Wondering if period sex can get you pregnant? Well, hear it from an expert

Updated on:24 January 2020, 15:28pm IST
Having unprotected sex during your period can be all overwhelming. But, but, but, it may haunt you with an unplanned pregnancy. Ouch!
Sonakshi Kohli
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Period sex and pregnancy are closely related to each other. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What’s life without a bit of adventure? But what if this adventure backfires and becomes a misadventure—one that has serious consequences.

By seriousness, I mean pregnancy here and by adventure, I mean having an unprotected sexual intercourse with your partner. 

Many people talk about how the timing of unprotected sex can determine the chances of pregnancy and tout period sex as a safe time. But is it really true? 

Keep your curiosity aside and understand how you get pregnant first
I am guessing that in school, you were either too disinterested or simply embarrassed from the boys of your class LOLing away to glory during that biology class on reproduction. But here you’re all alone, finding answers minus the embarrassment. 

So, let me just take you back to school and remind you about how a woman gets pregnant in the first place for the sake of better understanding of the answer to your question.

Medical science explains that every month, your ovaries release an egg in a process known as ovulation. Now, in case of an unprotected sexual intercourse with a man, his sperm can enter your body through the vagina, travel all the way up to your womb through the fallopian tube, meet the egg, fertilise it, and make you pregnant. 

That’s how egg met sperm! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, read: Read this before you use spermicidal creams and gels to prevent unwanted pregnancy

However, if the sperm doesn’t enter the body or doesn’t make it to the womb or for other reason, the egg doesn’t get fertilised, it simply crashes. This, along with the extra lining of the uterus, which is prepared by the progesterone hormone in the body to support the expected resulting foetus comes out through the vagina and y’all happily (or sadly) call it a period. 

This cycle typically lasts for 28-30 days after which, there are five miserable days of bleeding out the pregnancy preparations of your body.

Now, let’s unveil the pregnancy-chances-from-period-sex mystery
Ladies, while you’re bleeding it all out, the rate of ovulation is quite low. Which means, there’s probably nothing waiting eagerly to get fertilised. Hence, the chances of pregnancy from unprotected sex during periods are quite meek. 

“The ovaries produce eggs only during the ovulation phase and the production drastically decreases during periods. Thus, the chances for a woman to get pregnant from period sex, are lesser since the chances of fertilisation also decrease,” says Dr. Nupur Gupta, consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.

perimenopause
Sex during period is as normal as without them. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to a study, published in the PubMed Central too, the chances of pregnancy due to period sex are as low as 0.33%.

Don’t celebrate just yet, because you’re not absolutely safe
Nothing in life is guaranteed and zero chances of pregnancy due to unprotected period sex is no exception to this rule. 

“Though the chances of getting pregnant here are less, but with unprotected intercourse, it is still possible for a woman to get pregnant during her period,” warns Dr. Gupta.

Also, read: We got a gynae to answer the most Googled questions on having sex on your period. You’re welcome!

In fact, these four situations can lead to pregnancy from unprotected period sex:

1. Your monthly cycle is short/irregular
“Women with shorter menstrual cycles have higher chances of getting pregnant from unprotected period sex,” says Dr. Gupta.

Basically, a shorter menstrual cycle means that your ovaries start releasing eggs sooner.

Not to mention, irregular periods resulting from obesity or hormonal imbalances or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can also mean an uncertainty about how soon or late the ovary may release the egg.

FYI, a sperm can survive inside your body for up to 72 hours with its ability to fertilise the eggs being produced still intact.

2. Sudden stress
Stress can cause a plethora of hormonal changes in the body, which can lead to shorter ovulation cycles. Need I repeat myself and explain all about how it can make you pregnant? I don’t think so.

3. When your man is more fertile than you thought
A fertile sperm can live for three to five days and god forbid, it travels up the fallopian tube, it can even survive for seven days! If it meets the egg post its difficult survival, even God won’t be able to save you from an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy.

Also, read: Planning for pregnancy? Take these 7 steps to boost your partner’s fertility

4. When you’re cheated
Ladies, it is possible to bleed during ovulation as well. Rare, but possible. If you end up mistaking this spotting for a period and go ahead with an unprotected sexual intercourse, you’re gone!

The final word
Period or no period, ovulation or no ovulation, you’ve got to use protection during sex, not just to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, but also to decrease your chances of getting sexually-transmitted infections/diseases. Got it?

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.