Worried woman staring at a pregnancy test
Love Matters

Can I get pregnant on my period?

Yes? No? Maybe? Here’s the truth…

Period sex is a normal part of the sex life for some people but to others, it’s a big no! Whether you’re into it or not, it is important to be informed about your reproductive health. Today, we are answering a very simple question: can you get pregnant during your period?

The simple answer is YES, you can get pregnant on your period. However, the chances are very low because you’re typically not fertile on your period.

Your most fertile days are typically just before or during ovulation. This means there has to be an egg in the fallopian tubes for fertilization to occur. During the first few days of your period, there’s no egg to be fertilized thus the chances of getting pregnant are very low. 

Is that all?

No. Not so fast!

The length of your cycle is an important factor that determines your level of risk.

If you have a regular cycle of about 28 or 35 days, it’s very unlikely. If you have a short cycle or ovulate at random times (have irregular cycles), there is a tiny chance you can get pregnant.

What does this even mean?

Remember that sperm survives within the female reproductive system for up to five days. This means that if you have sex towards the end of your period and ovulate a few days after, the sperm that survived could get you pregnant.

If you are on birth control, the chances of getting pregnant are extremely low. The tiny chance is that no birth control method is 100%.  

Remember,

While the chances of getting pregnant are low, you can still contract STDs and STIs. That’s why it is important to use condoms especially when you do not know your partner’s current status.

Have you ever had a pregnancy scare after having sex on your period?

Tell us what you think

Recent Comments (81)

  1. Can you get pregnant if i…
    Can you get pregnant if i stopped my period 18 and did sex 21

    1. Yes, becoz male sperms…
      Yes, becoz male sperms servive for 5 days before dying so chances of you getting pregnant are high.

      1. Hi Robert, 

        Thank you for…

        Hi Robert, 

        Thank you for your comment. Just to clarify something, the chances of getting pregnant are actually low, not high. 

      2. I don’t think she can get…
        I don’t think she can get pregnant in that period. Why. Ovulation is yet to take place, and by the time it happens the sperms would have died already.

        1. Hi Mercy, 

          It is actually…

          Hi Mercy, 

          It is actually possible especially if she has a 21-day menstrual cycle or shorter. Since her period ended on the 18th and she had sex on the 21, her most fertile days are likely to be within this period and since male sperms survive for 5 days in the female reproductive system, conception can occur. The chances are low though. 

  2. Hi Lydia, although the…

    Hi Lydia, although the chances of getting pregnant while on your period are very small, there is still a possibility of getting pregnant. Therefore, if you had sex 3 days after your period ended, there is still a high possibility of getting pregnant. If you don’t want to get pregnant – or don’t want your partner to get pregnant – you need to use birth control, also called contraception or family planning. There are lots different types of birth control methods. Another way to avoid getting pregnant is abstinence. Click here to find out more: https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control

     Have a wonderful week and stay safe!

    1. “if you had sex 3 days after…
      “if you had sex 3 days after your period ended, there is still a high possibility of getting pregnant” stop lying to people man

      1. Hi Kafute, 

        You can…

        Hi Kafute, 

        You can actually get pregnant especially if you have a shorter menstrual cycle, say 21 days. This is because ovulation happens around day 7 and this means that your most fertile days are 5, 6, and 7 after the start of your period. This means that having sex 3 days after your period ended puts you at risk since it may be within this period. This may also apply to women with irregular periods. For women for a longer period cycle i.e 28 and 35, it is hard to get pregnant. Read this article to learn more about how to count safe days: How to count safe days

  3. I had sex with my partner on…
    I had sex with my partner on 5th February and that was the same day she started attending..i did not use condom or anything.i did not release inside but on top of the virgina…are thier chances of her getting pregnant.?

    1. Yes , chances of getting…
      Yes , chances of getting pregnant are high

      1. Hi Daniel, 

        The chances are…

        Hi Daniel, 

        The chances are actually low, not high. But it can still happen. Thank you for engaging with us. 

  4. Hi Osward, although chances…

    Hi Osward, although chances are low they are not zero.

  5. I’ve learnt something I didn…
    I’ve learnt something I didn’t know

    1. Hi Otuoma, 

      I am glad you…

      Hi Otuoma, 

      I am glad you have learnt something new. Keep visiting Love Matters for more informative content. 

