Saliva Fertility Monitors: Helping to Predict Ovulation

Focusing on Fertility: Saliva Ovulation Tests

FAQ for Saliva Ovulation Testers

When a woman is about to ovulate, her saliva begins to form a distinct fern-like pattern (when viewed under a microscope) due to an increase in the level of estrogen present, which in turn causes and increase in salinity. Salinity, produces ferns. This ferning pattern begins to appear around 3 days prior to ovulation.

A “personal ovulation microscope” (e.g. Fertile Focus) allows you to predict fertility by observing the visual changes that take place in your saliva throughout your cycle. When you are on the verge of ovulation, the visible make-up of a woman's saliva undergoes several changes. This fern-like or ferning pattern can be easily identified when examined under the power of a 40X to 60X magnification lens - helping you predict ovulation and peak fertility.

How Do Saliva Ovulation Predictors Work?

With the ovulation microscopes, you simply apply saliva to a slide and wait five minutes. The slide is then inserted into the magnifying scope, allowing you to identify the fern-like pattern and predict ovulation. This ferning pattern can be easily identified when examined under the power of the microscope, helping you predict fertile or infertile times in your cycle.

* Saliva Ovulation Test TIP! Test first thing in the morning - but never after eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. These activities may interfere with saliva fertility test results.

Ovulation and "Ferning"

When you are about to ovulate, the make-up of your saliva will change. In the image below, you will see a ferning pattern on the far left image, indicating ovulation and fertility. The images on the right display the appearance of saliva during non-fertile periods as well as transitional periods between fertility and infertility. The ovulation / ferning visual has also been described as the appearance of frost on a window.

According to research studies, saliva ovulation predictor tests are 98% accurate in clinical settings when all instructions are adhered to. Other advantages of saliva ovulation predictors stem from the fact that they are re-usable, discreet, and easy-to-use.

Quality ovulation microscopes consist of a cylindrical container (avoid plastic housing) that look like a lipstick container, a focalizable eyepiece (simply turn the lens) and a slide or glass face where the saliva sample (or cervical fluid sample) can be applied. The sample is illuminated with an LED light. To purchase a Saliva Ovulation Predictor, click here.



Frequently Asked Questions about Saliva Testers

How do Saliva Ovulation Tests work?
Saliva Ovulation Tests detect hormone changes that occur prior to and during ovulation. As estrogen increases, "ferning" or crystal patterns can be viewed in dried samples of saliva. These patterns indicate that ovulation is about to take place. The duration of your most fertile time lasts from several days before ovulation to 24 or so hours after ovulation. The duration of a woman's fertile period is typically around six days, ending 24 hours following ovulation. Unlike urine LH tests, Saliva Ovulation Tests allowsyou to track fertility and your cycle changes. When you observe a positive result (crystal/ferning patterns), ovulation is likely to occur within 24 to 72 hours.

When do I use Saliva Ovulation Tests?
Test on a daily basis and record results on a fertility chart or calendar. Test first thing in the morning - but never after eating, drinking, or brushing your teeth. These activities may interfere with results. If you test later in the day, try to wait at least two to three hours after eating or drinking.

Are Saliva Ovulation Tests Accurate?
When instructions are followed, determining fertility through ovulation microscopy has been shown to be 98% accurate.

What is an "estrogen surge" or "estrogen spike"?
While estrogen is present in your body throughout your cycle, just prior to ovulation you may have an “estrogen surge” - a marked increase in the presence of estrogen. The increase of estrogen facilitates the ferning patterns in your saliva. An estrogen surge or ovulation may not occur in all cycles for all women.

Are ferning patterns observable at other times in my cycle?
A second second estrogen surge may occur right at the end of your cycle. By monitoring cycle length, and keeping daily results, the second surge should not be confounded with the estrogen surge preceding ovulation. Also, as different women produce differing levels of estrogen, ferning patterns may vary a bit in appearance and duration.

Can Ovulation Microscopes be used as a contraceptive device?
Ovulation microscopes should not be used as a contraceptive device.

