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Can a Girl Get Pregnant if Her Periods Are Irregular?

I have irregular periods. Can I still get pregnant if I don't get my period all the time?
– Kim*

Yes! Any time a girl has unprotected sex, she could get pregnant.

Getting pregnant is related to ovulation. Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovaries. It is the time when a girl is most likely to get pregnant. A girl with irregular periods usually still ovulates, just not on a regular, predictable schedule.

All girls, especially girls with irregular periods, can ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle. That makes it impossible for a girl to know when she is most fertile. Irregular periods also can make it hard for a girl to know if she is pregnant, since she doesn't know when to expect her period.

Having unprotected sex at any time is risky. Along with the risk of getting pregnant, you could also get an STD, such as chlamydia, genital warts, or HIV. The only way to completely prevent pregnancy and STDs is abstinence (not having sex).

If you do have sex, use a condom every time to protect against unplanned pregnancy and STDs. For added protection, many couples use condoms along with another method of birth control, like birth control pills or an IUD. Talk to your doctor about the best type of birth control for you.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD
Date reviewed: November 2020