        1. Hi Daniel, 

          Karibu sana…

          Hi Daniel, 

          Karibu sana. Thank you for visiting Love Matters. Keep it here for more informative content. 

  6. I had sex with my partner on…
    I had sex with my partner on 1st may and started attending the next day,am i on the safe side?

  7. Hi Trizah, 

    Thank you for…

    Hi Trizah, 

    Thank you for your question. What do you mean by ‘attending’? Kindly explain so that we can be in a better place to answer your question. Waiting to hear from you. 

  8. Upto date I don’t agree…
    Upto date I don’t agree getting pregnant on periods according to my understing in high school. So you’re against menstruation period in high school

    1. Hi Nicholas, 

      A woman…

      Hi Nicholas, 

      A woman cannot conceive during her period but sperm survives within the female reproductive system for up to five days. For a woman with a regular period, i.e. 28 days, chances are very low but for a women with an irregular period, it is rare but it can happen. For a women whose cycle is 21 days, it means that ovulation happens around day 7 and her most fertile days are days 5, 6 and 7, this means there’s a chance she can get pregnant. The chances are low, but it can happen. 

  9. I had unprotected sex with…
    I had unprotected sex with my partner yesterday and after we finished she begun her period , is she at risk of get pregnant?

    1. Hi Kevin,

      It is very…

      Hi Kevin,

      It is very unlikely especially if she has a regular period, i.e. 28-day cycle.  On the other hand, If she has an irregular or a shorter menstrual cycle, ovulation might occur much closer to day one of your period, which would cause you to get pregnant on the first day. Remember that sperm can survive inside of the woman’s system for up-to 7 days. The chance of this happening is still quite low. 

  10. A had unprotected sex with…
    A had unprotected sex with my wife immediately after her period till 25th day without any night break. Possibility of her getting pregnant.thanks

    1. Hi Norwegian, 

      Yes, there…

      Hi Norwegian, 

      Yes, there is a possibility she got pregnant since its possible that ovulation took place within this period. Ovulation (i.e. when a mature egg is released from the ovary) happens about 14 days before her period starts. If her average menstrual cycle is 28 days, she ovulates around day 14, and her most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14. If her average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and her most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21. If her cycle is shorter than 28 days, it is also likely that she got pregnant. Either way, the best way to know is to take a pregnancy test. 

  11. Okay ukimaliza periods are…
    Okay ukimaliza periods are you supposed to see a white thing coming out of the vagina after umehave sex

    1. Hi Betty, 

      Some white…

      Hi Betty, 

      Some white discharge during sexual activities is expected. It is supposed thick white discharge before and after your period. It is brought about by sexual arousal and should not be accompanied by pain. New white discharge after sexual intercourse may be a sign of an infection. In some cases, however, white discharge is caused by an infection. If you have concerns, go to the hospital for further tests and treatment. In the meantime, read this article to learn more about discharge: Is my vaginal discharge normal?

  12. I had unprotected sex on…
    I had unprotected sex on Friday then took contraceptive pills on Sunday
    But then I started my periods on that Sunday evening. Blood flow is normal normal like for my periods.
    Is their any chance that am pregnant?

    1. Hi Dee, 

      Unlikely. Chances…

      Hi Dee, 

      Unlikely. Chances that you are pregnant are low. The fact that you took the e-pills within the recommended window decreases chances of conception. It is unlikely as well since while sperm can survive in a woman’s system for up to 5 days, ovulation could not have started within those 5 days since you were likely still on your period. All the same, you can take a pregnancy test two weeks after the day you had sex just to be sure.  

  13. can I give a lady pregnant 3…
    can I give a lady pregnant 3 days before period

    1. Hi Kelvine, 

      It is quite…

      Hi Kelvine, 

      It is quite unlikely. You are not fertile few days before your period. A woman is most fertile at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries), which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant just before or after the period, although it can happen. 

  14. I started my periods…
    I started my periods yesterday,can I get pregnant still?

    1. Hi Rita,

      It depends, how…

      Hi Rita,

      It depends, how long is your menstrual cycle? 21 days, 28 days, 35 days? How many? As you think about that, if you have a short cycle or ovulate at random times (have irregular cycles), there is a tiny chance you can get pregnant. This especially true if  you have sex towards the end of your period and ovulate a few days after, the sperm that survived could get you pregnant.

