Can You Get Pregnant a Week Before Your Period?

Know Your Cycle and When to Test

Whether you are hoping to prevent pregnancy or feeling ready to hold a baby in your arms, a little knowledge goes a long way in family planning. Learn the basics about your monthly cycle to reduce the stress of not knowing when you are most or least likely to get pregnant. Every woman's body is unique, and the timing of your fertile window determines a lot about whether or not you are likely to get pregnant around your period.

Menstrual Cycle 101

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When Is the Best Time to Get Pregnant?

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The average menstrual cycle lasts 21 to 35 days, begins on the first day of a woman's period and ends on the last day before her next period. Follicles mature during the first part of a woman's cycle in order to release an egg during ovulation, which usually occurs between day 10 and day 25 of a woman's menstrual cycle. A woman is most fertile during the five days leading up to ovulation and the 24-hours following ovulation. The luteal phase is the second half of the cycle, when progesterone levels rise to support implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. When a woman is not pregnant, progesterone levels drop at the end of the luteal phase and her next period begins.

Fertility Variables

During a textbook menstrual cycle, it is unlikely for a woman to get pregnant one week before her period is due, but it is not impossible. Some women with regular cycles ovulate more than once in a cycle, so pregnancy is possible at any time. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, follicular phase issues and delayed ovulation can also cause the fertile window to vary greatly from one woman to another, even when cycle lengths appear similar. Apps and fertility tracking devices help you track symptoms and patterns in your cycle to learn more about when you are most and least likely to get pregnant. Your doctor or midwife may also be able to offer ultrasound services to determine whether you have ovulated.

When to Test

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When Are You Fertile

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Shortly after a fertilized egg implants in a woman's uterus, levels of the hormone HCG begin to rise dramatically and can be detected in the blood and urine. Home pregnancy tests are frequently accurate within a week of your missed period. Visit your doctor or midwife to officially confirm or rule out pregnancy, even if you get a positive home pregnancy test. Your doctor can draw blood to confirm your home pregnancy test results and even conduct an ultrasound, if necessary.

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