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Can You Get Pregnant When You Are Sick?

author image Piper Li
Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.
Can You Get Pregnant When You Are Sick?
Some types of illness may decrease the liklihood of conception. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Certain situations, including illness, can affect your ability to become pregnant. Being sick does not automatically render you temporarily infertile, although an illness that upsets the regularity of your menstrual cycle can make it difficult to conceive. If you want to get pregnant, begin preconception planning by scheduling an appointment with your gynecologist to rule out the presence of any potentially dangerous health conditions.


In order to conceive, you must ovulate. Although the timing of ovulation can vary, most women ovulate around the 14th day of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms of ovulation may include slight cramping, an increase in clear vaginal secretions and an increase in your basal body temperature. Although serious health disorders can upset your menstrual cycles, mild illnesses generally pose no threat to your normal reproductive cycle.


Another important factor in successful conception involves the timing of sexual intercourse. If you feel too ill to have intercourse around the time of ovulation, your chances of becoming pregnant drop. If you want to conceive, MayoClinic.com recommends that you have sex one time each day around your anticipated time of ovulation. According to Women’s Health.gov, the most fertile times to get pregnant are between two to three days prior to ovulation and within 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.

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Several conditions can cause you to stop ovulating and skip your regular menstrual periods. These conditions include depression, obesity, thyroid malfunction, pituitary tumors and obesity. Chronic health problems, such as colitis, cystic fibrosis and kidney failure, can also affect your ability to conceive. Other circumstances that may temporarily affect your ability to conceive include rapid weight loss and excessive exercise.


Let your doctor know if you frequently skip menstrual periods or experience irregular periods. You may require medical testing to determine the cause of your menstrual irregularities. If you don’t want to get pregnant, continue using a reliable form of birth control every time you have sex, including when you feel sick. Illnesses, including chronic conditions that may cause infertility, are not a substitute for birth control. Depending on your underlying condition, getting pregnant while you are seriously ill may affect the health of both you and your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor before attempting to conceive, especially if you have a medical condition.

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