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Why Can Girls Get Pregnant on Their Period? Here’s the Answer

calendarAugust 23, 2016
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Is it possible to get your period and be pregnant?Is it possible to get your period and be pregnant?

Baby-making sex can be an exhausting practice for most women. From the day your period ends to the day you start ovulating, you need to consistently engage in sexual activity to get a better chance of conceiving. Still, many women ask the same question: can you get your period and still be pregnant? Or, can girls get pregnant on their period? If certain criteria are met, then yes, getting pregnant on your period is possible, although quite unusual.

Is it possible to get your period and be pregnant? Have other women experienced this as well? Our expert is here to answer our readers’ last questions on the never-ending problem of getting pregnant during menstruation.

1. Hi, I’m a 25-year-old woman with irregular periods. I’ve been dealing with this since I was 15, and no matter how much I tried, they’re still irregular. I’m having issues getting pregnant. I’ve tried calculating my approximate ovulation time, but to no avail. It doesn’t happen regularly – sometimes I can have it as early as 9 days, while sometimes I ovulate on day 15! I rarely have any premenstrual symptoms. As a matter of fact, except for some back pain (which is normal to me since my job entails sitting A LOT), I don’t experience any other PMS, so it’s difficult for me to predict when my next period is due to come. Could you help me a little? How to get pregnant fast with irregular periods?

Expert Answers:

Unfortunately, many women deal with irregular periods. Most of the time, the cause is either hormone-related, or has to do with stress or lifestyle changes. Have you tried engaging in stress-relieving activities such as yoga or basic walking? Have you talked to your ob-gyn about ways to regulate your period? He or she can prescribe you certain medications to help your period arrive more regularly.

Even if you have irregular periods, you can still conceive. The key is to find out when you’re likely to ovulate. Since you’re ovulating irregularly, measuring your basal temperature and taking note of the consistency and color of your vaginal discharge at the best ways. When you ovulate, your body temperature goes up by one degree, so if your normal temperature is 36°C (or 96°F), then your temperature when ovulating will be 37°C (or 98°F). You can use a thermometer to track the changes in your body temperature. Start with day 7 of your menstrual cycle (about 1-2 days after your period has stopped), and do this every day until you notice a change. When this happens, go ahead and have sex with your partner, as you’re probably ovulating.

Your vaginal discharge is usually the best indicator for ovulation. When your period stops, the discharge will likely be creamy, thick and somehow “dry,” becoming gradually clearer and thinner as you head into your fertile window. A few days before you ovulate, the consistency will be much thinner, becoming completely runny the day you ovulate. From the day your period stops, try sticking your index finger in your vagina every day, and write down the characteristics of your cervical mucus. If it’s runny and your body temperature has gone up by one degree, then you’re most definitely ovulating.

I suggest to start conceiving 1-2 days after your period has stopped, as you’ll be in your pre-ovulation phase. Have sex every other day – you don’t have to sex every day, and studies have shown that this is just as efficient as doing it daily! Read also: Can You Get Pregnant During Your Period?

2. I’ve had sex with my boyfriend (we’re getting married in 4 months) last week while I was on the last day on my period. I’m on birth control, but nevertheless, I think I might have gotten pregnant. There’s a weird discharge coming out of my vagina, and I have some bad cramping. The discharge is yellowish and kind of stinky. It itches a little, but doesn’t bother me that much. I’m planning to take a pregnancy test in 1 week, but I just wanted to know if I may be pregnant? I guess if you don't have a period, you’re pregnant, right? I’m really new to the whole thing, and would like some expert advice. Thank you!

Expert Answers:

Most women don’t get pregnant if they have sex while on their period. Why? The answer is quite simple: to conceive, fertilization must occur. Fertilization happens only when a sperm cell fertilizes an egg. If any of these two is missing, fertilization can’t take place. Your menstrual cycle starts the day your period arrives – that’s day 1. Ovulation, the most fertile time of the month, occurs on day 14-16. That’s when the egg is released by the ovary. An egg can survive up to 12-24 hours in the fallopian tube. If fertilization doesn’t occur, then it dies within that time frame (12-24 hours). A sperm cell is viable up to 5-6 days, sometimes even 7. Even if you have sex on the last day of your period (say, day 5), the sperm cells will survive only until day 10-11, whereas the egg will be released on day 14-16. In a nutshell, the sperm cell won’t live enough to fertilize the egg, so conceiving won’t take place.

However, this is possible if you have a shorter menstrual cycle of 24 days or less. You will probably ovulate a few days after your period stops, so sperm cells may be ready to fertilize the egg once it’s released.

The point is, your symptoms are similar to an STD rather than pregnancy. Normal vaginal discharge is either clear or white, sometimes yellow-tinted, and it doesn’t smell or cause any vulval discomfort. I’d say you have probably contracted an STD instead. Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea all cause yellowish discharge with a bad odor and thicker consistency. Another possibility is bacterial vaginosis, which you can get if your personal hygiene is not the brightest (e.g. you’re washing down there too rarely, or you’re using hygiene products to wash). Have the issue checked by your ob-gyn to see if you’re pregnant or if you’ve actually contracted an infection.

As for your other question, yes, if you’re pregnant then you will no longer get your period. However, if you have an STD, then you may also deal with missed periods, not to mention that your reproductive tract may be at risk. I suggest to take a few tests to rule out the possibility of an infection. If they turn out negative, take a pregnancy test as well.

Read also: Can You Get Pregnant Right Before Your Period? The Expert Answers: No.

3. I’m trying to get pregnant, and I think I’ve kind of succeeded. Last week I took two pregnancy tests that were positive, and a blood test that was also positive. However, my AF has just come! How it comes that I still get a period? It doesn’t look like my normal period does – the flow isn’t “continuous,” so to speak, and every time I go to pee, I see bright red spots only. What’s the problem with me? I’ll see my ob-gyn in a few days, but I just can’t wait to find out what’s wrong, and why I still have my period. Thank you for your advice!

Expert Answers:

First of all, congratulations for your beautiful baby!

It’s not uncommon to get your period even if you’re pregnant, but I’d first check if the blood you’re seeing is really your period. You don’t give information as to when you conceived, so I can’t tell you exactly what the cause is.

There are a few possibilities. First, it may be implantation bleeding. It usually occurs six days after fertilization, so it may happen around the same time as your next scheduled period. It usually lasts for a few minutes up to 1-2 days, and is extremely light, just as you’ve described in your message. You may experience mild cramping since the fertilized ovum (egg) will attach to your endometrium. If the bleeding stops in 1-2 days, then it was probably just implantation bleeding. If it progresses like your normal period, then something more serious, like a potential miscarriage, may be the cause.

Second, it can be postcoital bleeding. Have you had sex before the bleeding started? If yes, then that’s probably the cause. Postcoital bleeding is usually harmless, but you may want to further investigate it to make sure that both you and your baby are safe. Third (and most unfortunate), the bleeding may be due to an expected miscarriage. If your body rejects the pregnancy, then you might miscarry, which explains the blood you see on your pad. You should contact your doctor or midwife immediately and inform him/her about the bleeding. He/she will instruct you what to do further.

If none of these are causing the bleeding, and you’ve gotten your period in actuality, don’t worry. If hCG levels are not high enough yet, then you may get your period during the first month of pregnancy. However, it should stop next month. If it doesn’t inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Read also: Can You Get Pregnant Right After Your Period? Yes – or No?

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