Mother and Baby

Can you get pregnant on your period?

Section: Getting Pregnant

If you're trying for a baby, it's important to know when during your monthly cycle, you're most fertile... and when you're not!

If you have sex during menstruation, you may be wondering if there is a chance you could be pregnant. Surely, if your womb lining is breaking down, along with your unfertilised egg, then there is no chance of falling pregnant? 


"Conceiving as a result of having sex whilst on your period is unlikely, but it is possible" explains Maisie Hill, author of Period Power, " If you have a short cycle, for example, 21 days, you could be ovulating around days 6-10 of your cycle, which would mean that sex towards the end of your period could result in conception."

It's important to remember that sperm can live inside you for up to five days, so if you have sex during the end of your bleeding and early ovulation begins a few days later, it is possible that you will conceive. 

Though possible, the chances are very low. If you are looking to fall pregnant, it's best to try a different time of the month to maximise success... 

When is the best time to try to conceive?

You're most fertile at the time of ovulation (when an egg is released from your ovaries). This normally happens around 12-14 days before your next period. 

"The best time to try to conceive is the week preceding ovulation and the 24 hours after it because in the presence of fertile quality cervical fluid, sperm can survive for up to five days and will be hanging out in your fallopian tubes, waiting for an egg to be released at ovulation," says Maisie. 

"If you’re just having sex on day 14 of your cycle, then you’re missing out on the majority of your fertile window - the length of time in every cycle when conception is possible - and not only that, but you may ovulate earlier or later than that. It all depends on the nuances of your cycle which is why being aware of the signs and symptoms of ovulation and getting to know your cycle is essential." 

To find out when you're ovulating, try our easy and free ovulation calculator tool! 

Meet the expert: Maisie Hill is highly qualified and sought-after women’s health expert with over a decade of experience as a practitioner and birth doula. She is the author of best-selling novel Period Power. 

Now read:

34 early signs of pregnancy (for when it's too early to take a test)

Is it normal to experience pain during ovulation and why does it happen?

19 ovulation facts you need to know if you're trying for a baby

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  • Author: Aimee Jakes Aimee Jakes
  • Job Title: Shopping and Community Editor

Aimee is the Shopping and Community Editor at Bauer Media where she works on fitness, fashion and beauty content across a number of titles such as heat, Closer and Grazia.

Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.

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