A New Ovulation Test
By Sharon Mazel
If you're trying to get pregnant, there's a new option to help
you predict when you'll be most fertile. The TCI Ovulation Tester,
recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, detects
changes in your saliva that occur during ovulation. Like a urine
test, it's over 90 percent accurate.
Estrogen levels in your saliva rise as ovulation nears. These
changes are evident when saliva dries - it crystallizes into microscopic
patterns that resemble the leaves of a fern plant or frost on a
windowpane. By testing daily using the kit's glass slides and eyepiece,
you can follow the progression of your saliva's ferning pattern
and get advance notification that ovulation is approaching, according
to manufacturer TCI Optics. Saliva testing may not be for everyone,
however, as not all women have a clear "fern," says Gerson
Weiss, M.D., chairman of the department of obstetrics, gynecology,
and women's health at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark.
Urine tests (which detect a surge in luteinizing hormone before
ovulation), observing cervical mucus changes (it will look and
feel like raw egg white at ovulation), and charting your basal
body temperature (which spikes immediately after ovulation) are
other reliable ways to track your cycle.
The saliva test can be purchased for $59.95 by calling 866-OVULATION
(866-688-5284). Since the slides can be cleaned and reused, this
method may end up being less expensive than urine tests, which
usually cost about $20 a month. For more information, visit www.ovulationtester.com.