Week 24-Can a woman get pregnant during her period?

February 6, 2009

To receive the weekly question per text, text FACTS to 90999.

She can get pregnant anytime of the month!

It is common to assume if a woman is menstruating, she is probably not ovulating and therefore can’t get pregnant. That can be true, but not always.  A woman can ovulate anytime during the month. Anytime. Ovulation is sensitive to stress, hormones, diet, and exercise, making it difficult for many women to pinpoint exactly when they are ovulating.

Women often mistake the slight bleeding or spotting, that can occur during ovulation, as their period. Unprotected sex during that time can greatly increase chances of becoming pregnant.

When a woman ovulates, an egg is released from her ovary.  The ovum (egg) lives approximately 24 hours in the fallopian tubes. Sperm enjoys the healthy shelf-life of about 72 hours – that’s three whole days! By the time they are three days old, the sperm may be a bit slower and perhaps fatigued, but they can still find that egg. Therefore, if a couple has sex during a woman’s period, and she happens to be stressed and ovulate within 36 hours, those sperm will still conclude their mission.

Having unprotected sex anytime can result in a pregnancy – or an STI.  Using condoms is still the best bet. For more information, call 1.800.230.Plan


Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Education Department carefully selects all weekly questions. All questions are actual inquiries made to PPNNE by college-aged students.

Should you have a question you would like to see included, please send an email to goddess@ppnne.org


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