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Can you get pregnant 15 days after your period starts?

Can you get pregnant 15 days after your period starts?
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2 Answers

  1. I like this question. The answer is: Yes, as you chose a date in which the chances of getting pregnant are relatively high.

    It’s important to understand the basics of conception. An average menstrual cycle (or ovarian cycle, if you will) lasts 28 days. This is untrue for most teens and young adults, because it tends to last longer or less than that. In any case, the average length of the cycle for women in general is not important. What’s important is how long it is for every woman specifically.

    You can calculate this (and should keep track of it) by calculating the average length of your most recent cycles. The more cycles taken into account when calculating the average, the better (using the data collected over a year yields pretty accurate results when it comes to calculating fertility). This is when it gets interesting.

    Imagine you calculated how long your average cycle lasts, and got 28 days as a result. What you want to do now is calculate the day you ovulated.

    Here’s the catch, pinpointing the exact moment you ovulated can be tricky business. This is because ovulation, on average, occurs about 14 days before the end of your current cycle. It doesn’t happen on a specific number of days after menstruation, it actually has nothing to do with menstruation. Ovulation starts a hormonal process in which it pretty much sets up the date for your next menstruation. So the only way to find out when you’ll ovulate, is by calculating (and at this point it’s safe to use the word guessing) when you’ll next period will happen, basing on the average length of your cycles.

    Complicated? I hope not. Let’s move on.

    Remember how you “calculated” your cycle lasted, on average, 28 days? This means that you have to subtract 14 from the cycle length, and you’ll get the ovulation day (so ovulation happens on the 14th day). Using this example, day 1 is when menstruation begins, ovulation will occur on day 14, and day 28 will be the last of the cycle, before menstruation (and the cycle repeating itself).

    We now know when you ovulated. What does this mean, anyway? It means your body produced a very fertile egg, that’s going to want to meet up with sperm cells to form a baby. This egg, however, only lives for about 24 hours.
    Does this mean that, out of those 28 days the cycle lasted, women are only fertile 24 hours until the egg dies? No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t because it is known that sperm cells can live in the female genital tract for several days (some studies say about 3, others say as much as 7, let’s even it out at 5).

    So you can have sex up to 7 days (according to some studies) before your body even produces an egg and get pregnant due to those sperm cells that were cozily waiting inside your uterus for ovulation to happen. This is why we say that women are fertile for several days in every cycle even though the egg itself doesn’t live for more than a day.

    How, then, do we calculate when a girl is fertile, and when is she not? Once you calculated when the ovulation day was, you have to assume that she will be fertile for a whole week before that day, and merely a day or two after. This is hard to say because it’s impossible to determine how long the cycle will be (thus making it hard to calculate the ovulation day), and because we have no idea how long your partner’s sperm cells will live for inside your genital tract. 

    It’s time for some examples. The person with the 28-day-long cycle ovulated on day 14. This means that this gal can get pregnant by having unprotected sex starting 7 days before ovulation date (or on the 7th day after menstruation started, in this case it’s the same), and about a day after.
    Just so we’re clear, this means from day 7 to day 15.

    We have no clue as to how long your cycle is. This means that if it happened to be 25 days in average, ovulation would most likely happen on the 11th day of the cycle, and you would be fertile starting on the 4th day of your cycle, lasting up to the 12th day. You say you had sex on the 15th day; which means that in this scenario you would most likely not get pregnant.

    (By the way, this also serves as an explanation to the ever-lasting “can I get pregnant if I have sex on my period?” question – the answer is yes, if your cycles are short enough)

    What if it lasted longer, though? If your average cycle lasted on average 31 days, it would mean that ovulation would happen around day 17, and that fertility would start around day 10 and last until the 18th day. In this scenario, the chances of pregnancy when having sex on the 15th day are pretty damn high.

    I hope this helps you calculate in which days of the month it’s safest to have sex if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy (hurray for unprotected sex! – that is, if you have a stable partner and know you aren’t getting an STD; and/or use other contraceptive methods, such as the pill).

    I really do hope this helps, though. It took me about an hour to write this answer and I am supposed to be studying for an urology exam tomorrow. Lol.

    If you have other questions, feel free to ask! Good luck!

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