you may have heard of natural family planning, it's where you learn your cycle (when you ovulate/are fertile) by watching and keeping track of three symptoms your body *always* gives when you ovulate, even if you have a short, long or irregular cycle.
the people who teach natural family planning and wrote a book about it say it is ok to have sex during the first and second day of your cycle (the first and second day of your period--the beginning of your period is considered the beginning of each cycle) if you have a shorter cycle (around 21 days) and even on the third day if you have a more normal or longer cycle (28 days +). If you have an irregular cycle it is safer to stay within the first and second day.
the book reported that in over 40 years of teaching NFP to hundreds of thousands of women a year (for 40 years, with almost millions of cycles to study and count for) there has only been one pregnancy resulting from having sex on the 4th day of a woman's period. that of course, was specific to that woman, some people can do that, some people can't have sex after the second day.
either way, it is uncommon, but still possible. if you have ever noticed, when you go to the bathroom while on your period, long stretchy mucus (that has blood in it from your period) that is likely to be cervical mucus which, normally, forms a plug in your cervix. However, when you are about to ovulate, the mucus, which is normally white and kind of tacky for most women, becomes clear and stretchy. if you have a short cycle, this mucus can come unplugged from your cervix while you are still having your period, because you are about to ovulate.
normally the vagina is very acidic and hostile to semen but before ovulation, this clear stretchy mucus makes it a very welcoming place and sperm have been known to survive up to 7 days in the vagina if this mucus is present (which is why it is recommended you do not have sex after the third day of your period, even if you have a longer or normal cycle).
i hope that helps you understand what's going on and why you might get pregnant but why it is also uncommon.
thanks all for your replies, i always learn things from this forum. special thanks to jriegel who took the time to explain how it works. do you have the name of the book? i would be interested in reading more about natural family planning.
you're welcome, IGal,. the name of that book is the Art of Natural Family Planning. There are a couple other books written on fertility awareness but that is the most throrough one that I have read.
if you get pregnant on your period, that will not affect the health of your child at all. you will just be pregnant. things that DO affect the health of your child while you are pregnant are either hereditary (something that is passed down through your family) or genetic, sometimes there are some unknown factors (like the area you live in...Remember the movie Erin Brokavich (or however it's spelled) with Julie Roberts and the plant that was poisoning the water...that's not very common, but could be an issue)
most importantly what affects the health of your child is what you ingest. if you think you are pregnant and are taking BCP, find out ASAP. if you are pregnant stop taking BCP. my friend got pregnant with her first son while taking BCP (she was in that quirky 1%) and he has a white blotch on the bottom of his eye that slightly starts to cover the color, almost like a cataract. he's about 8 now and is incredibly smart and every healthy, but he does that have eye problem.
other things that you do or don't ingest that affect your baby's health: alcohol (this is a MAJOR one. *do not* drink if you are pregnant, and hold of until you know for sure you are not. fetal alcohol syndrom is one of the most tragic things because it is so easily preventable. also, smoking and certain drugs (even if they are "natural" products/herbs, always check with your doctor/midwife.)
if you find out you're pregnant, be sure to take prenatal vitamins and eat foods high in fibre, iron and folic acid. some of the saddest developemental disabilities in children can be prevented by making sure you're taking enough folic acid.
I know that's a lot more than you asked for, but just so you can be confident, your circumstance alone will not cause your child to have a defect, if you are pregnant. but other things may contribute to that, if they apply to you.
u know what i said above i had sex on my 3rd day of my period
well by the 5th day my period completely stopped i usually have my period for 7 to usually 10 days would that be a sure sign that im pg with my period stopping like that on the 5th day ? my birthdays coming up so gotta have a drink surley that early on it wont effect the baby right ?
thats if i am pg
I don't think your period stopping like that means you're pregnant. unless you have an incredibly, and i mean incredibly short cycle, there is no way you are pregnant.
The egg from your previous cycle would not still be present (it deteriorates after a day or two if it is not fertilized, and it would still be about another two weeks before this period you just had right now, so that egg is not there), and by your third day of this period you just had, you would not have ovulated yet for THIS cycle.
The only way you would be pregnant is if you have a really short cycle (and it sounds like you do NOT since your period normally lasts 7 days). And THAT is only because the cervical mucus would be present to keep the sperm alive UNTIL you ovulate, not BECAUSE you've ovulated during your period.
Does that make sense? The time line just does not work out for you to get pregnant DURING your period, only AFTER your period because you have a short cycle and the sperm were able to survive in your vagina throughout the rest of your period and until you ovluated, which sounds very unlikely since you normally have such a long period. Some times those things just happen (having a shorter period) because of stress, diet, exercise, any changes to those things...It doesn't mean you're pregnant.
Still, even if you are pregnant, I would suggest not taking a drink, especially while the fetus is in such a crucial developemental stage. The entire pregnancy is a crucial developemental stage but the first few weeks and months particularly. If you are really sure you're pregnant (you've taken a test and gone to a free clinic for a free test), your baby should be important enough to you to skip out on "just a drink or two" until they are born.
Just wanted to add that pregnancy would be more possible if you didn't ovulate the month before. Anovulatory bleeding is more likely to be fertile. The only way to know is by charting a temp rise the month before.
I'd also recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility.