Can Women Get Pregnant During Their Period?


By Stacy Lloyd February 9, 2011 – 5:44pm

Whether or not a woman can get pregnant while on her period has been a debate topic for decades. On one side, the chances of becoming pregnant during a period are slim, but possible. On the other, is it a true period or something else?

There are generalities about the basics of menstruation and pregnancy, but every woman’s hormonal balances and menstrual cycles are different.

Women ovulate. Then the egg moves through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If sperm is present, given the right conditions, fertilization takes place. An unfertilized egg may live for 24 hours and if it’s not fertilized during this time, it and the uterine lining are shed during the next menstrual period.

Ovulation typically takes place, on average, about 14 days before the start of a woman’s monthly period. Even for women with regular periods, this timing or duration can vary month to month. A woman’s cycle can be altered due to stress, hormone or weight changes. Many women have cycles which last as little as 22 days or as long as 35 days.

Since women have very different cycles, many experience bleeding that’s not actually a period between their cycles. Stress, illness and many other things can cause bleeding that is easy to mistake for a period. If it’s not actually your time of the month, you could get pregnant.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.