Is it possible to get pregnant while on your period?

Is it possible to get pregnant while on your period?

Our expert: Margaret Sikowitz

Margaret Sikowitz graduated from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, one of the nation’s oldest accredited colleges granting masters degrees in Chinese Medicine. She practices acupuncture and Chinese medicine in New York City.

Is it possible to get pregnant while on your period if you had unprotected sex?

The complex hormone seesaw that regulates your period exists so that you can have babies. It is truly amazing.

When your period comes, your uterus is “cleaning house,” getting rid of the nutrient-rich lining that it has been building for the past two weeks. This means that the odds of getting pregnant at this time are almost impossible.  However, there is no guarantee.  Some women bleed or spot for a long time, all the way into the fertile part of the month that follows your period.  That makes unprotected sex almost, but not completely safe in terms of avoiding pregnancy.  Protection is always a good idea.

For the bigger picture, here’s a breakdown of what your body is doing throughout the cycle:

About 10-14 days after the first day of your period (“Day One” in medical-speak), you usually start seeing egg white vaginal discharge when you wipe, or the remnants of discharge on your underwear. This is a sign that you are fertile, and that the eggs in your ovaries are getting ready to journey through the fallopian tubes and hang around in your uterus for the last two weeks of the cycle.

Those last two weeks are all about making a cozy nest for sperm and egg to settle in for the next 9 months.  When the period arrives, voila!  No pregnancy!

And, in case you’re feeling bummed out that the hundreds of periods you might have before you even begin to think about having babies are kind of annoying, rejoice! Those very hormones that regulate your flow are essential for keeping your skin supple, hair growing, bones strong, mind sharp and your heart healthy.

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