Pregnancy and Irregularity FAQ
This information is given as a very general guide and in good faith. Menstruation.com.au takes no responsibility for any mishaps or mistakes that may eventuate. This information is not intended to replace proper medical advice and we caution visitors not to use this site as a substitute for professional medical care.
Menstrual Cycles are very individual and can be affected by any number of stresses. We cannot predict anybodies biological fertile time based on general advice.
On to the questions -
When is it safe to have sex during the menstrual cycle so as to avoid pregnancy?
Pregnancy occurs when a woman has sexual intercourse during her fertile time, which is when she is ovulating. Go to Physically Speaking for a more in depth description of how ovulation occurs. Ovulation can potentially occur twice in a womans cycle. Usually it occurs midcycle,in response to the action of hormones, but it can also happen spontaneously at another time in response to the action of the moon.
Generally it is safe to have sexual intercourse at any time other than when a woman is fertile / ovulating, as long as that time does not coincide with her fertile lunar phase. So you really need to know when you have fertile mucus and when your natal lunar return occurs.
This is just a general rule, It is impossible to say that on day X ovulation does occur, because it is a highly individual process, for example one woman may ovulate on day 12 and another on day 15. There are no hard and fast rules, menstrual cycles vary from woman to woman and even cycle to cycle. The rhythm method of counting the days can be dangerous because of this variation. The best thing a woman can do is to become very familiar with her own body and able to recognise her own signs of ovulation and fertility.
How long is a woman fertile for?
A woman is fertile whenever she has fertile mucus or whenever her natal lunar fertile time occurs.
During biological ovulation - There is a space of time before ovulation when there are changes in your body which warn you that fertility is increasing. Specifically these are changes in the quality of your cervical/vaginal mucus. These changes increase the chances of sperm staying alive for longer in your cervix, thus making it possible for fertilisation to occur.
For example if a woman has sexual intercourse 2 days before she ovulates while she has fertile mucus, then the sperm may be able to stay alive in her fertile mucus for that two days and thus still fertilise the incoming egg when she ovulates.
So knowing when you have fertile mucus is important if you want to know when you can get pregnant.
In its infertile state, cervical mucus is quite hostile to incoming sperm and the possibility of pregnancy is significantly diminished.
How do I know when I am ovulating?
The best way is to use a combination of observation methods... checking your cervical/vaginal mucus and taking your basal (at rest) temperature on a regular basis. Learning how to do this properly takes some time and application but once you have learn't to recognise your fertile signs it becomes very simple.
For more information it is best to contact a Natural Fertility Management Counsellor Go here, or get hold of the book "Natural Fertility Management" by Francesca Naish
What are some signs of fertility?
"Change in the cervical mucus is the only observable symptom that preceeds ovulation and, therefore, gives reliable warning of approaching fertility" , from the book Natural Fertility Management.
There are a few different types of mucus, 4 in fact but I will just describe the differences between infertile and fertile mucus here:
Infertile Mucus :is characteristically thick, opaque, tacky and sticky, like paper paste. This mucus does not protect or support sperm and the natural acidity of the vagina destroys the sperm. And sperm cannot swim through it!
Fertile Mucus : characteristically watery, fluid, thinner, clearer, slippery and more profuse... sperm can definitely swim through it. Like nature's KY jelly almost, think about it, the mucus is providing natural lubrication.
How do I observe my mucus?
To observe your mucus simply feel the mouth of your vagina on a regular basis. That is use a couple of fingers and gently place them at the mouth of your vagina. You will be able to feel whether it is dry or wet, and if you keep records you will soon start to see a pattern emerging. Checking your mucus each time you go to the toilet especially around fertile times is a good habit as mucus and fertility can chage very rapidly. It is unnecessary and innacurate to test inside your vagina.
It depends on whether your period coincides with your fertile lunar phase (see below). If it does... well then Yes it is a possibility that you may get pregnant if you have unprotected sex. If it doesn't then you should be OK.
How do I know what my lunar phase fertile time is?
