Yes. You Can Get Pregnant While You’re Menstruating. Period!

It’s time to get to the bottom of this: Your period doesn’t protect you from pregnancy. If you’re trying not to get pregnant during your period, use a contraceptive method. The probability of getting knocked-up during your period is lower, but it happens. A lot more than you think.

The Facts:

  • Some women may bleed when their ovaries release an egg each month (called ovulation) and mistake it for their periods. You’re at your peak fertility when you ovulate, so having sex during this time could actually make you more likely to get pregnant.
  • You may ovulate before your period is over, or within a few days after the bleeding stops. Since sperm can hang out in your body for up to three days, having sex during your period could lead to pregnancy.
  • Tracking your period is a crapshoot. When you get your very first period, your cycles may be longer, meaning more time may pass from when one period starts to the next. A typical cycle for a teenage girl may be 21 to 45 days. As you age, they get shorter and more predictable, averaging about 21 to 35 days. But tracking periods can be hit or miss and is not a very effective form of birth control.
  • Hormone changes that happen during perimenopause (the time before full menopause) can throw you for a loop. The time from one period to the next may get shorter or longer, and you may have heavier or lighter bleeding during your period. Basically, your monthly visitor gets confused during this timeframe. And yeah for us, this phase can last up to 10 years before you start menopause and stop getting your period for good.

Even though pregnancy prevention isn’t one of the benefits of having sex while on your period, there are plenty of others like helping to alleviate cramps and shortening the length of your period. Here is a great article we found that mentions 7 great reasons to have sex on your period.

The bottom line: Use contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what time of the month it is. There are loads of options – an implant, an IUD, patch, pill, ring an more. One will work well for you. And to protect you and your partner from STIs, using a condom at the same time is the way to go.