Fertility can be a tricky thing. Whether you're trying to have a baby or not, it's confusing to chart your ovulation (and every woman's cycle is different). You’ll need to find out when your body is the most fertile. One common question women ask: Can you get pregnant a week before your period? Depending on your cycle, the answer can get a little complicated.
Can you get pregnant a week before your period?
You probably learned about the menstrual cycle during a middle school health class, but the details might have gotten a little hazy. Basically, the average cycle lasts 28 days, and it kicks off with the start of your period on day one and peaks with ovulation (when the egg leaves the ovary) on day 14. Typically, you're at your most fertile between day 11 and day 21. After that point, you move into the post-ovulation stage where your odds of getting pregnant are low. But can you get pregnant a week before your period? Chances are likelier that you won't get pregnant — but the possibility remains that you might.
What if you don’t have a regular cycle?
The thing is, most women don't have a neat 28-day menstrual cycle with a super consistent fertility window, which makes it hard to know when it’s the week before your period. Cycles can vary from 21 to 35 days in adults, and that length can swing even more depending on your stress levels or on certain prescriptions you're taking. With so many fertility factors to keep track of, however, you might want to buy a home pregnancy test just to be safe, but make sure that you don't take it too soon. "It's best to wait a week after a missed period to take the test," Dr. Neil Foster, an OB-GYN based out of Leesburg, Virginia, tells Romper. Otherwise you run the risk of getting a false negative result.
When it comes to a woman's fertility, there are no firm answers as to when she can or can't get pregnant during her cycle. Technically, you can get pregnant a week before your period or during your period, even if the probability isn't high. Mother Nature can be weird like that, but if you're wondering if you're pregnant or not, you can always take a simple pregnancy test and find out the answer you need.
Dr. Neil Foster, OB-GYN based out of Leesburg, Virginia
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