Can you get pregnant when you’re on your period?

Yes, a girl can get pregnant during her period.  Remember that anytime you have sex, you can get pregnant.

Many people think you can’t get pregnant when you’re having your period, because pregnancy is most likely to happen when you ovulate (when your ovary releases an egg).  But remember that it is impossible to tell exactly when you ovulate and so even when you are having your period, there is always a chance of getting pregnant.

Here are a few ways you can get pregnant when you are having your period:

  • Sometimes girls have a little bleeding when they ovulate. A girl might think she’s having her period, but really she may just be ovulating. Ovulation is the monthly release of an egg from a girl’s ovaries and it is the time when she is most likely to get pregnant if she has sex.
  • Sometimes ovulation can happen before you are done bleeding from a period.
  • Sperm can live in a girl’s body and fertilize an egg for 3 days after ejaculation. Ovulation happens a few days after a period is over. So if a girl has sex at the end of her period and ovulates in the next few days, the sperm may still be able to fertilize the egg.

Remember that having unprotected sex at any time is risky. Along with the risk of pregnancy, you could also get an STD, such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to completely avoid pregnancy and STDs is not having sex.

If you do have sex, insist that your partner use a condom every time to protect yourself against unplanned pregnancy and STDs.  You can talk to your parents or doctor about other forms of birth control like the pill or an IUD as well.  But remember that these methods of birth control won’t protect you from STDs, so you always need to use a condom.

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