Question: Can you get pregnant if you have sex on your period?
Answer: If you had asked me that in 11th grade I would have given you a most certain “YES!” But, if you had asked me a year later I might have had more trouble answering. That’s because a doctor had told me(incorrectly) that this just wasn’t possible.
Here’s what happened: My friend Gina called me in a panic late one Saturday night. She’d had drunken sex without a condom and wanted me to borrow my dad’s station wagon to take her to get EC at the hospital.
I managed to make up a convincing story, got the car and took Gina to the emergency room. After what seemed like endless waiting, we were seen by a doctor. He was in the process of getting Gina the medication when she asked when she should expect her period again, seeing as she had it right now.
Hearing that, the doctor told her not to bother with EC. “You’re not going to get pregnant if you had sex on your period,” he said.
Well, in subsequent years I’ve learned that this statement needs to be modified to, “It’s unlikely that you’ll get pregnant if you have sex when you have your period. But it’s not impossible.”
This is why:
It’s a risk partly because sperm have been known to live as long as seven days inside a woman’s body. If you ovulate soon after having your period, and had sex during it, you might still have living sperm hanging out in your fallopian tubes just waiting for you to release an egg!
So your best bet is to be as protected during your period as you would be at any other time during the month–whether or not your doctor is on board with that idea.
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