Friday, November 20, 2009

Pregnant On My Period?

Dear Dr. Kate,

Can I get pregnant if I have unprotected sex during my period? I've heard that you can, but what are the odds? Especially if I'm really regular...?

Messing Around During Menses

Dear Messing Around,

Short answer: yes, with low odds.

Long answer: If you're really regular, you likely ovulate around day 14 of your cycle (or 14 days after you start bleeding). This means that you can get pregnant from roughly day 10 to day 15. But you never know when your ovaries decide to go into overdrive and pop out an extra egg one month, that might be around during your period. So the chances aren't high, but it's far from impossible. Add on the fact that bleeding isn't always from a true period (but from an infection, stress, a polyp or fibroid), and you'll see why the chance is there.

Final answer: if you have a uterus, functioning ovaries, and an orgasming penis near your vagina, you CAN get pregnant. Even with birth control, even during your period, even right after a baby/miscarriage/abortion, even the first time you have sex. The odds may not be high, but it's still possible.

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