You CAN get pregnant during your menstrual cycle.
More Info: Because sperm lives in the body for up to 5 days, a woman who ovulates soon after her menstrual cycle can become pregnant from intercourse that occurred during the cycle. This is especially true for women who have short cycles or irregular cycles.
The Menstrual Cycle
Day one of the menstrual cycle is the first day of the period, and the cycle ends with the first day of the next period. The menstrual cycle is an average of 28 days long, but cycles can range from 21 to 35 days in adult women.
In the first half of the cycle, estrogen levels rise in the body, and the lining of the uterus thickens in anticipation of implantation. At the same time, an ovum, or egg, is maturing to be released during ovulation, which occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle. The ovum travels through the Fallopian tubes to the uterus, ready for fertilization to occur.
Conception is most likely during the three days prior to or on the day of ovulation. The exact timing of ovulation depends on the length of a woman’s cycle. Women with short cycles may ovulate soon after, or in rare cases, during, their menstrual periods. Women with longer cycles usually ovulate a week or more after their periods. One sign of ovulation is an increase in slippery, clear cervical mucus, which resembles raw egg white. Some women also experience light cramping and spotting. Tracking and charting changes in body temperature and cervical mucus can help a woman predict when she ovulates, and over-the-counter ovulation kits test urine for hormone surges that signal ovulation.
If no fertilization occurs after ovulation, the egg will be shed, along with the uterine lining, during the next menstrual period. If conception occurs, the fertilized ovum will attach to the prepared uterine lining, and a pregnancy begins.
The first sign of pregnancy is usually a missed period, but other symptoms such as tender breasts, fatigue, slight cramping, and nausea may be present soon after conception. The best way to know for sure is to take a home pregnancy test, most of which give accurate results as soon as the missed period.
Pregnancy lasts an average of 40 weeks from the start of the last menstrual period. During pregnancy, the menstrual cycle ceases until after the birth. Some women do experience bleeding during pregnancy, however. Implantation bleeding is common at the beginning of the pregnancy and no cause for alarm. Any other vaginal bleeding during pregnancy should be checked by a doctor or midwife.
“Ovulation Frequently Asked Questions : American Pregnancy Association.” Promoting Pregnancy Wellness : American Pregnancy Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2012.
“Can you get pregnant during your period? | BabyCenter.” BabyCenter | Homepage – Pregnancy, Baby, Toddler, Kids . N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.babycenter.com/404_can-you-get-pregnant-during-your-period_1460117.bc.
“MayoClinic.com Health Library – Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy: What causes it, and what should you do?.” Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Aug. 2010. http://www.riversideonline.com/health_reference/Womens-Health/PR00087.cfm.