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Can I Get Pregnant a Week Before My Period?

Published: March 28, 2017
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Can I get pregnant a week before my period if my cycle is typically 27 days long? I'm on day 30 and I should be on my period.
Signed: Can I Get Pregnant a Week Before My Period?

Dear Can I Get Pregnant a Week Before My Period?,

Yes, pregnancy is definitely possible if you had vaginal sex a week before you were expecting your period. If you used birth control, your chance of being pregnant would be much lower than if you did not use birth control. However, birth control is not 100% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies (especially when not used as directed), so there is still the possibility for pregnancy to occur even with the use of birth control.

According to Planned Parenthood:

There are certain times of the month when it’s more likely that you’ll get pregnant from having sex.  But, it’s possible to get pregnant anytime you have unprotected vaginal (penis-in-vagina) sex.

Even if you’re on your period, about to get your period, or just had your period, it’s possible to get pregnant from unprotected sex. It’s even possible to get pregnant before you have your first period. And the number of times you’ve had sex doesn’t matter either: whether it’s your first time having sex or the 100th time, you could get pregnant.

Since you have missed your period, TeenHealthFX recommends that you take a pregnancy test and/or meet with a doctor. A doctor will be able to confirm whether you are pregnant or not, and discuss pregnancy options with you in the event that you are pregnant.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood health center is a good option if you have concerns about cost or confidentiality issues. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

TeenHealthFX would also like to encourage you to speak to your doctor about safer sex precautions for the future. Doctors generally recommend that teens and young adults who choose to be sexually active use condoms each and every time they have sex to protect against unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or birth control shot. Your doctor can make the best recommendations for you and discuss with you how to use properly use birth control to maximize its effectiveness.

FX also suggests that you check out the links in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex so that you can learn about sexual readiness, how pregnancy happens, pregnancy tests, emergency contraception, birth control, STDs and more. The more educated you are about these topics, the more likely you will make healthy decisions for yourself when it comes to your sexual health.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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