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Your Best Days for Making a Baby

Ovulation Predictor Kits: Saliva

This type of kit looks at the mineral content in your saliva when it dries.

  • It comes with a mini microscope you can use to look for a pattern in your saliva that resembles a fern leaf. This pattern means you will ovulate sometime in the next several days.
  • Unlike urine tests, which are disposable, this type of test can be used over and over.
  • A good option for women who want something simpler than a urine test
  • Cost: about $30
  • There are some problems with saliva testing:
    • Not all women will show the fern pattern or can see it.
    • You may not "fern" on all of your fertile days.

While saliva testing works for some women, they aren't as effective as urine kits. "Of all the options, the only OPKs that have been validated are urine ovulation predictor kits," Schoolcraft says.

How Long to Test?

"If you're under 36, it would be OK to try for up to a year," Schoolcraft says. "After 35, typically specialists recommend just trying for 6 months." After that time, if you've been doing everything right and still haven't conceived, it's a good idea to see a fertility doctor.

Reviewed on March 29, 2013

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