When you and your partner have decided to expand your family there is no waiting around. You may have been the woman who has spent most of her younger years preventing pregnancy. Usually, when you make this decision, you want to be pregnant right away. Some women become pregnant fast and easy, and other women do not. You may be older and feel that you only have a few childbearing years left. You may have already had a child, but want to have another one quickly so they are close in age. There are numerous reasons why couples want to become pregnant quickly.
Knowing about your period, how it works, and the best time to get pregnant is going to be important.
A lot of women who are not familiar with the anatomy and what ovulation and what a period is may get confused. An actual period is the shedding of your endometrium, also called menstruation. The endometrium is the inner membrane of your uterus. This shedding is the end of an ovulatory cycle, and means that a sperm and egg did not fertilize. This shedding varies for every woman and can last from three to seven days. By the third days your progesterone and estrogen levels increase and begin rebuilding this inner membrane to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy in the next cycle. Around day four your ovaries begin to prepare for releasing eggs. While you are on your actual period, it is very unlikely you can get pregnant.
Once you have stopped bleeding, or stopped your menstruation, it is recommended to have sex. At this point, approximately day seven of your cycle, you may notice a change in your cervical mucous. When you notice that your mucous is clear, stretchy, and is similar to egg whites, this is when you are at most fertile. During this period of time it does not mean an egg has been released, but it’s a great idea to get prepared for the release of the egg. Sperm can live up to five days if it is trapped in the stretchy cervical mucous and will be there when an egg is released.
An egg is usually released around day 14 for a woman with a normal menstrual cycle. Before the release of your egg, the hormones within your body and signs you may be looking for in ovulation, may occur. The thickening of your uterine wall will begin thickening all over again. This is your body preparing for another egg to be released and fertilized. If there is no fertilization, your body will shed this inner membrane, the endometrium, again 14 days later, on the 28th day of your cycle.
Now that you understand the stages of your actual period and how it works, we can take a look at when exactly you can or cannot get pregnant around your period. Knowing this information may help you get pregnant or help you decide to when to avoid sex to avoid pregnancy.
Becoming pregnant right before your period is low. If you have a normal cycle which can be about 28 to 30 days and your cycle is usually normal, your ovulation more than likely happened between day 11 and day 21 of your cycle. If you have tracked your cycle and know when you have actually ovulated, and waited for at least 48 hours later, you have more than likely missed the chance to get pregnant. Remember, eggs are only available to meet up with a sperm for 12 to 24 hours after it has been released from the ovary.
If you were trying to get pregnant it would not be recommended to have sex right before your period, due to the low chances of becoming pregnant. On the other hand, if you are trying to avoid pregnancy and know you may be starting your period very soon, you are more than likely safe.
Okay, now you are on your period. What is the likelihood of you becoming pregnant while you are actually on your period? The answer is probably not, but could happen. This confuses a lot of women, because from a very young age we have learned that when we get our period it means we are not pregnant! Right? Well, yes, but we are not pregnant from that previous cycle.
If you are on your period and tend to have a normal cycle, 28 to 30 days in length, it is very unlikely that eggs are being released from your ovaries at this time. If you are woman with extremely short cycles, there could be a possibility of becoming pregnant. A woman with a short menstrual cycle needs to go through the chain of events, but in a shorter time period. This means the day of ovulation could happen a lot closer to the days you are on your period.
You are probably thinking, “I am having my period, how could I already be ovulating?” If your cycle is shorter in length, this means all the events of your cycle are pushed up, including ovulation. Now, remember sperm can live in your body for up to 5 days! If you have sex towards the end of your period, you may become pregnant on the 4th or 5th day after your period due to the sperm still being inside you, and your ovulation.
If you are a woman who bleeds for a long period of time, this could be a reason why you may become pregnant while on your period. While your body is still shedding the previous menstrual cycles lining, it does not mean the rest of your body is not gearing back up to ovulate again and getting ready to release another egg.
Once your period has ended, it is more and more likely for you to get pregnant the closer and closer it gets to ovulation. Healthcare providers and fertility doctors will recommend having sex every other day, after your period, for 14 days. This will increase your chances of sperm being available for that 12 to 24 hours window an egg is released from your ovary.
If you and your partner are thinking of using your menstrual cycle as a form of birth control and not become pregnant, it is highly not recommended. Although, becoming pregnant right before your period and on your period are definitely low, it can happen. Each and every woman may have a different cycle. Some women may have an extremely long cycle and some women may have a very short cycle. All of these theories and calculations would not apply to them.
Knowing how long your menstrual cycle is, symptoms, when ovulation occurs, and more, is extremely important for every woman. A lot of women only think of these things when they want to become pregnant. In fact, if all young women were to have a grasp on their menstrual cycle from a very young age, it may help you avoid pregnancy too.