
- One way focuses on perfect use .
- The other focuses on typical use . Below, we’ll focus on this way of measuring because of its real-world relevance.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the least effective birth control method is spermicide of couples who only use this method over the course of a year, 28 out of 100 will experience an unintended pregnancy within the first year of typical use.
This number falls to 18 out of 100 over the course of a year for condoms, and further drops to 9 out of 100 for the pill, the patch, and the ring. While a 9 in 100 failure rate seems high for these hormone-based methods, it’s important to remember that this rate takes into account user error. Because women don’t always take the pill as directed or replace their patches and rings on schedule, failure rates for these methods are higher than they would be with perfect use.
You Took Plan B During Ovulation
Now for the mother of all questions: Is Plan B effective if you are already ovulating? Heres the deal: Preventing pregnancy with Plan Bor any form of ECis all about timing. Sperm can live inside your body for up to five days after sex, waiting for an egg to join up with. If you ovulate during that time, the sperm and egg can meet and cause pregnancy. Morning-after pills work by temporarily stopping ovulation, but if your ovary has already released an egg, your EC wont keep you from getting pregnant, according to Planned Parenthood. So, if you happen to have unprotected sex during your fertile windowfour days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate, and the day afteryoure just naturally more likely to get pregnant, Dr. White explains.
So what should you do if you had unprotected sex during ovulation? Your best bet is the Paragard IUD. Its the best emergency contraception we have. Because it works by inhibiting sperm, the timing in your cycle doesnt matter as much, Dr. White says. Of course, getting an IUD is way different than taking the morning-after pill, but it may be worth it if youre looking for the most effective EC possible.
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Other Post Ovulation Signs
Besides the types of cervical mucus post ovulation described above, the other signs that you have ovulated include:
- Changes in the basal body temperature with a rise being noted during or after ovulation. The basal body temperature may drop for a while just before ovulation but then rises sharply when ovulation sets in.
- When you insert your finger into the vagina during ovulation, you will notice that the cervix will be wet, open, high and soft compared to normal times.
- A heightened sense of smell, vision and taste.
- A higher than normal sex drive.
You may see only a few of these signs or none at all. In either case, it is perfectly normal. When the spotting and cramps become too much, see your doctor.
Your Follicular Phase Is Considered Plastic Compared To Your Luteal Phase
That means it can commonly change in length, from cycle-to-cycle. If you know the length of your typical luteal phase you can count backwards to get an idea of when you ovulated. Changes in the length of your cycle are usually pinpointed in the follicular phaseâthe time it takes a follicle to reach the point of ovulation.
Itâs common not to ovulate on a regular basis when you first start menstruating. Itâs also common to have irregular ovulation just after pregnancy and breastfeeding, and during the years approaching menopause.
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Strive For A Healthy Body Weight
A woman’s weight can also impact the chances of conceiving: Being overweight or underweight may reduce those odds. Research has shown that a woman who is overweight can take twice as long to become pregnant as a woman whose body-mass index is considered normal weight, Pavone said. A woman who is underweight might take four times as long to conceive, she said.
Having too much body fat produces excessestrogen, which can interfere with ovulation,according to the Cleveland Clinic. A 2017 study suggested that couples in the study in which both partners were very obese, with BMIs of at least 35, took from 55% to 59% longer to become pregnant, compared with couples who were not obese, the researchers reported in the journalHuman Reproduction.
In a study published in 2020 in the journal PLOS One, researchers looked at data from more than 50,000 couples in China trying to conceive over the course of a year they found that women’s ability to conceive within a given timeframe decreased as their BMI increased.
Male obesity, which can disrupt the male endocrine system as well as sperm viability and concentration, can also affect a couple’s ability to become pregnant, scientists reported in 2020 in the journalAndrologia.
Women who are underweight, with a BMI less than 18, might not be getting regular periods or could stop ovulating, which also hinders their ability to become pregnant, according to theUniversity of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.
So When Is Pregnancy Most Likely
The only time you can get pregnant is during your fertile window.
An egg only lives for about 24 hours after being released from your ovary, and sperm can only live for up to five days inside the body.
That means you can only get pregnant if you have sex:
- in the four to five days leading up to ovulation
- on the day of ovulation
- on the day after ovulation
If youre looking to conceive, the best time to have sex is right before ovulation. This will give sperm time to reach the fallopian tube and meet the egg there.
After that, if no sperm has fertilized the egg, it will dissolve. You wont be able to get pregnant until your cycle restarts.
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Take A Prenatal Vitamin
Pavone recommends that women who are attempting to conceive start taking a prenatal vitamin even before becoming pregnant. This way, a woman can find one that’s more agreeable to her system and stay on it during pregnancy, she said.
Another possibility is to take a daily multivitamin, as long as it contains at least 400 micrograms per day offolic acid, a B vitamin that’s important for preventing birth defects in a baby’s brain and spine, Pavone said.
TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention urges women to take 400 mcg of folic acid every day for at least one month before getting pregnant, to help prevent birth defects.
Getting a head start on folic acid supplementation is a good idea because the neural tube develops into the brain and spine three tofour weeks after conception occurs, before many women may realize they’re expecting.
Discharge After Ovulation If Pregnant
Of course, if you are trying to conceive, it is important you monitor your vaginal discharge from time to time. As earlier mentioned, it could be a quick way to know you could be pregnant.
After ovulation, there are multiple signs you may begin to experience. Your vaginal discharge will change too in volume and consistency.
After ovulation, if you are pregnant, you will notice your vaginal discharge feel excessive and watery. If you get this type of discharge, it is possible you are pregnant.
Another point to note is the timing. Just a few days to your next period you should experience some kind of drop in the volume of your discharge.
If it becomes excessive and watery within one week to your experienced period, thats a sign that you could be pregnant.
Having said that, there are other causes of excessive discharge before your period. Most commonly is a yeast infection. If you have a yeast infection, you will notice other symptoms too such as vaginal itching, vulvar sore, painful intercourse, and pain when urinating.
Another possible reason for excessive discharge is Bacterial vaginosis. You may not feel itching down there but your discharge may be excessive with a foul-smelling odor.
Nevertheless, there are other signs of pregnancy you should be experiencing too. They include
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Truth: Birth Control Does Not Cause Infertility
Hormonal birth control does prevent pregnancy when youre using it properly, but once you stop taking it, your fertility returns. Research has found that birth control does not increase your risk of infertility.
Sometimes, a woman will have regular periods while taking birth control, and then, after she stops, they become irregular. She may think that this means the birth control caused her cycles to be irregular, especially if she had regular cycles before taking contraception. This isnt accurate, however.
Most hormonal birth control drugs cause an artificial regular cycle. Once you stop taking it, the body takes over. Its not that the birth control caused your cycles to become irregular, its that the birth control was creating an artificial regular cycle.
Sometimes, it happens that a woman easily conceives her first or second child, goes on birth control for a while, and then when she tries to have another, she experiences infertility. Its easy to blame birth control for this, but secondary infertility isnt caused by birth control use.
There is one form of birth control that may impact your fertility longer than a month or so after discontinuation: the birth control shot, or Depo-Provera. Depo-Provera doesn’t cause infertilityyour fertility will return.