Q: Can you get pregnant right after your period?
A: While the chances of getting pregnant from having sex right after having your period is low. It is not impossible. There are three scenarios where this may happen:
- Short menstrual cycle
- Irregular cycle
- Bleeding was not due to period
Short Menstrual Cycle
Sperms can live inside a woman's body for up to five days. If your cycle is regular (i.e., around to 28 days), the sperms will most likely be all dead by the time ovulation occurs if you have sex within a day or so after your period ends. On the other hand, if your cycle is shorter, for example 24 days, some sperms could be alive when ovulation occurs, and hence it is possible to get pregnant.
Let's look at an example. Let's assume Lily has a 24-day cycle, and let's further assume that her luteal phase is 14 days (which is normal) and that her period lasts five days. If we designate the first day of her period to be Day 1, her ovulation will occur on Day 10. If she has sex on Day 6 (which is one day after her period ends), her ovulation will occur just four days after having sex, meaning that it is possible that there are still live sperms in her body, and that she may get pregnant. The picture below illustrates this.
If you have an irregular cycle, it is not possible to predict when you will ovulate next with any precision. As a result, there is a chance that ovulation may take place soon after your period, and you may get pregnant if you have sex right after your period.
Bleeding Was Not Due To Period
The third possibility is that the bleeding you experienced is in fact not your period, but just spotting. In this case, you are really not having sex right after your period. While the chances of getting pregnant depends on when you had sex relative to your cycle, it is safe to say that it is possible that you can get pregnant in this case.
Compared to having sex during your period, the chances of getting pregnant from having sex right after your period is slightly higher.
Other common questions on ovulation and pregnancy