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Saliva Ferning~what's your experience ~collecting info

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larma Posted: 08-16-2006 2:52 PM
I was thinking of adding this to my cycle routines as I get closer to TTC#2 (TTA until December)...Since my cycles are so irratic I wondered if this would be another nice addition to my routine since I am basically trying to find out if I really do Time...ob/gyn thinks that I don't since my long cycles...hence why I started temping last cycle. And that was inconclusive.

So, to get to my question, do alot of you use this? Where do you by the microscopes for this? I am not a big fan of buying on line...any stores I can purchase it at...better brands than others? Cost?


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petitbelle replied on 08-16-2006 6:53 PM
I have found this test not to be as reliable as other methods, it's not like you get positives for consecutive days, I have days of slight ferning and then 1 full fern, and then slight and then full, so it's really confusing, I actually do it for the fun of it, but rely on the other methods. But I have to say everytime I see the ferns I just think it's so cool! [L]! Any way I got mine on line for about $20 so just for fun it's OK with me.
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larma replied on 08-16-2006 8:07 PM
Thanks Melissa...Well that was what I wondered, how reliable it was...But I did see a few pictures of ferning so that got my interest in possibly doing...the body is an amazing thing! [f]

BTW~ I saw that you are from Mexico...We just got back from a fun filled vacation in Playa Del Carmen! LOVED it! What part are you from? It is such a beautiful country...And you have a cut cat! I have two! They were like my kids before dd came! Now they are just her lounge buddies! Smile

Thanks Again![f]
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Lisa_A replied on 08-16-2006 8:59 PM

I used to do the saliva and I would get partial and full ferning a lot...but I wasn't ovulating.

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booklover825 replied on 08-17-2006 12:41 AM
I have the ovulation scope. I have seen some ferning, and sometimes, not always, it coincides with other signs of ovulation (EWCM, mild cramping).

I have seen these scopes at various stores, like Wal-mart and Kmart, for $18-$20.

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thefair replied on 08-17-2006 7:56 AM
I check saliva ferning but I don't use it as a reliable indicator - I just do it as I find it interesting! I tend to get loads of days of slight ferning and sometimes full ferning but it doesn't seem to coincide with ovulation. I definitely think it is more reliable in some people than others.
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BrannaMuffin replied on 08-17-2006 11:00 AM
Saliva ferning is a good secondary sign - not very reliable if that's all you're using though! I use my scope to confirm ovulation. Since I'm avoiding, it's just one more thing that helps me interpret what's going on. Mine seems fairly reliable, I get partial ferning for a few days, a couple days of crazy ferning, and usually the day that I get no ferning at all is the day I get my temp rise to confirm Time.

I got mine on ebay, new in sealed box, for about $12US.
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Hummingbird replied on 08-17-2006 5:45 PM
Hi, ladiesSmile. We've had a request for an FAQ about ovulation scopes. Since the OP asked several different questions about them and she is getting some great replies, I thought this thread would be a good place to start.

If anyone else has any information to share about these scopes, please feel free to reply here. It would be great to have as much information as possible in one thread.

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lilredpumpkin replied on 08-17-2006 7:15 PM
I like playing around with mine. I get various ferning patterns throughout my entire cycle. I always get at least partial ferning around O time. (I don't always get full ferning at O.) I do not use it as a fertility signal b/c I don't have any kind of a "cycle pattern". I just think that it is cool. I have Maybe Mom from Walgreens.[f]
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mntnmiss replied on 08-17-2006 8:18 PM
I have a lot of luck with mine. I see a 2 or three non-consecutive days of partial ferning in the weeks before I O - then I see ~2 days of partial ferning which will coincide with a couple of 'almost' positive OPKs, then I'll have a whoppin' full ferning day with another almost positive OPK - I have a true fade in LH pattern. The day after that full ferning day I usually get a positive OPK around 10 pm.

I've consistently seen it when I've actually charted it out realy well.

I also take great care to rinse my mouth, let 'fresh' saliva build up again and use that to check. Food, drink, 'morning breath', etc. can all contribute to the 'false' appearance of crystals (ferning) on the scope. The cheapest brand should suffice and if it works for you - you'll have an extra day of warning before O!

I also have never had any ferning post-O or during AF.

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SugarBabyLuver replied on 08-17-2006 9:02 PM
I got mine at walmart for 15 dollars. It seems to work well for me. I get lots of dots when I'm not close to ovulation and after ovulation then I get slight the closer ovulation comes, then I get about 2 days of lots of ferns on ovulation and sometimes a day after or so I get lots of ferns too..
I use it everyday and chart it along with my OPK's and my cf charting and temp charting. I use it for a extra to help me decide if my s/w is getting ovulation right.
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booklover825 replied on 08-18-2006 7:25 PM
I test twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. I do this because I found that sometimes my morning test resulted in dots, but tested later the same day and got ferns, particularly around ovulation. (maybe the LH surge happens later in the day?) I mark the results on my chart.

I also make sure not to eat or drink anything a couple or three hours before testing.

The directions on my scope said the saliva takes about 10 minutes to dry. I found it takes more like half an hour at least before it is dry.

There was another thread on this board that said you could use CF on the scope.

I paid $5 for my scope at Goodwill. (Brand-new, box never opened, scope was never used.) The Goodwill I go to gets stuff from Target and other dept. stores.

