Sexual Health Expert Destiny Lopez – "Can I Get Pregnant From Having Sex While I'm On My Period?"

QUESTION: Hi. I’m 20-years-old and have been in a committed relationship for 6 months. My boyfriend and I have a very sexually active relationship. We always want to do it. lol My question is: If I’m on my period is it safe to have sex or can I still get pregnant? Or what if I’m just spotting? Thanks!

DESTINY’S ADVICE: It is possible for a woman to get pregnant from intercourse during her period, especially if her menstrual cycle is brief. It’s not likely, but it can happen.

In a 20-day cycle, for example, ovulation — the release of the egg — may very well occur on day six of a woman’s cycle. Her period begins on day one. It lasts about five days. But a man’s sperm can live in her body for up to six days. Let’s say this couple has unprotected vaginal intercourse in the first two days of her period. The live sperm can wait to join with her egg when it is released on day six. This could cause a pregnancy.

It’s not only women with short cycles who need to be careful about unprotected vaginal intercourse during menstruation. Even if cycles are long and regular, ovulation may occur on different days in different cycles.

Any woman who is enjoying a very “sexually active relationship” with her partner — and who doesn’t want to become pregnant — should seriously consider using very effective birth control, such as the implant, an IUD, the patch, the pill, the ring, or the shot.

But birth control methods are not one-size-fits-all. A method that’s perfect for one woman may not be right for another. To find out what methods might work best for you, try the My Method widget on the Planned Parenthood website.

It may help to know that out of every 100 women who have sex without using birth control, 85 will become pregnant each year.

Enjoy, but be careful.

Suerte, and here’s to your continued good sexual health.

Destiny Lopez

Director of Latino Engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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