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How to know if a human female is fertile (can give birth to child in future) without making her pregnant? Any signs, tests?

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Menstruation would be an obvious one – Rory M Apr 22 '13 at 10:28

Of course. There's several fertility tests available to determine the quality and quantity of egg reserve, and whether or not the there are abnormalities in the uterus.

However, some of them are invasive procedures, and all of them should be performed by a professional. I doubt the layperson would know what they're looking at on an Ovarian Ultrasound.

If you're asking whether there's an "easy" way that doesn't involve a trip to a doctor - then I would say 'no.' Casual inspection would only reveal any abnormalities in the vagina and the opening of the cervix, and hormone tests are only partial indicators.

Then again, if a woman has reached physical adulthood and is under the age of 38 then the chances of being infertile (or have difficulty conceiving) are quite low - about 3% to 10%. Infertility is usually much more of a concern to women who wait until after the age of 35 to have children, as there is a definite biological window (the number of eggs the woman was born with) to consider that starts to close as a woman nears her 40's.

It's also important to note that trouble conceiving can stem from either partner, and there's about a 40%-50% chance in a couple trying to conceive the male has an 'issue' and the woman is perfectly healthy.

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If you are talking potential for fertility. There are a few...

  • Having regular periods
  • Healthy weight. Extremely thin women tend to stop ovulating. Obesity also impairs fertility by altering hormone levels.
  • Whether she has been using birth control (i.e., "the pill") in the recent past. It takes a while for the body to get back to normal.
  • Smoking impairs fertility
  • stress


If you are talking about immediate fertility... While I would not rely on them for the purposes of birth control there are several observable physiological changes that correlate with ovulation and fertility. These include

  • body temperature. There are patterns of elevated body temp associated with ovulation.

  • cervical mucous. The mucous gets "slippery and stretchy".

  • the cervix itself becomes less firm and slightly open during ovulation.


If we are talking about anatomical cues that are proxy's for fertility, there are clues based on the concept of sexual selection.

  • Ample breasts. Indication of potential mammary tissue and ability to suckle child.

  • Wider hips. Indication of ability to deliver child with minimal complications.

Note that these cues can be deceptive. Fat tissue may be deposited in both locations to imitate the fertility cues. Source

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