It is 2023 already, but there still are some persistent period myths. For exemple: that the menstrual cycles of women who live together in close proximity sync up over time. That using tampons could make you lose your virginity. And also, that you can’t get pregnant when you are menstruating.
So, you can get pregnant on your period? Yes of course you can! Menstruation is no contraceptive. You can get pregnant at any moment of your cycle. So yes, also when you’re menstruating. The chance is very small, but it’s still possible. Don’t want to get pregnant? Then better take precautions, also when having sex during your period.
The length of an average menstrual cycle is about 28 days. The day your period starts is day 1. The cycle ends on the first day of your next period. About halfway through the cycle you ovulate: an egg is released from one of your ovaries. Some women feel this in the form of a twinge of pain. This is the moment you are most fertile, but beware when having sex before you ovulate: semen stays alive for about three days. To those of you now thinking ‘oh, no worries!’: only the ideal cycle is about 28 days. If you have a shorter menstrual cycle, there’s a chance that you’re still menstruating while you’re about to ovulate.
Always a good idea
Using contraception is always a good idea. Condoms protect against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If used as indicated, the contraceptive pill prevents pregnancy, also in the pill-free week. Other forms of protection are an IUD (intrauterine device) or coil, contraceptive injections, diaphragms, patches, implants, and of course sterilisation.
There’s also a more natural way: the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). That’s when you predict your fertile and infertile times on a calendar or chart, or with a special device, helped by daily temperature readings. The Fertility Awareness Method is mostly used by women wanting to get pregnant, but nothing stops you from using it the other way around. This method is getting more and more effective. But be aware though: you have to make an effort to let the FAM method succeed.
The moral of the story is: don’t take any risks. And if you’re wondering whether you could be pregnant, visit your GP. Period!
Good to know: it is also possible for women to bleed when they’re pregnant. This isn’t menstrual blood, it’s called implantation bleeding.
Period! is an independent, online magazine about all aspects of menstruation. Period! is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you’re suffering from medical complaints, always visit your doctor or GP. Editorial articles can contain affiliate links. Sponsored collaborations can be found in the category Spotlight. Do you have any questions? Check our Contact page.