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Mum2Sproglet replied on 08-26-2006 9:32 PM
Hi there,

I've only posted once before, but lurk daily. I alos had some questions regarding the saliva ferning.

I use a regular microscope to test, and I see ferning and non-ferning just like I was using a 'specially' made microscope (DH wanted DS to use it once he got older for science experiments - lol).

Anyway, this was the first month I've used it for the whole cycle, and I was concerned at how often I was getting ferning. Most of it didn't happen around when I think ovulation time was, but afterwards. Is this ok? I guess it is sporadic on a lot of people according to your posts, but is it ok if it happens 8 days in a cycle (6 days in a row)? I've read that too much ferning could either be a sign of being overweight (with some people) or a lack of progesterone. I know that I am a little heavy so maybe that's it. I don't know about the progesterone thing - my cycle is usually 28-34 days long, so I think it's ok, although this cycle seems to be ending early with spotting at 25 days.

Also, when it says 'no drink or food' does that include water? A PP mentioned rinsing her mouth out beforehand. I've been assuming that water was a 'no no' too, but if morning breath can affect it, maybe water would help????

Sorry for making this so long. Thanks for any input. Sorry, I can't show my chart as my DH doesn't like me putting my personal info online Indifferent, so I chart on my own spreadsheet at home.


DS 09/06/03 [bb]
TTC #2 [fc][bu][fc]
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Mum2Sproglet replied on 08-27-2006 11:02 AM
Hi, me again,

Sorry, I forgot to ask in my first post...I also take my temperature in the mornings. Would the metal from the bit that goes in your mouth affect my saliva?

Because you're supposed to take your temp upon waking, I've been taking it, and then doing the saliva test right after. Could this affect the readings? If so, do you have a suggestion on how to handle this?

Thanks again.

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benrien replied on 09-19-2006 12:11 AM
I've found that I have the best results if I use the saliva from under my tounge. Even after temping.

I have also experienced what I thought was just a lot of dots at first glance to really be super dense ferns when I took a closer look. That's what I had this morning. I wish I could take a picture of it and post it for you.

Found mine at the Sav-On Drugs. It's a "Maybe MOM" brand. It was on sale for $12. I mostly use it as a back up for everything else or when I get tired of shelling out all that $$ for OPKs.

I tried using CM out of curiousity one month. The only day it showed any ferning was on a very positive OPK day. Even then, there wasn't much on the scope.
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BEETLEJUICE72 replied on 09-21-2006 10:44 PM
Hi ladies,

Just giving my 2 cents..It appears that some of you had better experiences with the saliva ferning tester, but I swear not ONCE did I see a single fern the entire time I was TTC (and I followed exact directions)..maybe mine was broken or something but It made me feel infertile and paranoid..I ultimately just followed other signs like CF, ovulatory pain and OPK sticks which worked out better for me..

best of luck![bd]
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Anikitten replied on 09-24-2006 2:36 AM
I got mine in a kit with a couple of OPK and a digital BBT thingy-ma-jig. I got the whole kit for 7 bucks (it was marked down cause the tests were close to expiry)

I never have seen the fern-ing (even when I should have) but I also had problems with scientific microscopes so the error could very well have been user error.
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chabs replied on 10-06-2006 11:11 AM
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heyjen replied on 10-12-2006 9:31 AM
Timing Intercourse to Achieve Pregnancy: Current Evidence

Salivary Electrolytes and Ferning

As ovulation approaches and estrogen levels rise, the sodium and potassium concentrations in saliva change, resulting in changes in salivary electrical resistance. A device known as the CUE monitor (Zetek Inc., Aurora, CO) uses an oral probe to measure salivary resistance on a daily basis. It was shown to measure a peak in salivary resistance an average of 7.9 days (range 6-12) days before follicular collapse assessed by ultrasound in 42 cycles from ten women. To confirm the occurrence of ovulation, the CUE monitor requires the use of a separate vaginal probe to measure a rise in vaginal electrical resistance (resulting from electrolyte changes in cervical mucus). In the previously mentioned study, the rise in vaginal resistance occurred within 1 day before or after ovarian follicular collapse. In another study of 21 cycles from 11 women, the CUE monitor and the associated interpretive algorithms identified a window of fertility that was nearly identical to that identified by the Creighton Model FertilityCare System. A computerized version of this device, the OvaCue (Zetek Inc., Aurora, CO), automatically records and interprets readings and is commercially available. However, the invasive nature of the vaginal probe may limit the use of this device.

The changes in salivary electrolyte concentrations may also change ferning patterns that can be observed in dried saliva. Theoretically, increased salivary ferning should indicate times of estrogen dominance and greater fertility. A variety of devices to observe the ferning patterns of dried saliva have been developed and marketed to identify days when intercourse can result in pregnancy. However, a small study of one such device found that although the "peak" salivary ferning correlated with the LH surge, the beginning and end of the fertile period could not be identified. We could identify no other scientific studies of these devices.

I agree with the last sentence. I can hardly find anything about it either that's not from a commercial site. I've looked on google scholar too.

The article above is also a FAQed thread in ttc.


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onlybyhisgrace replied on 12-09-2006 11:14 PM
I use it mostly because I have found a corrolation (sp[8D]) with higher estrogen/ferning and my attitude. [:'(]

It just helps me keep my perspective. Sometimes it coinsides with Time and sometimes not.


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