The lunar phase refers to the phase of the moon that you were born under. Research has shown that when the angle between the moon and the sun ie. the lunar phase, is the same as it was when you were born, this is a potentially fertile time.Lunar phases explains this further.Ovualtion can occur spontaneously often triggered by intercourse itself. This has explained many instances of women becoming pregnant after having intercourse during their period... a supposedly safe time! To find out your lunar phase, you can either have your natal astrology chart done or you can go here.
It is cervical mucus and as long as it isn't greenish or very smelly it is perfectly normal. Your mucus will fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle changing from dry and pasty to wet and slippery around the time of ovulation.Natural Fertility this will explain a little bit more about it.
Well according to Leslie Kenton in Passage to Power, its foods like coffee, tea, alcohol, sugar (and anything containing sugar) artificial flavourings and colourings, convenience foods, wheat and wheat products, meat, fish, game, cigarettes, drugs, chocolate, colas and milk and milk products... so it's basically all the refined and junk foods. In the pre menstrual phase its best to eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, soy products and healthy stuff that allows your body to detox.
My boyfriend and I had sex, not a lot really (my first time) and he used a condom with spermicide, and he said he pulled out before he really came, anyway, my period almost always comes during the last few days of the month...and counting 28 days, I would have started again on the 30th...
So my boyfriend and I drove ourselves crazy, thinking, Oh my God! I'm pregnant! since my period is a few days late...but today I took a pregnancy test, and followed directions, and it said I wasn't pregnant, and since he had the condom and all, and wasn't even in for long....anyway, my period still isn't here!!! and there's no sign of it coming (no grumpiness, no cramps, like usual) (oh, I'm almost 17 by the way)... What do you think? Can having sex make you have a late period even if you aren't pregnant??
I don't know if its the having sex that can make you late or just the worry/anxiety involved in the "Is my period here yet?" scenario. The menstrual cycle seems to be very sensitive to lots of stuff and unusual events can throw our cycles out. Sometimes waiting for our periods is like watching the pot that never boils if you know what I mean. If you aren't pregnant then just relax, and I bet when you least expect it, there it will be!
I am 14 and I still don't have my period. I am very worried because my mom got hers when she was 11 and my older sister got hers when she was 12. I am very worried that something is wrong with me, like i am sterile or something! Is it possible that I could be a late bloomer even though my mom wasn't? Help!
14 is not that old not to have gotten your period, the normal range is from 11 - 17 years. Everybody is different - It is possible and perfectly normal that you could be a late bloomer even though your mum wasn't.
Things like diet and exercise can affect when you get your period, for eg, if you diet alot or exercise excessively this can delay the arrival of your period.
I'm sure there is nothing wrong with you, (as long as you are experiencing some of the changes eg, breasts, pubic hair etc), I'm sure everything is ok - it's just taking a little longer to arrive.
I am 23 years old and sometimes when I have my period, even a few days into it, I feel very tired. Is this a normal period sympton?
Yes it is very normal, period time is time to rest, release and regenerate and as most women live such incredibly busy lives - they feel it more and more. Slowing down and resting up before your period, eating well, take time out to pamper yourself will reduce your discomfort during your period.
I have a question for you. my daughter is 14 years old. she has her period every month but, sometimes they are 30 days apart and sometimes they are 28 days apart and sometimes 23 days apart. Is this normal? if not, what should i do for her?
It is very normal for a new cycle to be irregular - in length, duration, flow and accompanying symptoms. It takes a while for a young womans body to get used to the new hormone levels, and to establish a normal regular cycle.
My daughter turned 10 in october....one month later she got her first period...it was mellow...one month later it came again ...mellow...then two weeks later she got a real period...it lasted for about 6-7 days...now one week later she is spotting...lower back pain...she seems to be developing rapidly...breasts, pubic hair can this be over producing of hormones???
It sounds like her hormones have kicked in, in a big way. Her body is probably just reacting to the big upsurge in hormone levels and once some of the changes have occurred it will all settle down again.
Make sure she is eating well and getting lots of rest, ( a good multi vitamin / women's formula may be helpful) so her body is not too stressed. If it doesn't settle down in a week or two, see your doctor.
