Are there any subjects more puzzling than pregnancy and periods? We doubt it.
When you’re trying to conceive, it can feel like questions about pregnancy, periods, and everything in-between dominate your life.
Can you get pregnant right before your period? Can you get pregnant a week before your period? Can you get pregnant on your period, for that matter?
Sheesh. It’s just exhausting. Period.
So that’s the plan here - to finally get to the bottom of these questions. Here goes:
Can you get pregnant before your period?
Because our bodies love a grey area, the short answer is: possible, but highly unlikely.
When you look at all the people on the planet, it’s pretty hard to imagine that conception can actually only take place in a tiny little monthly window that typically only lasts about 6 days.
This is when your body is like, “okay cool, I’m keen to have a baby now if anyone’s up for that sort of thing?”
This is of course ovulation and (yes, those biology textbooks again) is when your hormones get an egg to release from your ovary.
To get pregnant, that egg needs to hook up with some sperm – and fast.
As in 12-24 hours after ovulation kind of fast.
Ovulation usually happens at about exactly the opposite corner of the month to your period.
(At this point, we’ll just irritatingly remind you that, for all the painful symptoms, your period is simply your body getting rid of the egg that didn’t swipe right on any sperm that month.)
That’s why, typically at least, the likelihood of pregnancy right before your period is not great.
(And if you’re asking ‘can you get pregnant on your period?’ – the same answer applies.)
Can you get pregnant when you’re not ovulating?
While that would be rather miraculous, there is a possible plot twist that could land you with a positive pregnancy test when you’re not in what you think is your ovulation phase.
Even if you have a cycle that is more predictable than a badly-written soap opera, there is a chance that your fertile period may not be that obvious.
There are longer and shorter cycles with all sorts of factors like age, stress levels, and just plain genetic makeup that pop in to mess up the predictability of your fertility window – all things you need to try your best to get in touch with if your plan is to conceive.
But then, of course, your plan might be to not have a baby right now, or ever.
If this is you, the next question may be the one you’re after:
How many days before and after period is safe?
Look, your fertile window is only about 7 to 10 days, so technically everything outside of that time should be a safe zone. Technically.
But if pregnancy is not on your cards right now, it might be better to go with birth control rather than risk the possibility (or anxiety of the possibility).
But what happens if you conceive right before your period?
As in you’re the one in an infinity of chances case.
Can you get pregnant right before your period and still have a period?
Yes, you can.
It’s possible. It. Is. Possible.
But again, highly unlikely.
For all those high school biology classes, nobody seems to ever want to tell us exactly how it feels to actually be inside your own body – and how often real-life seems to deviate from the textbook.
The reality of women’s bodies seems to be such a well-kept secret that some of the most necessary questions we need to answer make the big decisions in our lives, seem almost rhetorical.
So, to sum up, chances are pretty unlikely that you’ll get pregnant before your period, but nothing is impossible.