Most women struggle to understand their menstrual cycle and their fertile and safe days for unprotected sexual intercourse. Understanding of the female reproductive cycle is necessary in order to know if a woman can get pregnant on the last day of her periods. Beginning at puberty and continuing through the reproductive years, women undergo reproductive cycles involving the Hypothalamus of the brain, ovaries, Pituitary gland, uterus, vagina, breasts and uterine tubes. These monthly cycles prepare the female reproductive system for pregnancy. The reproductive cycle contains two cycles. These are the ovarian cycle and the menstrual cycle. Periods or menses mean the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal lining from the uterus and relates to the menstrual cycle.
The Ovarian Cycle and Fertile Days for Pregnancy
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Leutinizing hormones (LH) released from the pituitary gland produce cyclical changes in the ovaries every month. The first phase in this cycle is the 'follicular phase' where under the influence of FSH, several follicles in the ovary start to mature. Out of these, only one follicle matures and ruptures through the ovary releasing an ovum for fertilization. The second phase is the 'Ovulatory phase' occurring around the fourteenth day of the cycle. This occurs upon release of the ova from the ovary for fertilization. This is under the combined influence of FSH and LSH. The third phase is the formation of Corpus Leutem by the remaining follicles in the ovary. The Corpus Leuteum secretes progesterone hormones. For those of you who are wondering as to "can I get pregnant at the end of my period?" learning to calculate the dates which are likely for you to ovulate will help find your answer.
Menstrual Phase and Risk of Pregnancy
The menstrual phase is the period in the reproductive cycle when the ovum matures and leaves the ovary and enters the uterus. The hormones formed by the ovarian follicles and the Corpus Leutem cause cyclical changes in the wall of the uterus. The changes in the level of Estrogen and Progesterone play a crucial role in these cyclical changes. The menstrual phase like the ovarian cycle has three phases. The first phase is the 'menstrual phase' and begins on the first day of periods or menses. In this, the inner-most lining of the uterine wall is sloughed off, and all the blood and mucosal tissue are discharge through the vagina. It lasts about 5 to 7 days. The second phase is the 'Proliferative phase' where there is growth and repair of the endometrial tissue. It lasts approximately 9 days. The third phase is the 'Secretory phase' lasting approximately 13 days. In this phase, there is increased production of glands that become more coiled and secrete glycogen. This prepares the uterus for pregnancy in case of fertilization from an ovum released from the next ovarian cycle. However, if fertilization does not occur by the 28th day there is a withdrawal of Estrogen and Progesterone hormones, resulting in the repeat of another menstruation cycle. In some women, the menstrual phase drags on where spotting and bleeding lasts up to 10-11 days. By that time, the next ovarian cycle is already active and hence, ova may have been released, and ovulation may have taken place, which means, can you get pregnant on the last day of your period. This is especially so for those who have long menstrual cycles.
Most Fertile Days in the Menstrual Cycle
Pregnancy can occur when a couple engages in sexual intercourse around the mid cycle which contains 12 to 14 days. This is when the ovary releases the ovum and enters the uterine cavity for fertilization. It floats for about 2 days in the uterine cavity and regresses after that period. If the woman has sexual intercourse during that period, she has strong chances of becoming pregnant, especially if she has not used any birth control. The chances of getting pregnant on the last day of periods are low because this period represents the first week of menstrual and ovarian cycle, a time when the release of the ovum from the ovary for fertilization does not take place. In fact, the first 7 days from start of menstruation and the rest of days from day 21 from 1st day of menstruation are safe periods for having sex without worry of getting pregnant even without the use of contraceptive. However, even if a woman is still experiencing a menstrual flow after 7 days from starting it, this does not make it safe for her to engage in unprotected sex if she does not want to get pregnant. In such a scenario where your period has lasted for 10 days, and 10th day being the last day the answer to the question of whether "can you get pregnant on the last day of your period" is yes.
While there is only a low chance of getting pregnant during the first week of the period, women who have shorter reproductive cycles, tend to ovulate later than the ones with average cycles. This increases their chance of getting pregnant on the last day of the period. Those who have long menstrual flow may also assume that as they are having spotting or weak flow past 9-10th day from stat of menstruation cycle, that they are not at a risk of conceiving. This is not the case as safe days are only up to the 7th day from the start of menstruation.