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Can You Get Pregnant When You’re Not Ovulating?

Is it possible to get pregnant when you’re not ovulating? The female body is a wonder and so naturally, the answer is not so straightforward. 

When you can and cannot get pregnant is conditional to changes in your monthly menstrual cycle. We will break it down for you, step-by-step.  

Many of us have been fed the myth that we get pregnant immediately after having sex. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The process of ovulation plays a big role in pregnancy. Hence, knowing if you can get pregnant when you are ovulating or not ovulating is vital information.  

The starting point of pregnancy is ovulation. This is the process when your ovary releases an egg that travels through the fallopian tube.
When you have sex, this egg gets fertilized by a sperm and gets implanted into your uterine wall for the fetus to begin forming.

This is what happens when you ovulate. What happens when you don’t? Find out in this article if you can get pregnant when you’re not ovulating. 

Can You Get Pregnant Outside Your Ovulation?

The short answer is no. You cannot get pregnant outside your ovulation or if you do not ovulate. 

Remember that pregnancy happens when the egg and sperm unite during your fertile window. 

Your fertile window lasts for up to six days between which fertilization can occur. If the sperm unites with the egg to form a zygote, implantation follows and it will be safe to say you’re pregnant.

Anything outside this is not feasible and chances of pregnancy any other way are very rare. 

How To Know You’re Ovulating?

Ovulation happens when your ovary releases an egg for fertilization. It could take place anywhere between 12-14 days before your next period. Even when you have irregular cycles, although your exact day of ovulation may shift, you still ovulate 12-14 days before your next period.

The Inito Fertility Monitor is a handy tool that identifies your fertile days for you. Research has shown it can increase chances of conception by 89%. Its clear and accurate results can help you plan your conception better.  

You can also watch out for the consistency of your cervical mucus. At the time of ovulation, this cervical discharge may be more slippery and liquidy, with the consistency of egg whites. 

Here is a detailed guide on what changes in cervical mucus indicate. Your body temperature might also be slightly increased after you ovulate.

What Happens During Ovulation?

You know that ovulation occurs between 12-14 days before your next period. When you ovulate, an egg is released from your ovary that moves down the fallopian tube towards the womb. 

After ovulation, the released egg gives an open window of 24 hours for a sperm to fertilize it. We already know that sperm can remain in a woman’s body for up to 5 days. This makes up for your fertile window of 6 days, marked as 4 days before ovulation, the day of ovulation and one day after ovulation. 

Getting Pregnant On Your Period

There is a lot of noise around whether or not you can get pregnant on your period. Is it possible? The chances are minimal but, yes, it is still possible to get pregnant on your period. 

Before Your Period: 

Conceiving a few days before your period is not possible. This is because you have already ovulated about 12-14 days ago and the egg has not been fertilized within the 24-hour-window.
Now the uterus has not prepared for pregnancy and will start shedding its lining. You will get your period within a day or two.

On Your Period Or After Your Period:

Getting pregnant on or after your period more commonly happens with people who have shorter cycles that have a span of about 21 to 24 days. The typical bleeding time is upto 3-7 days. 

In a 22-day cycle, you ovulate on day 8 of your cycle (12-14 days before your next period). Your fertile window is between day 6 and day 11 of your cycle (4 days before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and 1 day after ovulation).
If you have unprotected sex during your fertile window, it is highly likely that you will get pregnant.

Confused? Well, don’t be! All you need to do is track your fertile days and confirm your ovulation day to get pregnant.

What Happens When You Aren’t Ovulating?

Have you ever had months where you skipped your periods for no reason? Well, it turns out that this happens due to not ovulating. You may have anovulatory cycles occasionally. Don’t worry, this is normal. 

Let’s break it down further for you. 

Your menstrual cycle consists of two phases. In the preovulatory phase i.e. during the first half of your cycle, estrogen is dominant.

Once it starts rising, the anterior pituitary releases luteinizing hormone (LH) to trigger ovulation. The surge in LH causes the mature follicle to release the egg.

The egg gets released into the fallopian tube and down the uterus into the cervical canal.

The ruptured follicle forms a structure called the corpus luteum that produces progesterone. 

Progesterone is the dominant hormone in the second half of your cycle to prepare the body for the possibility of pregnancy. This is the postovulatory phase.

Progesterone is required to maintain the uterine lining to create a nourishing environment for a fertilized egg. This hormone remains high during your entire pregnancy to prevent you from having your period.  

In case your egg does not get fertilized by the sperm, the corpus luteum shrivels down and stops producing progesterone and you get your period.

What happens in Anovulatory Cycles?

Anovulatory cycles are fairly common in women affecting 1 in 10 women. In this condition, you do not ovulate.

When ovulation does not occur, the follicles keep growing in size. But they do not mature enough to rupture and release an egg. Thus corpus luteum never gets formed to release progesterone. 

 

Despite no ovulation, you can get your period. This is known as breakthrough bleeding. 

 

This is because your body has already prepared the uterine line for pregnancy by increasing the production of estrogen. Estrogen went on increasing to build the uterine lining. 

Hence, no follicle rupture = no ovulation = no corpus luteum formation = no progesterone. 

 

Progesterone is missing and hence is not available for maintaining the uterine lining. 

Some women shed this lining on their own while many others require help from their doctor to shed the lining and get their periods.

 

Anovulation is one of the few reasons some women can’t become pregnant and accounts for 30% of infertility cases. Contact your doctor if you have experienced anovulation for a while and think it is responsible for your infertility issues. Anovulation varies in individuals but it occurs more often as you reach menopause due to hormonal imbalance.

 

Polycystic Syndrome (PCOS) is another disorder that can cause the absence of ovulation. It prevents the maturation of eggs, hence no eggs are released for fertilization to take place.

Getting Pregnant When You’re Not Ovulating During A Cycle: Is It Possible?

It is not possible for you to conceive without ovulation occurring during that cycle. This is because no egg is available for the sperm to fertilize, which is the first requirement for a pregnancy to begin.

In the event that you want to get pregnant when you’re not ovulating, there are medical treatments available. 

Your doctor will prescribe medicines that can make your body release a mature egg for fertilization to happen. 

Summary

  • Pregnancy is the result of the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. The most ideal time for it to happen is during the fertile window which is 4 days before ovulation, day of ovulation, and 1 day after ovulation.  
  • The chances of getting pregnant during your period are minimal but it is still possible, especially for people with shorter cycles.
  • In situations where a woman has anovulatory cycles, the chances of conception are low because you can’t get pregnant if you’re not ovulating. 

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