How do I apply a saliva sample?
For best results, collect a sublingual saliva sample as saliva glands are located below the tongue. Collect a dab of saliva and place it on the surface of the lens. Try to avoid making bubbles and allow the sample to dry for at least five minutes before attempting to read results. Apply saliva with applicator, clean dry finger, or by swirling fresh saliva onto the tonque and apply directly.

Will Clomid interfere with test results?
Clomid will not interfere with Saliva Ovulation Test results, though it may intensify the appearance and duration of ferning. If you are taking Clomid, consult your physician for details.

Can I use a Saliva Ovulation Test if my cycle is irregular?
Yes, Fertile-Focus can be used by women with both regular and irregular cycles.

What are some tips for optimizing results?
Do not eat, drink beverages (besides water), or brush teeth for at least 2-3 hours before taking the test. Apply sublingual saliva sample to the exterior lens (pull the lens from the housing/do not unscrew lens). Always allow the saliva sample to dry, avoid air bubbles in the sample and focus by turning the focalizable lens (remove eye-glasses).

What can interfere with results?
Pregnancy, menopause, or hormonal imbalance, supplemental estrogen, and recent discontinuation of birth control medication may interfere with results. In continued absence of any ferning, your body may not be producing sufficient estrogen. Consult your physician.

Ovulation microscopes should not be used as a contraceptive device.

See Also:
> How do OPKs work?
> How do I interpret ovulation test results?
> Fertile Market: Saliva-Based Tests


It clearly says "Ovulation microscopes should not be used as a contraceptive device." right at the bottom....
But I suppose it could be used as an aid....

I've been thinking about getting one in an attempt to prevent another pregnancy. I will chart religiously as well & use the lens to reaffirm all the other signs (cervical fluid & position, temp...) If the microscope shows ovulation it will show me when to abstain!

I am a laboratory Medicine Consultant and did not know that this particular Fern test office procedure is so simple and can be done as a waived test in office practice. I am a non-waived test specialist. I have set up several high complexity laboratories but this is a new revelation for me. Fern test on saliva is a great predictor test for women who want to get pregnant. I shall recommend this test to physicians who want to use it in their practice to help women who wants to get pregnant.

I was doing the test in the evening when I got home from the gym because my mouth always feels too dry in the morning to get a good saliva sample. As instructed, I made sure I hadn't eaten or drank anything for at least 3 hours. But I would see ferns every time even when I knew I was not fertile! What was going on?! Well I finally figured it out. You know when you work out what happens? You sweat. Well even though I washed my hands after my workout, I kept sweating on my drive home, and guess what is in sweat? SALT. The salt on my finger tips was contaminating the saliva sample and forming crystals/ferns!! I did an experiment to prove this. Today when I came home from the gym, I did my usual test, saw the ferning, then immediately went and washed my hands again and redid the test, and voila... the ferns were gone this time! Goes to show you how easy it is to give yourself a false reading!

It is possible to ovulate while on the pill. It is not 100% effective. The pill also effects the lining of the uterus which prevents an embryo from implanting.

I am on the pill its only my 2nd month on it, but i got what i was sure were ovulation signs i.e egg white cervical mucus, ov pains. that was about 2 weeks ago or so, i dug out my saliva ov test ready to use next month to check for sure that the pill was working & just playing about this morning & i have ferning!! could the combined pill cause ferning? I took the last pill of the pack yesterday. A bit concerned as i continued to fern whilst pregnant with my son who is now still only 13 weeks old! help!

in my experience, the ferning pattern appeared at the beginning of my fertility cycle(just barely) but it increased daily as ovulation got closer then declined and went away after ovulation... so as ovulation got closer, the pattern got more defined and obvious but after ovulation, it slowly went back to looking spotted instead of ferning

Can i observe the ferning pattern with my naked eye.?

does the ferning cover the whole cirlce during ovulation?
i've only seen ferning on less than have the outer rim when my period was due, but didnt happen.

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