How often is a women supposed to have her period???
and my 2nd question is what color is the blood in your period supposed to be? is it supposed to be kinda red kinda brown? cause mine looks kinda brown. is this a normal period?
A normal regular period is usually about 28 - 32 days long. Period length vary's from woman to woman and this is perfectly normal.
Blood colour does vary, mine usuallly starts off fairly bright red, and then as it slows down turns a brownier colour. I wouldn't worry about its colour, if your cycle is regular and your are not suffering alot of pain then its probably ok. Blood colour and flow rate can also vary from cycle to cycle.
If you are really concerned see your doctor.
Usually if you have had a period it indicates that you aren't pregnant. However, sometimes women can bleed when they are pregnant but it is not like a normal period, that is, it is not the release of the womb lining like a normal period is. Generally this bleeding is different - in quantity and quality.
It is possible if your period coincides with your natal lunar fertile time, but it is not the ideal time. Trying during ovulation is a much more successful way to get pregnant. If you want more info on this download our free e-book.
I had been on the pill for over 5 years, and completed my last cycle last month. According to my 28 day cylcle, I was due last Friday, so I'm about one week late. Is it possible that my period is late because I have stopped taking the pill (but am not pregnant)?
Yes very possible, after being on the pill for 5 years it may take your body some time (how long depends on the individual) to regain its natural rhythm. I wouldn't be too concerned about being irregular for a few months - if it continues for a much longer time, you may need to help your body along - using diet, supplements, the moon etc. While you were on the pill, your body and menstrual cycle was triggered by artificial hormones - it was a fake cycle. So your body needs to learn how to bleed naturally again.
While you are waiting and having an irregular cycle, it is just as important to be able to recognise your fertile signs so as to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Learning to recognise you fertile mucus/ovulation etc will help you to chart your cycle, and know your fertile time. You can download our free e-book, it will give you lots of useful info.
It is ok to have sex but you still need to be careful a use contraception because you will ovulate before you bleed for the first time. This means that at some point before your period you will be fertile and able to conceive a baby. If you haven't had a period - and don't know when you are likely to be fertile, then you may fall pregnant by accident before you have even had a period.
Also I think that being sexually active is likely to bring on your period sooner. I would recommend that you start to become familiar with cycles and mucus, so when the changes start happening in your body, you might be able to recognise them.
Help! My husband and I planned a (very much needed) getaway for this weekend over a month ago...but I just started my period! Is there any way to shorten or delay the menstrual cycle? I do not take birth control. Thank you!
There is the method below, otherwise to make it less messy - using a diaphragm catches the blood, allowing some freedom in sexual expression.
Otherwise, I only know of mind over matter - I have been able to successfully hold off my cycle just be thinking about it, and you can use the same kind of technique for bringing it on but whether that will work for you I don't know.
Basically, sit down in a quiet place, tune into yourself and affirm that you will not bleed till "X day" or whenever it is that your intention is. Have a conversation with your body, and plant the clear idea of what you want. Its very important to state these things in the positive, state what you want to happen NOT what you don't want to happen. For example, lets says you don't want to bleed till after a holiday - say, "I will start my period when my holiday ends" instead of "I will not bleed during my holiday".
The reason for this is that the brain or subconscious does not hear the "not" so it thinks you are saying "I will bleed during my holiday". You may think this sounds weird, but it is very important.
Use of other props - when visualising or affirming make your experience as vivid as possible - use colour, sound, sensation Eg you may want to visualise a calendar with the day you want to bleed highlighted in red, use a real calendar and put it in a prominent place with the day highlighted and your intention written on it.
Regular, daily affirmation of your intention is important, even if its just a quick remembrance whilst sitting on the loo. This method can work especially if your intention is strong.
Good luck and let me know how it goes, I get other questions like this, and would like to have a clearer response.
I have heard that you shouldn't do particular yoga poses because they are too strong at menstruation time. I am not sure of the exact mechanics, but this article may help http://www.yoga.com/raw/yoga/info/InversionsAndMenstruation.html
Written by Nadia MacLeod