We have been told a number of times that having sex on your period is safe in terms of conception. However, it’s simply not true: while the chances of it happening are low, there is still such a possibility. Read on to learn how it can happen, and why periods are characterized by lower chances of conception.
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Is fertility window really between days 10 and 17?
Unplanned pregnancies occur often, and not only because some women do not know the dates on which they are most likely to ovulate: while the fertile period is supposed to be between days ten and seventeen, only 30% of women have it within this range. In all the rest, the menstrual cycle is either irregular or unusual: ovulation can happen on other days of the cycle, and simply counting days is not a reliable way to determine when you have your fertility window.
Regularity of the menstrual cycle depends on many factors, including health problems, age, etc. It is most regular in those aged 25-35. As for teenagers and females who are approaching menopause, their cycles tend to vary often. Research revealed that there are women who start the fertile window on day 2 – there are not many of them (about 2%), but there is a chance of your belonging to this group. Contrary to “standards”, over 70% of women start the fertile window not between days 10 and 17, but either before (!) day 10 or after (!) day 17. This leaves us with only a small group of females whose bodies work according to what is written in guidelines.
That being said, getting pregnant is possible almost on any day of the menstrual cycle: while the odds vary depending on what day it is, you can conceive during your period.
How do I know ovulation is about to occur?
As seen from the piece of information above, counting days is not a reliable approach. Basically, there are three common ways to detect ovulation.
- Ultrasound scanning. It is the most reliable method, as your doctor will be able to see what is going on in your ovaries.
- Ovulation tests. You can use such a test at home, but they are not always accurate.
- Tracking basal body temperature. Charting BBT can help you determine which phase of the menstrual cycle is currently underway. However, it is not that reliable, as it can be difficult to track it properly. BBT is the temperature of your body you have in the morning before you get up. It means you must have a thermometer ready, not move a lot so as not to affect the results, and do it every day. Besides, the method is not very accurate, because BBT changes after (!) ovulation occurs, usually after 10-24 hours.
Besides, there can be other ovulation signs (for example, some women feel pain in one of the ovaries, etc.). All these methods can help you find out whether your fertility window starts while you are still bleeding.
Even if your ovulation usually occurs on day 17, it does not mean you cannot get pregnant while on your period, because there are many factors that can affect the menstrual cycle, including stress, travelling, etc.
Some women can take vaginal bleeding caused by diseases or injuries for periods. It is recommended that every woman visits a gynecologist regularly, and if vaginal bleeding occurs (especially if it’s not the usual time for the next period), you should consult a doctor ASAP so as to make sure there is nothing dangerous behind it.
All in all, getting pregnant while on period is not impossible, though not common among the majority of women. There is a chance of conceiving while bleeding, and statistics suggests that such cases are not very rare.