Saliva Ferning Test to Predict Ovulation

Saliva Ferning Test to Predict Ovulation

Did you know that you can predict ovulation by testing your saliva? In this article we are going to talk everything about saliva ferning to predict ovulation.

Saliva ferning is a technique that looks for patterns in a woman’s saliva in order to detect ovulation. It is basically testing your spit to see if you are ovulating!

The saliva ferning is a process by which you take a tiny sample of your saliva and you look at it under a microscope. The ferning part of it is refers to the patterning of crystallization that happens during ovulation when you look under a microscope at your saliva. It's called ferning because this pattern looks like the leaves of a fern plant.

ovulation saliva ferning test patterns

How does saliva ferning happen?

During your menstrual cycle, a few days before ovulation, your estrogen levels will spike and another thing that happens with an increase in estrogen levels is that your sodium levels also go up in your body. When your sodium levels are higher, the sodium in your saliva increases. You check your saliva under a microscope, that is when the crystallization patterns are going to happen.

Any other time of the month you won't find these crystallization patterns because your sodium levels are not going to be as high, because your estrogen is not going to be as high. This is tracking not necessarily for the actual ovulation, what it's actually tracking is your estrogen spike, which happens a few days before ovulation.

Ovulation test with saliva ferning

So now we know that with an increase in estrogen, we're going to find an increase in sodium and this is what's going to give us the crystallization pattern, the ferning pattern. But how do we actually test for that for this ferning pattern?

You need a special handheld microscope. You can find them on Amazon. It's like a special microscope to test for ferning but actually if you have a microscope at home, it works too.

If you buy a microscope that is specifically for saliva ferning testing, then there will be instructions with the microscope. So follow along the manual that they give you but I'm going to give you some basic guidelines:

First of all, take a sample first thing in the morning. So you do not want to brush your teeth or eat anything or drink anything because that's going to affect your saliva. If you do do the test later on in the day, then just ensure that you have not eaten or drank anything or brushed your teeth or anything like that in the past few hours. At least two or three hours.

When you take a sample of your saliva, you want to take a sample from underneath your tongue and you really need the tiniest little little drop of saliva. About one millimeter.

saliva ovulation test

I should also mention that anything you are using during this process, you want to make sure everything is extremely clean.

When you do this so you're going to smear the saliva droplet onto the slide. You will then need to wait about five minutes just to ensure that the the slide is completely dry, that your saliva has dried up on the slide. Then you will place it under your microscope for viewing.

When it comes to viewing your sample through your microscope, you want to look at your specific microscopes directions or manual to see exactly how to do that. Each microscope might be a little bit different.

Don't forget to record your results. You might be taking a photo if you can through your microscope. This is important because you just want to keep track because the changes might occur slightly over a period of time. So you want to be able to identify when the strongest sort of ferning pattern is occurring and comparing that to when there is no ferning pattern. Because if you don't have these sort of results recorded, then it might be difficult to just go back from memory and try to figure out when was the actual ferning pattern.

After the first signs of seeing a ferning alike pattern, you will be ovulating about 72 hours afterwards. But that's just an estimate, it's different for every woman.

I would suggest having sex as soon as you see the first ferning pattern because it's that's when your fertile window is going to be before you ovulate. So it's better to be having sex before you ovulate than just waiting until the actual day of ovulation.

It's very important that you learn more about that when it comes to timing of sex and when exactly your fertile window is and even the basics of your menstrual cycle to give you a better idea of when you should be having sex in order to get pregnant.

Look at the actual images of saliva ferning pattern to give you a better idea. 

ovulation saliva ferning test patterns

During your not fertile period of your cycle, the pattern that you will see on your slides through the microscope will just be random dots and lines, so no ferning pattern. Then you'll start to go through a transitional period. If you're tracking every single day where your estrogen is beginning to rise and the sodium levels in your body are beginning to rise, you will see that it's different than the the non fertile slide samples.The lines will start to come together instead of just being separate lines and separate dots. Lines will start to come together and begin to form just a few ferning like patterns. Then of course when you get into the fertile period, your slide samples through the microscope will be dominated by these ferning patterns of lines.

Saliva ferning to test for pregnancy

Another little bonus with testing your saliva, like a lot of these these ovulation testing methods, you can actually test for pregnancy. This is how to proceed:

Through your cycle, starting at menstruation until you ovulate, you have been testing your saliva every single morning. What you will do is after you ovulate, you will continue to be checking your saliva every single morning. If you are pregnant, your estrogen levels will begin to rise right before or during when you expect your next period to happen. If you are not pregnant, your estrogen levels should not rise at this time, they won't rise again until you ovulate.

saliva pregnancy test

So if you are using this method to also try to test for pregnancy, what should happen is because before your expected period, if you are pregnant your estrogen levels will rise. This means that your sodium levels again will be rising. So if you see a ferning appear right before you expect your period or right when you expect your period, then that could possibly mean that you are pregnant. Of course to actually confirm pregnancy, you want to do a pregnancy test or go to your doctor.

This saliva ferning is not going to be exact but it's just another fun way that you can possibly test for your pregnancy.

How accurate is saliva ferning testing?

To be honest, it's not very accurate. In theory saliva ferning testing should really work but the main reason why it's not a very accurate way of testing is basically due to user error. Because we're testing such a tiny droplet of saliva, if you were to get a fingerprint on your slide or really anything gets onto your slide, that could really change the amount of sodium that is in your saliva. Your fingers have a lot of sodium on them.

Another downside is that some women just don't show any ferning pattern in their saliva and this could be due to a few different things. The saliva can be affected by smoking, by taking certain medications and by having hormonal imbalances.

I believe that saliva ferning is a fun and interesting way to test for ovulation but I don't think it is very reliable if I was going to test for ovulation. If I was serious about getting pregnant as fast as possible, I would definitely try some other methods.