  15. You are really building my…
    You are really building my understanding

    1. Hi there, 

      Glad you are…

      Hi there, 

      Glad you are learning something new. Keep visiting Love Matters for more informative content. While at it, don’t forget to always leave us a comment. 

  16. How long is one supposed to…
    How long is one supposed to wait to get pregnant after period

    1. Hi Liyayi, 

      Your most…

      Hi Liyayi, 

      Your most fertile days are at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries), which usually occurs 12 to 14 days before your next period starts. If you have a regular period, you should be able to calculate this. For instance, if you have a 28 days cycle, you ovulate around day 14 thus your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14. If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21. If you have shorter cycles, say 21 days, ovulation happens around day 7 and your most fertile days are days 5, 6 and 7. If you have an irregular periods, it may be hard to predict since you may not ovulate every month or you may ovulate at different times from month to month. 

  17. Who do u know ovulation…
    Who do u know ovulation period

    1. Hi Caleb, 

      Ovulation…

      Hi Caleb, 

      Ovulation happens about 14 days before a woman’s period. For instance, if you have a 28 days cycle, you ovulate around day 14 thus your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14. If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21. If you have shorter cycles, say 21 days, ovulation happens around day 7 and your most fertile days are days 5, 6 and 7. If you have an irregular periods, it may be hard to predict when ovulation will occur since you may not ovulate every month or you may ovulate at different times from month to month. 

  18. I want to get pregnant. Been…
    I want to get pregnant. Been in marriage for 3yrs and not able to concieve. I used Norplant for sometime had it removed before I got married. Could it be the cause, ?how do I correct it coz I seriously need a baby

    1. Hi Fahima, 

      The Norplant…

      Hi Fahima, 

      The Norplant does not have permanent effect on fertility. After removing an implant, the return of fertility after discontinuing the method may not be immediate for all women. It takes an average of 3 to 18 months to get pregnant. 

      You can also check your ovulation calendar to ensure that your timing is right. For instance, if you have a 28 days cycle, you ovulate around day 14 thus your most fertile days are days 12, 13 and 14. If your average menstrual cycle is 35 days ovulation happens around day 21 and your most fertile days are days 19,20 and 21. If you have shorter cycles, say 21 days, ovulation happens around day 7 and your most fertile days are days 5, 6 and 7. If you have an irregular periods, it may be hard to predict since you may not ovulate every month or you may ovulate at different times from month to month. 

      On the other hand, you and your partner should visit a doctor for further tests and treatment. 

  19. Can you get pregnant if you…
    Can you get pregnant if you don’t see your period, I mean I have been using family planning for three months and I was supposed to go back on April but I didn’t and I haven’t seen my period since the day I received injection but I have sex on the month of April before going for another injection.is it possible for me to be pregnant

    1. Hi Mary, 

      It is It can take…

      Hi Mary, 

      It is It can take several months for your period to return to what it was before you started the injection. Also, your natural fertility can take some time to return to normal so it is not likely to get pregnant immediately. On average this will be three to six months but it can take up to one year. However, it is important to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether you are pregnant. To be safe, always remember to have a repeat injection before it expires or becomes ineffective. Here is an article on the injection: Shot (injectables)

  20. Ave been having sex after my…
    Ave been having sex after my period and after some Days of ovulation but I get be pregnant pls advice

    1. Hi Moureen, 

      How many days…

      Hi Moureen, 

      How many days is your cycle? 21? 28? 35? Also, exactly how many days after your period and ovulation do you have sex? It could be that you are actually having sex around ovulation when having sex after your period. However, perhaps you can provide the information requested so that we can better help you. 

  21. Hello doctor…I have…
    Hello doctor…I have question I have tried to get pregnant but in vain what are the chances of getting pregnant please

    1. Hello Grace, 

      So sorry to…

      Hello Grace, 

      So sorry to hear about your situation. Have you and your partner undergone medical tests to establish the cause? If not, it is very important to get tested since there are many reasons that could interfere with conception. You and your partner need to visit a health facility since it could be that your partner (assuming you are in a heterosexual relationship) could be the one with the problem. 

