Many women dislike the side effects and risks associated with taking birth control. They want to avoid pregnancy without medication. Doing this involves understanding the body's menstrual cycle, especially when ovulation is occurring. There is no one right answer to the question of whether or not you can be become pregnant the week before your period. Every woman is different and the answer lies in being aware of your body.
Regular Menstrual Cycle
In a normal menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs 14 days before your period begins. A person with a consistent four-week cycle is not likely to get pregnant one week before her period is expected, but it is not impossible.
Abnormal Ovulation Schedule
Some women assume that a 28-day cycle means ovulation is occurring at day 14 of the cycle, but there are women who ovulate much later in the month--as late as one week before the period begins.
Take ovulation tests for several months to learn for certain when ovulation occurs in your cycle. Once you see a pattern, such as ovulation occurring on day 16 of each cycle, you should avoid unprotected intercourse for four days before and three days after this day to be safe.
Other Signs of Ovulation
Right before ovulation, the body produces a stretchy cervical fluid that looks like egg whites. Avoiding intercourse when this cervical fluid is present will prevent pregnancy. In addition, some women notice breast pain and pain near one or both ovaries on the day ovulation occurs.
Stress, diet and exercise can temporarily change your ovulation schedule no matter how regular and consistent your signs and symptoms normally are. It is best to always have a backup method for avoiding pregnancy, other than estimating when ovulation has occurred.