How do I know if I am fertile enough to get pregnant?

Fertility is the natural capability to conceive a child. Conceiving may seem and feel like an easy task, but there is some prepwork that you (parent-to-be) can take note of before starting your journey. Studies have shown that women are fertile for approximately six days each month. While a majority of couples are in fact fertile[1], you may be extra anxious about whether you fall into that minority when you are trying to start a family of your own. Below are some ways to tell you are in the green:

1. Your cycle is regular - you know when your period is coming

Ovulation and fertility go hand in hand, so understanding how your menstrual cycle works becomes crucial in identifying your fertile window. However, you might be wondering what a fertile window is and when it occurs.


As the name suggests, the fertile window is a period of time when you are most likely to conceive. During your menstrual cycle, there are three stages: the Follicular Phase (Day 1 – 13), the Ovulatory Phase (Day 14) and the Luteal phase (Day 15 – 28), though this may vary according to your menstrual cycle. While the average menstrual cycle lasts 26 to 35 days, the fertile window generally starts three to five days prior to ovulation and ends one to two days following ovulation[2]. Perhaps an easier way to think about your cycle is to label day one as the first day of your menses, with your fertile window seating at day 9 to day 15.


Every woman’s cycle is different, however, if it is regular, you are likely also ovulating regularly, and that mature egg is being released regularly.

2. You don’t smoke or drink alcohol

We’ve all likely been taught that smoking and alcohol isn’t great for your health, but did you know it harms fertility for both males and females?


For the males, smoking and alcohol consumption causes sperm DNA damage[3]. It is worse if the male does both, but doing either activity harms the sperm and causes oxidative stress. These substances are also well documented to result in a lower sperm count and affects sperm motility (how the sperm moves)[4].


For females, chemicals that are present in cigarettes such as nicotine, cyanide and carbon monoxide speed up the loss rate of eggs[5]. These eggs cannot regenerate which means once they are lost, the female reserve of eggs that they are born with reduces significantly leading to early menopause. Likewise to men, alcohol consumption for women leads to lower fertility with chances of conception decreasing the more they drink. In a study, it was found that drinking as little as 1-5 drinks a week affected the pregnancy chances[6].


Also to note, e-cigarette smoking or vaping, while not researched as much as the traditional cigarettes, do not bode well for fertility of both men and women[7].


So, if you do not smoke or drink alcohol, your fertility chances are already higher. If you do, quitting responsibly is a good idea to start discussing with your healthcare provider.

3. You feel slightly warmer and sweat more for half a month, every month

Right after ovulation, the female body excretes the hormone progesterone to prepare the body for the potential of pregnancy[8]. This mechanism causes the basal body temperature (BBT, the lowest natural body temperature recorded after a period of rest) to be higher during the Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and will eventually decrease when the period arrives if no pregnancy has occurred. If this temperature remains high, it could be an early indication of pregnancy.


By tracking your BBT using a thermometer consistently, you may be able to predict when you’ll ovulate.  To measure the changes in temperature, all you need to do is track your BBT using a thermometer that displays the result with one decimal point (e.g. 37.1°C). For greater efficiency, most menstrual tracking apps allow you to record your BBT. You are considered to be at your most fertile during the two to three days before your temperature rises[9]. The regularity of this suggests that you have a normal cycle and are effectively ovulating monthly.

4. You feel ‘wetter’ at a specific time of the month

Studies have shown that the cervical secretion method has been proven to be highly predictive of ovulation[10]. The main factor in this method is checking for the presence or absence of cervical secretions, then characterizing the secretions by color, texture, and stretch of the secretion. In using this method, it is recommended that you check your cervical secretion at midday and early evening. Fertile cervical secretions are typically clear, wet, slippery, stretching, and changing in quality, while infertile secretions are dry, sticky, cloudy, and do not stretch. During menstruation, women are considered fertile, even while menses can mask signs of cervical secretion[11].


The human body is complex and these are just a few indicators that you are indeed fertile enough for pregnancy. Other factors to consider include age, weight and other health issues.


For more information on methods of tracking your fertility window and cycle, do check out this article . . Remember, before starting your journey towards conception, it’s important to understand and listen to your body. If you are looking for more information regarding your fertility, or have questions or concerns, consult your personal healthcare provider, and take our fertility questionnaire .


[1] Chandra, A., Copen, C. E., & Stephen, E. H. (2013). Infertility and impaired fecundity in the United States, 1982-2010: data from the National Survey of Family Growth. National health statistics reports, (67), 1–19.

[2] Yi, Y. C., Wei, T. Y., Chang, T. C., & Cheng, C. M. (2017). Detection of ovulation, a review of currently available methods. Bioengineering &Amp; Translational Medicine, 2(3), 238–246.

[3] Aboulmaouahib, S., Madkour, A., Kaarouch, I., Sefrioui, O., Saadani, B., Copin, H., Benkhalifa, M., Louanjli, N., & Cadi, R. (2017). Impact of alcohol and cigarette smoking consumption in male fertility potential: Looks at lipid peroxidation, enzymatic antioxidant activities and sperm DNA damage. Andrologia, 50(3).

[4] American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2014). Smoking and infertility. Reproductive Facts. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from

[5] American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2014). Smoking and infertility. Reproductive Facts. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from

[6] Van Heertum, K., & Rossi, B. (2017). Alcohol and fertility: How much is too much? Fertility Research and Practice, 3(1).

[7] Szumilas, K., Szumilas, P., Grzywacz, A., & Wilk, A. (2020). The effects of e-cigarette vapor components on the morphology and function of the male and female reproductive systems: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), 6152.

[8] Oliver, R., & Pillarisetty, L. S. (2021). Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Ovary Corpus Luteum. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

[9] Steward, K., & Raja, A. (2022). Physiology, Ovulation And Basal Body Temperature. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

[10] Latz, L. J., & Reiner, E. (1942). Further studies on the sterile and fertile periods in women. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 43(1), 74–79.

[11] Evans-Hoeker, E., Pritchard, D. A., Long, D. L., Herring, A. H., Stanford, J. B., & Steiner, A. Z. (2013). Cervical mucus monitoring prevalence and associated fecundability in women trying to conceive. Fertility and Sterility, 100(4), 1033-1038.e1.


SG-NONF-00250| 6 Jan 2023 | 7 Jan 2023

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