Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Can you get pregnant while menstruating?

Yes you can!

It seems like the myths and misconceptions surrounding pregnancy are never-ending, and one of these misconceptions that seems to last through every generation is this idea that women cannot get pregnant while they are menstruating.

Although it is true that women are less likely to be fertile while they are menstruating, it is not impossible to get pregnant during this time.

The how and why?

To understand why this myth exists and why it is not true, you need to have a basic idea of how the female reproductive system works.

  • A woman’s cycle begins on the first day that she menstruates, this is referred to as day 1.

  • On average, ovulation takes place fourteen to sixteen days after day 1.

  • During ovulation, an egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube.

  • For the next 24 hours or so, the woman is fertile, and if the egg encounters sperm it will be fertilized.

However, if the egg is not fertilized in those 24 hours, the egg and the uterine lining will be shed during the next menstruation. For this reason, menstruation and ovulation are usually separate and non-overlapping processes, which is why many people think that it is impossible to get pregnant while menstruating.

Results will vary

Remember, there is a great deal of variation from one woman to another, and all ovulation/menstruation does not follow the same timeframe. Depending on how long a woman bleeds during her menstruation and when her actual ovulation takes place, there can be some overlap in menstruation and fertility.

Pregnancy can occur at any time, so it is important to be conscientious in your family planning.


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