You certainly can still get pregnant if you have a short cycle. The “28 days” that we so often think about when we think about a woman’s cycle refers only to an average. While there are many women whose cycle does indeed last for exactly 28 days, there are also a great many women whose cycle can be longer or shorter than 28 days. Many women have irregular cycles, as well. While you can still get pregnant with a short cycle, having a shorter menstrual cycle can affect your chances of getting pregnant.
To understand the affect that having a short cycle has on you getting pregnant, you need to know exactly how it is that a woman’s menstrual and ovulatory cycle works, as well as how conception occurs.
Conception occurs when a sperm meets an egg in the woman’s fallopian tube and fertilizes it. For this to happen, a woman has to ovulate. Ovulation occurs during a woman’s monthly cycle when one of her ovaries will release an egg into the fallopian tube. This egg can only survive for around one day in your fallopian tube. Therefore, a sperm would have to meet it pretty much right away when you ovulate. If the egg is not fertilized right away, then the egg and the lining of the uterus are shed during the menstrual period. Regardless of how long your menstrual cycle lasts, you will ovulate every cycle. When you ovulate, the egg that is released will be able to be fertilized for right around 24 hours. The sperm that enter your body during the few days prior to ovulation and during ovulation could, potentially, make you pregnant. This means that you will be fertile for right around a week every cycle, regardless of how long your cycle is.
So, if your cycle lasts for 25 days, you are fertile just under one third of your cycle. If your cycle lasts for 28 days, you are fertile for around one quarter of your cycle. If you have a short cycle, then, you could be fertile for as many as 110 days every year. If you have a longer cycle, you might only be fertile for as few as 95 days every year. So, not only can you still get pregnant if you have a short cycle, having a short menstrual cycle can even make you more likely to get pregnant, or at least create more opportunities for you to get pregnant over time.