You have missed your period? Wondering if you’re pregnant or want to know when you ovulate? Here’s a list of our frequently asked questions – read it and learn more about your menstrual cycle, ovulation, pregnancy, abortion etc.

1) Menstrual Cycle

How do I calculate the length of my menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle starts on day one of the bleeding to day one of the next. On average, the cycle lasts for 28 days, but it’s normal to have it longer or shorter. So if one period started on July 10 and the next one started on August 5, then you would have a 26 days cycle. If your periods are regular, then the two subsequent ones would come on August 31 and September 26. Read this article for more information.

How can I track my menstrual cycle?

It is important for you to keep a record of your menstrual cycle on a calendar or on a smart phone; there are many ovulation apps available. Track your start date every month for several months – this will help you to determine the constancy of your periods. It is also important to note: the end date, how light or heavy it is and if you have abnormal bleeding or pain.

How do I determine my fertile days?

Typically, the menstrual cycle will last for 28 days, which is calculated from day one of a menstrual period to day one of the next cycle. Ovulation typically occurs 14 days before the start of your menstrual period. If your cycle lasts for 28 days, you can ovulate on the 14th day like the average female. However, you will start ovulating around the 11th day if you have periods 25 days apart. Alternatively, you will not ovulate until the 20th day if your cycles are longer, like for 34 days. If periods are irregular it would be more challenging to determine the fertile days.

2) Delayed Period

I am late. Am I pregnant?

A late period can be caused by many reasons and pregnancy is only one of them. If you think pregnancy can be the reason in your case, wait until 10 days after the date of your expected period date to take a pregnancy test. This waiting is to ensure the accuracy of the pregnancy test kit.

My period is very late. If I’m not pregnant so what could it be?

If you missed a period and you are not pregnant, you might want to know why this happened. Some of the causes of a missed menstrual cycle include: stress, change in your regular schedule, travel, illness and the use of certain medications. It would be best to consult your doctor for help in identifying which factor is causing the delay.

3) Gettting Pregnant

I had unprotected sex and got my period shortly after. Is there still any chance that I’m pregnant?

If you got your regular period in accordance to your period calculator this would indicate that you’re not pregnant. If you noticed bleeding some time after unprotected sex and not on the days when your regular period should appear then this could be implantation bleeding. In that case it could be that you’re pregnant and we’d recommend that you take a pregnancy test.
You can read this post to learn more about how to recognize the difference between a period and implantation bleeding.

What are the other signs to know I am pregnant, other than taking pregnancy test?

Every woman might have different pregnancy signs. The most common ones are sore breasts, increased need to go to the washroom, mood swings, tiredness etc. However, all these may also be caused by other reasons, too. The only accurate way to know whether you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. Be sure to take it after 10 days of missing your expected period date for more accuracy.

What is the best time to have sex if I’m trying to get pregnant?

The most fertile days in the cycle will be at least 3 days before, during and some days after ovulation. This will be the best time for you to try and conceive. Sperm will survive for 3 to 5 days while the egg will last for 12 to 24 hours. You are fertile for about 5 to 7 days. In case you are not sure about your ovulation, you can also use an ovulation kit to make sure.

Is it possible to get pregnant if I have sex just before ovulation?

Yes. The risk of getting pregnant is high because your partner’s sperm can live inside your body for at least 72 hours. You can become pregnant just before ovulation as long as one sperm is alive; in essence the sperm could be there waiting for an egg to be released during the ovulation process.

Can I get pregnant if my partner withdraws before he ejaculates?

Yes, it is still possible for pregnancy to occur because pre-ejaculate (pre-cum or sperm) can be released from your partner before your partner withdraws. This semen can be potent enough to result in a pregnancy.

How do I know if I’m pregnant?

The biggest sign of pregnancy after unprotected sex is a missed period. However, this missed or late period is not a sure sign as there are many other things like stress, sickness and fatigue that can delay a period besides pregnancy. The best way for you to know if you are pregnant is to do a pregnancy test. These are easy to get nowadays because they are available at drugstores or health centers. It is important to note that the home pregnancy tests are ninety-nine percent accurate if taken after you miss a period.

4) Ovulation

Can I ovulate right after my period?

Yes, it is possible but it depends on the number of days in your cycle. Women with a short cycle, for example 21 days, who bleed for 7 days, can ovulate right after their period.

What is the difference between ovulation bleeding versus implantation bleeding?

With a regular 28 to 30 days cycle, ovulation typically occurs on the 13th -16th day. Implantation usually happens within the next 10 days after ovulation. Read this article for more information.

How can I differentiate ovulation bleeding from a period?

The quantity of blood discharged through the vagina is what mainly differentiates the two. With a menstrual period, there is a heavy flow of blood that can last for an average of three to five days. Ovulation, on the other hand usually brings spotting or a little bit of blood. This blood is either dark brownish red color or pink and there is very little of it. It may be mixed with cervical mucus and may be accompanied by mild pain in the stomach or some cramping that resembles menstrual cramping.

What are the signs of ovulation?

