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Can Pregnancy Occur During Menstruation?

Generally speaking, it is extremely rare for pregnancy to occur during menstruation.  However, it is technically possible that pregnancy can occur during menstruation.

TO understand how pregnancy can occur during menstruation, it is important to have an understanding of how exactly a woman’s menstrual and ovulatory cycle works, as well as an understanding how pregnancy occurs.

Pregnancy occurs when a sperm meets an egg in the woman’s fallopian tube.  During a woman’s monthly cycle, one of her ovaries releases an egg into the fallopian tube.  The ovary that releases the egg will vary from month to month.  The process of releasing this egg is called ovulation.  This egg can only survive for around twenty-four hours in your fallopian tube.  For pregnancy to occur, a sperm has to meet the egg pretty much right away when you ovulate.

If the egg is not fertilized, both the egg and the lining of the uterus are shed.  This is what causes your menstrual period.  As you can see, menstruation and ovulation are two distinct times in a woman’s cycle, and will occur at different times of the month.

For pregnancy to occur during menstruation, one of several things would have to happen.  If your menstrual cycle is extremely short, it is possible that you could begin ovulating right as you are done menstruating.  Another possibility is if you tend to bleed for a long period of time during your period.  If this is the case, it could be that you are still bleeding long after you are actually done menstruating, and while you are actually ovulating.

There is another possible way that pregnancy can occur during menstruation.  Sperm can live inside of your body for up to several days.  If your period ends just a few days before you ovulate, it is possible that those sperm from as many as 6 or 7 days ago can make you pregnant.

Another possibility that can make it seem like pregnancy has occurred during menstruation is breakthrough vaginal bleeding.  Sometimes, a woman may bleed a little bit during the time that she ovulates, and this could be mistaken for a period.  However, a woman’s normal period would have to be very short for her to make this mistake.

Overall, it is very, very uncommon for pregnancy to occur during menstruation.

  • tink

    i would like to know wat r the chances of getting pregnent after 9th day of my ovulation period when my period starts at 3rd, and we had on 11th, plz let me know wat r the chances of getting pregnent as my period r regular.

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.