Period sex might be enjoyable for some women, but what are the odds of getting pregnant if you have unprotected period sex?
Some might think that having unprotected sex when a woman is menstruating is “safe” since she is not ovulating. But if parenthood is not on the cards, practising safe sex with contraception throughout the menstrual cycle is tantamount.
While it is a common misconception that unprotected sex when a woman is not ovulating is “safe”, it is technically not impossible for pregnancy to occur.
So how safe is unprotected period sex and what are the odds that you might wind up getting pregnant?
A Quick Look at the Menstrual Cycle
A woman’s menstrual cycle is defined as the time frame between the first day of menstrual bleeding to the day before the bleeding begins again. On average, a woman’s menstrual cycle could last anywhere from 21 to 35 days.
What is Ovulation?
Ovulation refers to the most fertile period of the menstrual cycle in which the egg is released from the ovary and travels to the fallopian tube where it can be fertilized by the sperm. The chance of fertilization usually occurs when a man ejaculates into a woman’s vagina during sexual intercourse.
If the egg is fertilized, it undergoes implantation, where it attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. This is the first stage of pregnancy.
Usually, a woman’s ovulation can vary between day 8 to day 19 of her menstrual cycle. If a woman has a short menstrual cycle, ovulation may take place earlier, while women with longer menstrual cycles experience ovulation later.
Couples who are trying to conceive usually have sex during the “fertile window”, which is 5 days before or after ovulation. On the other hand, those who want to avoid pregnancy tend to abstain from sex during the fertile window or use contraceptive methods.
Since women cannot ovulate and menstruate simultaneously, does this mean a woman can enjoy unprotected period sex without fear of an unwanted pregnancy?
Here is the answer you have been waiting for…
Can I Get Pregnant if I Have Unprotected Sex During My Period?
While the chances of getting pregnant are low when a woman has unprotected sex during her period, they are not zero.
Theoretically speaking, it is possible for a woman to get pregnant if she has unprotected sexual intercourse when she is menstruating as the sperm can survive in the vaginal canal for up to 5 days. If the sperm survives and a woman’s ovulation begins, there is a possibility that she could get pregnant.
If you want to enjoy period sex without fear of unwanted pregnancy, make sure you use reliable contraception.
Other Things You NEED To Know About Period Sex
While some women may avoid sexual activities during their menses due to various reasons such as discomfort and hygiene, there are also a handful who have sex particularly during their period due to the perceived “safety” of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
Not surprisingly, there are tons of questions about period sex.
Besides the fact that it is still possible to get pregnant with unprotected sex during your period, here are some other details you need to know before giving it a go.
(1) STDs: People may tend to have unprotected sex during their period due to perceived safety from a pregnancy standpoint. However, don’t forget that the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases is still there. STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV or herpes can all be transmitted during the episode of unprotected intercouse.
(2) Risk of Infection: Like regular sex, there are risks associated with having sex during your period. For one, women are at risk of contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI) due to the bacteria travelling to the bladder during sexual intercourse. Additionally, there is also a risk of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis due to the disruption of the natural balance of flora in the vagina. Menstrual blood will also help to promote bacterial growth.
(3) Mess: As one would expect, period sex could get messy especially during a heavy flow. On the other hand, you can reduce the mess by using a menstrual cup or female condom.
(4) Bleeding after sex: While it is normal for a woman to continue menstruating after period sex, you might want to monitor the bleeding closely especially if you have been experiencing light bleeding earlier. Bleeding after sex could be a sign of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), vaginal infection or cervical cancer.