The ovulation signs include changes in body temperature, cervical mucus and hormone levels. Pain in the ovaries may also be experienced. Read this post to learn about some other common ovulation symptoms.

Can I ovulate and get pregnant during a period?

An egg can survive in for about 24 hours after it’s released from the ovary. If sperm are present in the fallopian tube at that time, one of them may fertilize the egg and lead to a pregnancy. Sperm can survive in the reproductive tract for up to five days; it’s possible that the sperm may still be hanging around during ovulation, ready to fertilize the egg.

What are some common ovulation facts?

Ovulation facts in a nutshell:

  • Typically, only one egg is released during ovulation.
  • An egg can live up to 24 hours after ovulation.
  • Sperm can live up to 72 hours.
  • Stress, sickness, or other outside influences can affect ovulation.
  • It usually takes from a week to 12 days for a fertilized egg to become implanted.
  • It is possible to experience ovulation even without experiencing a period.
  • While it is common not to be aware that you are ovulating, some women experience heaviness or some pain during ovulation.
  • The chance of pregnancy increases if intercourse occurs sometime between three days before to three days after ovulation.
During my ovulation time, how many days am I really fertile?

During your window of ovulation, your most fertile time is considered to be about 5-7 days long. An egg is only available to be fertilized for about 12 – 24 hours. Since sperm can live in the body for 3 – 5 days after sex, and the egg is available for one day, you must identify those 5 to 7 days and have sex just before, during and even a few days after these days if you want to get pregnant.

5) Pregnancy Tests

When is the best time to take a pregnancy test?

You can get the most accurate result if you wait at least one week after missing your period. In addition, the result might be even more accurate if the test is done first in the morning as the urine is far more concentrated at this time. The urine-based home pregnancy tests offer great accuracy. This accuracy will depend on several factors such as how early the test is taken, if the instructions were followed closely, when ovulation occurred in the cycle as well as how early implantation takes place, and the sensitivity of the test.
It is always best to take a pregnancy test after a late period to avoid false positive or false negative results. If you have irregular cycles or you are not charting your cycles, it might best to take the test after passing the longest menstrual cycle. For example, it would be best to take the test 37 days or later if your cycles are in the range of 30 to 36 days.
You can buy home pregnancy tests in every pharmacy or online (Amazon link).

If my pregnancy test shows a negative result, does this mean I’m not pregnant?

A negative result can mean that you are not pregnant or that you took the test too early. Pregnancy tests vary in their sensitivity (how soon they can detect the hormone hCG), and you may not have given your body enough time to produce enough of the hCG hormone to show up on the test.

When taking a test it is best to follow the instructions of the manufacturer and wait until you have missed a period before taking the test. Some women show up accurately on a test the day they miss a period, while others may not show up positive until 3-4 weeks after a missed period. If the result is negative, wait a week and test again if a normal period has not started.

6) Abortion

I had [an] abortion 5 weeks ago and still haven’t gotten my normal period. Is this normal? When should I expect my period to come?

When the period will return after an abortion varies from woman to woman depending on how far along the pregnancy had proceeded before it was aborted. Normally, the period returns four to 12 weeks after an abortion and even if there are no periods after this time, it could be because of stress, health issues like PCOS, or your body might be taking some more time to heal.

I had a medical abortion and got my periods after 4 weeks. It has not stopped even after 6 days. Is it normal or do I need to consult the doctor?

It’s normal to have a longer first period after your abortion. They may be lighter or heavier than your usual period. If they are heavy and you need to change pads more than four times a day, you should consult the doctor.

I had an abortion last week and I still feel pregnant. I feel all the signs. Does that mean the abortion was not successful?

After an abortion, it is normal to still feel pregnant for the next 3-4 weeks, as the body is trying to adjust to the new situation, which takes some time. To make sure, you can take a urine pregnancy test after 6 weeks of the abortion.

Are there any kinds of restrictions after an abortion?

Yes. After an abortion, the vagina is very sensitive, so it is not recommended to have sex or use a tampon for at least the first month. Carelessness may even lead to vaginal infection.

When can I get pregnant after a miscarriage or abortion?

It is very important that you give yourself time to heal both emotionally and physically before you try to conceive again. Physical recovery after a miscarriage is quick and takes only a few days. After about a month, your body will be working normally and your menstrual cycles will begin once again. It is possible to become pregnant during your first menstrual cycle after your miscarriage or abortion.

I recently had an abortion but I did a pregnancy test that is still showing that I’m pregnant. What is happening to me?

Generally, hCG levels will remain high up to 6 weeks after abortion or miscarriage. It may be necessary to re-test a few times after an abortion to ensure that the pregnancy has been terminated.

I had an abortion and I’m having cramps, feeling nauseous and my period has not returned. Should I be concerned?

The effects of an abortion include bleeding, cramps or a vaginal discharge. If these symptoms are excessive and you have a high fever then you must see a doctor. Don’t worry about your delayed period – in most instances, a menstrual cycle is expected within 4 to 8 weeks after an abortion.

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