  22. It’s enjoyable and sweet but…
    It’s enjoyable and sweet but you can easily get infected

    1. Hi Mimi, 

      Sex can be,…

      Hi Mimi, 

      Sex can be, indeed, enjoyable during pregnancy. True, a pregnant woman might be more vulnerable to certain infections and may develop more severe complications if the infections are left untreated. 

  23. If a girl receives short…
    If a girl receives short cycle on 18 what are her fertile day or on date 28 her fertile days pliz

    1. Hi Clinton, 

      Normally,…

      Hi Clinton, 

      Normally, ovulation happens about 12-14 days before your period starts. This is often the case with 28-32 day cycle. But for shorter cycles such as 21 and 18, ovulation can happen as soon as six days or so after the first day of your last period. You ovulate early, especially since you have a naturally short menstrual cycle. Read this article to learn more: How to count safe days

  24. My period started 29th April…
    My period started 29th April did sex 10th may am I safe or got pregnant

    1. Hi Janet, 

      That depends. Do…

      Hi Janet, 

      That depends. Do you have a 21,28,35 days menstrual cycle or an irregular cycle. If you have a 28 day cycle, ovulation took place on the 13th of May and that means your most fertile days are the 11,12 and 13th. Remember that even if you had sex on the 10th, sperm stays in the women’s system for 5-7 days thus there’s a possibility you could be pregnant. If you a 35 day cycle, there’s little chance you’re pregnant since ovulation likely took place on the 20th meaning that your most fertile days are the 18,19,and 20. For a 21 days cycle, chances are that you are pregnant because ovulation may have occurred around day 7 and this means your most fertile days are 5,6, and 7. If your period is irregular, it is hard to predict since it is not clear when ovulation took place. Read this article to learn more about how to count safe days: How to count safe days. Either way, wait for two weeks to take a pregnancy test to confirm whether you are pregnant or nor. 

  25. I had IUD but recently I…
    I had IUD but recently I removed it the same day we made love are the chances of me getting pregnant high

    1. Hi Grace, 

      That depends…

      Hi Grace, 

      That depends. When you come off any contraceptive – including an IUD, you can get pregnant immediately or there can be some temporary delay in fertility. This is different from woman to woman. Remember that getting pregnant after IUD removal also depends on other fertility issues not related to an IUD. 

  26. Hey I was to start my period…
    Hey I was to start my period today but what I got was just a light spotting in pink..does that indicate I’m pregnant??

    1. Hi June, 

      It is possible…

      Hi June, 

      It is possible that you are pregnant. Pink discharge can be a sign of implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. The best thing to do is to take a pregnancy test to confirm. Read this article to understand what different discharge colors mean: Is My Vaginal Discharge Normal?

  27. My partner received her…
    My partner received her period on 23rd then we did sex on 28th yet it hadn’t stopped, is there any chance of her getting pregnant

    1. Hi Jayfash, 

      Yes, there is…

      Hi Jayfash, 

      Yes, there is a chance she could be pregnant especially if she has a short menstrual cycle, say 21 days – most fertile days for 21 days cycle are 5, 6, and 7 after the start of the periods, you had sex on the 6th day. The shorter the cycle, the sooner the ovulation takes place which means that the egg is ready to be fertilized. 

       

  28. Yes chances of getting STI…
    Yes chances of getting STI is high

    1. That’s true Bruce. There is…

      That’s true Bruce. There is a chance one will catch an STI as well. 

  29. If my periods are irregular…
    If my periods are irregular then I have sex on first day of my period will I get pregnant

    1. Hi Lavin, 

      Highly unlikely…

      Hi Lavin, 

      Highly unlikely but there’s always a small chance. It depends on how irregular your periods are and how soon ovulation occurs. The challenge with irregular periods is that it is hard to predict how often they occur. 

  30. My ovulation day was on 29…
    My ovulation day was on 29 and I had sex on 28 is there possiblity I can get pregnant

    1. Hi Clemence, 

      Yes, there is…

      Hi Clemence, 

      Yes, there is a chance that you got pregnant. A woman’s fertile days are 2 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation. In your case, your most fertile days were 27th, 28th, and 29th. To confirm, take a pregnancy test earliest one to two weeks after having sex. Here is an article to help you count safe days: How to count safe days.

