The human body is one of the most complex yet miraculous things in the world. As we grow older, we begin to experience things that are new to us and can often be confusing.
At the top of the list of confusing things for women are pregnancy, sex, and menstruation.
Even though all three of these things are essentially simple and incorporated into our lives from an early age, we all know how many times we’ve experienced things or had questions that nobody prepared us for or had clear answers to.
It’s not that sex or pregnancy is too complicated or difficult for a normal person to understand.
The problem is that there’s not enough awareness and education out there to help women and men (young or old alike) be more aware of their own sexuality and have answers to some of the most common questions that may arise for sexually active people.
As any person who has been sexually active for quite some time, most of us have had instances where a simple Google search didn’t answer any of our questions and left us all the more confused, worried and anxious simply because we wanted to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Talking to friends about personal issues is often not an option for many people mainly due to the stigma attached to sex, and we all know how expensive a trip to the OB-GYN can be.
So I began researching every possible question that I had ever had about sex, pregnancies and about the menstrual cycle and found answers to my questions – and some more!
From questions about contraception to sexual health, I have done my best to gather as much information about some of the most common questions that women generally have and hope to answer some in this article.
One of the most asked questions, one which I myself have often asked myself is, can you get pregnant right after your period?
This is something crucial for women to know whether or not they’re sexually active because this implies a lack of understanding of the fertility window.
Getting Pregnant (Or Not) BEFORE Your Period
The Fertility Window and Sex Right Before The Period
If you want to know when you have the highest likelihood of getting pregnant, you need to know how the menstrual cycle works, which is very simple and easy to do.
The menstrual cycle is typically made up of 28 days, the first day of which is the first day of the period. The highest chances for a woman getting pregnant are during the period of ovulation which occurs around 14 days before the period (towards the end of the menstrual cycle).
The highest likelihood of pregnancy is during day 12, 13 and 14 of the menstrual cycle.
So its only natural for someone who is sexually active without enough knowledge of the menstrual cycle to wonder ‘can you get pregnant right before your period?’ and the answer to that is – it’s highly unlikely.
The fact of the matter is that the actual fertility window for an average woman is pretty small per month, about five to seven days out of the whole cycle (whole month).
Since sperm can stay in the woman’s reproductive tract for up to five days, for a woman to conceive, the best time is typically a couple of days before ovulation.
The basic reason is that for women who tend to have a regular menstrual cycle that lasts between 28-30 days, the fertility window is towards the end of the cycle and the days right before the period are typically the safest days to have unprotected sex and not conceive.
If you know for sure when and if you ovulated, the period right after is a guaranteed time during which you can have sex without conceiving. So for people that are trying to conceive, having sex right before your period is possibly the worst time to have sex with the hopes of conceiving.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy, while the chances of a woman getting pregnant during this time are low, nothing can be completely ruled out and it is always best to use some kind of contraception!
And if you’re wondering ‘can I get pregnant the day before my period and still have a normal period?’ the answer is, once again, highly unlikely. Right before your period, your body is nowhere near ovulation and there aren’t any eggs in the Fallopian tubes to be fertilized.
Considering that a typical period last about five to seven days, the sperm cant survives in the body for that long without doing its job.
Can I Get Pregnant While On My Period?
Now we’ve talked about possible pregnancy from having sex right before your period and a day before your period.
One might wonder what will happen if they have sex during their period? Whenever I am asked that question, I reply with a counter question: how can your body get pregnant, when it is literally giving you the biggest indication of it not being pregnant?
During your period is basically one of the safest times to have unprotected sex and not get pregnant. The fact remains though, for every case, that the human body is super dynamic and nothing can ever be said for sure.
Especially for people with an irregular menstrual cycle, and even those that have relatively regular cycles, getting pregnant is always a risk so it’s always better to use some kind of protection.
Benefits / Disadvantages of Having Sex During Your Period
Sex while on your period can have a number of benefits and is actually known to help with cramps and headaches and can actually provide natural lubrication.
Sadly, there are a few downsides to sex on your period as well.
The number one problem that most people face is the mess. Having sex on your period can be super messy and can get blood literally everywhere and might not be for the faint of heart.
You’ll also have to take care of your tampon and make sure it’s not inserted while you have sex otherwise it’ll get stuck and you’ll need an extremely uncomfortable visit to the doctor.
Lastly, STIs live in blood and sex during your period can make it easier for you to acquire one which is why protection can be crucial.
To Sum It All Up
In short, every woman has a different body with distinct cycles. For this reason, you can never really completely rule out a pregnancy no matter when you have sex.
It’s always better to wear protection or take the pill if you want to avoid pregnancy and if getting pregnant is what you want, you need to be aware of your fertility window to see what the best time is for you to conceive.