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Can I Get Pregnant if My Periods Are Irregular?

Medically reviewed by: Amy W. Anzilotti, MD

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

Yes! Any time you have unprotected sex, you 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 female who has sex is most likely to get pregnant. Even with irregular periods, girls usually still ovulate, just not on a regular, predictable schedule.

All females, especially those with irregular periods, can ovulate at different points from cycle to cycle. That makes it impossible to know when they're most fertile. Irregular periods also can make it hard for a girl to know if she is pregnant, because 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.

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