Is it possible to get pregnant during menstruation?

Although it is rare, it is possible to become pregnant when you are menstruating and have an unprotected relationship, especially when you have an irregular menstrual cycle or when the cycle is less than 28 days old.

In a regular cycle of 28 or 30 days these chances are almost nil because, after the end of the menstrual period, there are still about 7 days until ovulation and the sperm survive, at most, 5 days inside the woman's body, not even having contact with the released egg. In addition, even if fertilization occurs, during menstruation, the uterus is no longer prepared to receive the fertilized egg, so the chances of becoming pregnant are very low.

However, if unprotected intimate contact has occurred, the best way to confirm that you are pregnant is by taking the pharmacy test, which should be done from the first day of your menstrual delay. Learn more about this type of test and how it is done.

Why is it possible to get pregnant in a short or irregular cycle

Contrary to what happens on a regular cycle of 28 or 30 days, ovulation of a shorter or irregular cycle can happen up to 5 days after the end of menstruation and, therefore, there are greater chances of any sperm that survived, get to the egg, generating a pregnancy.

Thus, ideally, women who have a short or irregular cycle should always use a contraceptive method, if they are not trying to conceive, even during menstruation.

What are the chances of getting pregnant before or after menstruation

The chances of getting pregnant are greater the later the unprotected intercourse occurs and, therefore, it is easier to get pregnant after menstruation. This is because the relationship occurs closer to ovulation and, thus, sperm are able to survive long enough to fertilize the egg.

If intimate contact happens immediately before the menstrual period, the chances are also almost null, being even lower than what happens when the woman is menstruating.

How to avoid pregnancy

The safest way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is to use a contraceptive method, the most effective of which are:

  • Male or female condom;
  • Contraceptive pill;
  • IUD;
  • Implant;
  • Injectable contraceptive.

The couple must select the method that best suits their needs and maintain its use until they wish to become pregnant, even during menstruation. See a more complete list of contraceptive methods available and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each.