Devices and tests for measuring fertility status

Devices and tests for measuring fertility status

Devices such as saliva microscopes and ovulation prediction kids can give you secondary clues about your fertility status that can complement the observations you make from your primary fertility signs (your cervical fluid observations and BBT recordings). Remember that no device or kit that you can use at home can pinpoint ovulation as well as charting your basal body temperature data can.

Saliva microscopes

Saliva microscopes are used to indicate how close you are to ovulating. They work by measuring the effect of oestrogen in your saliva or cervical fluid. When oestrogen levels are high when ovulation is approaching a saliva microscopes shows a ‘ferning’ pattern.

If you use a saliva microscope you can record no ferning, partial ferning or full ferning on your chart.

Ovulation prediction kits

Ovulation prediction kids or OPK’s are useful to help you find your fertile window. They work by measuring the presence of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your urine which surges about 24 hours before ovulation. An OPK is therefore expected to be positive the day before you ovulate.

It is important to be aware that OPK’s only tell you that you might ovulate, not that you have ovulated.

You must test every day from before you expect to be fertile so that you don’t miss the surge. If you test too late, you may miss the surge. Your first positive OPK result probably means that you are about to ovulate. You can only confirm that you have ovulated by referring to your chart and noting a rise in your basal body temperature.

Do not rely exclusively on OPK results to time intercourse as you may not see an LH surge (positive OPK), even though you may be fertile.

Recording your OPK results

Record your OPK results on your chart as positive if the test line is as dark as or darker than the control line.

Record your results on your chart as negative if the test line is lighter than the control line.

For fertility monitors and OPKs which measure both estrogen and LH record – low, high or peak.