Period Panic, 21, from Durban asks:

Hi Andy,

This is really awkward and I’ve avoided google because I know it isn’t always the best with the facts. I had sex while I was on my period about two weeks ago, because my boyfriend said you can’t fall pregnant if you’re on your period. But when I told my friends, they said that you can get pregnant even if you’re on your period? I’m freaking out. Please help! What can I do?!

Hi Period Panic,

Unfortunately, I don’t have amazing news for you because it is definitely possible for you to fall pregnant while you are on your period. Now, before you run away screaming, it is pretty rare for this to happen.

The only reason you can fall pregnant is because sperm can live on for a number of days inside your vagina. In some women, their cycles are a bit different, and if you have a shorter cycle than the average 28 days, it could mean that you ovulate sooner than others – this therefore makes your period and ovulation closer together – and if sperm survive long enough to last until you ovulate, you could fall pregnant. If you have longer cycles, then the risk is not as great.

Another way one can fall pregnant is when some women mistake a ‘breakthrough’ bleed or spotting (which can occur when you’re actually ovulating) for a period, meaning you were possibly most fertile at that time.

Unfortunately, the fact remains that you are ultimately at risk of being pregnant. On top of this, it is too late to take the morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy, and now all you can do is wait and see if your next period comes on time!

Remember that you’re at risk of contracting more than just a baby (:P) if you don’t use a condom, and you’re at risk of serious STIs and even HIV from having unprotected sex.

Please keep me updated and let me know what happens!

periodAsk Andy

 

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