Although it is unlikely, it is possible to get pregnant during menstruation.
If you are asking this question, it would appear that you need a little lesson on how your menstrual cycle works. You also need to understand a bit about ovulation and how and when pregnancy can occur.
You and Your Menstrual Cycle
Your cycle length is not the same as the number of days you see menstrual bleeding. You can calculate the length by counting the days between when your period started and the day before the next one started. Most women have cycles that start every 26 to 34 days. You will ovulate about 14 days before your period is due to arrive. If you have a 28 day cycle, you will ovulate around day 14 of your cycle. This is your most fertile period and the time that you have the highest chances of getting pregnant. This is the only time during the month that you will be able to get pregnant. Ovulation is the key there though, not the cycle day. If you have had sex around the time you ovulated, you can end up pregnant.
If your egg doesn’t get fertilized, your cycle will continue until menstrual bleeding starts at the beginning of your next cycle. Menstruation is when your uterus sheds its lining and you bleed the end of the ovulatory cycle. This is usually what happens when a sperm has not fertilized your egg.
Ovulation and Your Cycle
Ovulation is an important part a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. You can only get pregnant if you are close to ovulating or have just ovulated.
During ovulation, your ovary releases a mature egg into the fallopian tube. Fertilization of the egg can only a day or so after ovulation. After that, the egg begins to disintegrate. If there is sperm there to fertilize the egg, it will then travel to the uterus and implant. If the egg is not fertilized, it leaves the woman’s body during menstrual bleeding. This occurs about two weeks after ovulation.
Ovulation has three distinct phases: pre-ovulation, ovulation, and post-ovulation. These are sometimes called the follicular phase, the ovulation phase, and the luteal phase.
The follicular phase begins on the first day of menstural bleeding and continues until ovulation. As your period progresses and your hormones change, the eggs in the ovary prepare for release. The uterine lining begins to thicken and you will notice changes in your cervical mucus. For the first few days following your period you will not notice much of a change in the cervical mucus. When you are ovulating, the mucous becomes stretchy and clear and resembles raw egg whites.
The next phase is the actual ovulation phase. You can calculate the ovulation phase by starting with the first day of the last menstrual period. Most women ovulate sometime between day 11 and day 21. Some women will notice a slight twinge of pain in the abdominal area while ovulating, but many others don’t recognize any other symptoms. This is when a woman is fertile. The typical length of this phase is from 24 to 48 hours.
The luteal phase begins on the day of ovulation and lasts until the start of the next period. On average, the luteal phase is 14 days long but can be between 10 to 14 days long. During this phase, the pituitary gland releases LH or luteinizing hormone which is the precursor of ovulation. If an egg is fertilized, it then implants into the uterus. If not, the egg slowly stops producing hormones. The uterine lining breaks down and your cycle will restart with menstrual bleeding.
The average woman has a 28 day cycle and will ovulate around day 14. Unfortunately, these numbers are not set in stone for every woman. Some women have longer or shorter menstrual cycles and may have luteal shorter luteal phase. If a woman has a 32 day cycle, and a luteal phase that lasts 12 days, she will ovulate on day 20 of her menstrual cycle.
How Getting Pregnant During Menstruation Is Possible
According to fertility specialist Carolyn Kubik it is possible to conceive from having sex during your period. It has to do with your cycle length, how long your menstrual bleeding is, and when you are having sex.
For example, let’s say you have a very short cycle that is 23 days long. Ovulation typically happens 14 days before your period is due. For a cycle length of 23 days, you will likely ovulate around day 9 of your cycle. If your menstrual bleeding that lasts seven days, you could end up being pregnant if you have sex on the 5th, 6th or 7th day of menstrual bleeding. Sperm prefer alkaline environments and menstrual blood is alkaline. The sperm will survive if you have sex during your period and could live up to 5 days after ejaculation. The sperm will be able to swim through the menstrual blood to the fallopian tubes to wait for the egg.
You will have to wait until a day or two before your period is due take a pregnancy test to find out if you are pregnant.