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ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor
ClearBlue Easy Fertility Monitor

How Saliva Ovulation Microscopes Work

Most women ovulate near the middle of their monthly menstrual cycle. The average cycle length for a woman is between 23 to 35 days. It is possible, however, to have a longer or shorter menstrual cycle. Sometimes it is even possible to have ovulation occur twice in one month, or to have a month where no ovulation occurs at all. Most doctors agree that ovulation usually happens 13 to 14 days before starting your period or monthly bleeding.

Each month, as a woman, your saliva goes through changes because of different hormones. One of these hormones is estrogen. Just prior to ovulation, estrogen levels increase and create a distinct pattern in your dried saliva that looks like frost on a window pane. This pattern is called ferning.

When you see these patterns you will know that ovulation is likely to occur in the next 24 to 72 hours. However you are able to see through using this method, your estrogen levels increase daily.

It is important to note that an estrogen surge or ovulation may not occur in all cycles.

Results will typically appear as shown in this image, however please note that the results have been enhanced in black. The unit you choose may also have a different color illumination.


Q: I am trying to get pregnant. When is the best time for intercourse?

Answer: To increase your chances of getting pregnant, it is recommended that you have intercourse as soon as you start to see the ferning pattern begin.

Q: Will all women’s ferns look the same?

Answer: No, because different women produce estrogen in different amounts, each woman will have her own unique ferning pattern.

Q: How will I know if I am seeing ferns?

Answer: For the first several months you use the tester, you may want to test for more than just the fives days around ovulation. That way you will see the different patterns that develop throughout the month and have a clearer understanding of what your ferning patterns look like.

Q: Will I see ferns at other times of the month other than around the time of ovulation?

Answer: Some women will, on occasion, see ferns at other times of the month. This is primarily due to a second estrogen surge near the end of your cycle. This is also why you calculate the expected time of ovulation, and look for the ferning patterns then.

Q: Is it all right to use my Saliva Ovulation Predictor Test all month long?

Answer: Yes, you may use your tester all month long. Please note the question above and pay particular attention to the patterns that develop around the time of expected ovulation.

Q: Why would it be that I am not seeing any ferns?

Answer: There could be several reasons:

First, make sure that you have not eaten, had anything to drink, brushed your teeth or smoked for at least two hours prior to testing.

Second, be sure to swish saliva around in your mouth and gather fresh saliva from the saliva glands under your tongue.

Third, you may have misscalculated the time of ovulation. Make sure you have accurately kept track of the length of your complete menstrual cycle.

Fourth, your body may not be producing enough estrogen. If you think this is the case, please consult your physician.

Q: I am seeing ferns all the time. Why is that?

Answer: A small percentage of women produce a high amount of estrogen all month long. One reason could be that you might not be producing enough progesterone. If you think this is true in your case, please consult your doctor or health care provider.

Q: What else could interfere with my test results?

Answer: Possible things are: pregnancy, recent pregnancy, have reached menopause, have just stopping taking birth control pills, or taking injections for birth control. This would also be true if you are taking hormone replacement therapy, such as supplemental estrogen.

Q: How long before the fern will disappear off the slides?

If the slides are kept in a dry environment, the slides will keep their ferning patterns for many months.

Q : I am trying to be come pregnant. Should I use any other types of ovulation detection, such as a LH kit?

Although the Saliva Predictors are very accurate, if you are trying to become pregnant, you may use as many kinds of ovulation testing as you would like.

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