Can You Ovulate During Your Period?

Woman pondering ovulation and menstruation

Can you ovulate during your period? This is a question that has perplexed women for generations and the answer is still a bit elusive. Is it myth or fact?

True or False

Some women emphatically believe that the answer to the question, "Can you ovulate during your period?" is a resounding "yes." There have always been those women who insist that their pregnancy began during menstruation and this is a possibility. However, the chance that conception can occur during a period is relatively low. It is important to remember, though, that the hormonal makeup of each individual is unique and, because of this, the possibility of pregnancy during a period is very real. Because of this fact, using a period as a possible means of birth control actually involves risking a possible pregnancy. If you don't want to get pregnant, do not subscribe to this way of thinking!

Answering Can You Ovulate During Your Period

Finding the answer to "Can you ovulate during your period?" involves understanding the ovulation process as it relates to the menstrual cycle. Ovulation occurs when the ovaries release an egg, which typically occurs about two weeks before the beginning of a period. This timing is generally based on a 28 day cycle, but this cycle can vary from month to month. For some women, irregular periods are a fact of life, so narrowing down the exact time of ovulation each month can be tricky.

Once ovulation has occurred, the egg travels toward the uterus through the fallopian tubes. If the egg joins with a sperm, fertilization could occur; however, an unfertilized egg will eventually be shed during a woman's next period. The act of ovulation itself can also produce some bleeding, which is often mistaken for menstruation. Bleeding during ovulation may be caused by:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Trauma or damage to the cervix

Other Possibilities

Because it is possible to ovulate during your period, it is also possible to get pregnant during this time. However, women who have regular menstrual cycles typically will not ovulate during their period. Those women who have irregular cycles may experience increased chances of ovulating during a period. One point to remember is that since sperm can live up to three days, conception can occur right before a period begins. Your menstrual cycle can play a huge role in determining your ovulation date. Shorter cycles with longer periods would actually increase the chances that you might ovulate during your period.

Important Facts

Finally, understanding a few important facts can clear up some of the confusion surrounding the ovulation process, especially as it relates to the menstrual cycle.

  • Typically, only one egg is released during ovulation.
  • An egg can live up to 24 hours after ovulation.
  • Stress, sickness, or other outside influences can affect ovulation.
  • It usually takes from a week to 12 days for a fertilized egg to become implanted.
  • It is possible to experience ovulation even without experiencing a period.
  • While it is common not to be aware that you are ovulating, some women experience a heaviness or some pain during ovulation.
  • The chance of pregnancy increases if intercourse occurs sometime between three days before to three days after ovulation.

For more information, on this topic or if you have other questions concerning menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy, please contact your physician. The possibility that ovulation might happen during a period might be rare, but it certainly can happen.

Can You Ovulate During Your Period?