  31. Hello, I’ve been trying to…
    Hello, I’ve been trying to get my woman pregnant for long now…she has an irregular cycle…can you please advise..

    1. Hi Okoth, 

      Interesting. I…

      Hi Okoth, 

      Interesting. I am wondering whether you and she have talked about this? it is very important that she is also consenting to this such that you have both agreed to have a child. If you have not, kindly involve her in this decision. 

      To answer your question, it is usually a bit tricky to predict ovulation for a woman with irregular periods. However, it is possible to know since some common signs that a woman is ovulating include a change in vaginal discharge (you may notice clear and stretchy, or clear and watery, discharge), a brief pain or dull ache felt on one side of the abdomen, an increased desire for sex, a bloated abdomen, and higher body temperatures. If possible, a doctor can do a transvaginal ultrasound and/or blood tests to determine whether a woman is ovulating or not. Read this article to learn more: All you need to know about menstruation and ovulation and this one Tips to increase chances of getting pregnant

  32. Soo when should I have sex …
    Soo when should I have sex ,as in during the tym I am safe , how many days

    1. Hi Miriam, 

      It depends on…

      Hi Miriam, 

      It depends on your cycle. If you have a 28 days cycle, you are most fertile on days 12,13, and 14 after the start of your period. Meaning there’s a high chance you can get pregnant during these days. For 35 days periods, your most fertile days are 19,20, and 21. For 21 days cycle, your most fertile days are 5,6, and 7. Remember that sperm survives inside the woman’s reproductive system for up to 5 days thus if you have sex right before ovulation, the sperm could actually fertilize the egg. Also, don’t forget that unprotected sex exposed you to STIs, including HIV. 

  33. I had my period on August 25…
    I had my period on August 25 when was my next ovulating day

    1. Hi there, 

      Do you have a…

      Hi there, 

      Do you have a regular or irregular period? If you have an irregular period, it can be tricky to predict when ovulation will occur. If you have a regular cycle, do you have a 21, 28, 35 menstrual cycle? 

      If you have a 21-day cycle, ovulation happens around day 7 after the start of your period. If you have a 28-day cycle, ovulation happens around day 14, while ovulation happens around day 21 for a 35 days cycle. 

  34. Hi, if I had unprotected sex…
    Hi, if I had unprotected sex on the last day of my period can I get pregnant

    1. Hi Irene, 

      This is unlikely…

      Hi Irene, 

      This is unlikely to happen. However, if you have a shorter cycle, say 21, there’s a small chance. Remember that sperm survive inside the woman’s system for up to 5 days and the most fertile days for a 21-day cycle are days 5,6, and 7 from the first day of your period. 

  35. I had sex two days after my…
    I had sex two days after my period can I get pregnant????

    1. Hi Adrian, 

      That depends…

      Hi Adrian, 

      That depends on your menstrual cycle. If you have a 21-day cycle or shorter, there’s a chance you could be pregnant since ovulation happens around day 7 and your most fertile days are 5,6,& 7 from the first day of your period. If you have an irregular period, it is also possible that you’re or you’re not pregnant since it’s hard to predict when ovulation will take place when someone has an irregular period. If you have a 28 or 35-day cycle, it is highly unlikely that you are pregnant. 

  36. Very minimal chances for…
    Very minimal chances for women with regular cycles of 28 and 35 days

    1. Yes, that’s correct Maggie. 

      Yes, that’s correct Maggie. 

  37. I used a pill to stop my…
    I used a pill to stop my prolonged period and had unprotected sex few hours later…I was on birth control pills but had forgotten to take the pill the previous day..I took two after having sex..one to cover for the previous day and another for that day..can I get pregnant?

    1. Hi Ticia, 

      First, there’s a…

      Hi Ticia, 

      First, there’s a chance you could get pregnant if you miss one pill, however, in this case though, you were on your period and if your cycle is 28 or 35, the chances are minimal. Since there are a lot of factors at play all at once, the best way to know is to take a pregnancy test. 

       

  38. You guys always teach me new…
    You guys always teach me new things everytime….I’m thankful for that ❣️

    1. Great to gear Gabu! You’re…

      Great to gear Gabu! You’re welcome. 

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