No more peeing on a stick: New ovulation kit uses saliva to determine when a woman is fertile
Rather than the traditional urine test, the new kit measures levels of oestrogen and salt found in traces of saliva
A revolutionary new ovulation kit that uses saliva – rather than a urine sample – has been launched in the UK.
Traditional fertility predictor kits use urine to test for an increase in lutenising hormone (LH) which takes place one or two days before ovulation.
But the new Maybe Baby tester, shaped like a lipstick, claims to measure oestrogen and salt levels found in traces of women’s saliva which surges when they are most fertile.
The manufacturer claims the £40 saliva test is 98 per cent accurate and could end the traditional and, less than dignified ‘pee-on-a-stick’ method.
The technology it uses is based on research from the University of Turin, Italy. Scientists there discovered that when oestrogen is present in dried saliva, it forms a pattern resembling fern leaves – which can be clearly seen under a microscope.
With the new battery-powered saliva kit, women spit on, or lick, a tiny microscopic lens before putting the stick back in its container.
After 10-15 minutes, the user holds the reusable device up to one eye and presses a button to activate a light.
If the lens shows pebbles and dots then the woman is not deemed to be fertile. But if small fern leaves appear on the lens, the woman is believed to have two or three days until ovulation.
Women spit on, or lick, a tiny microscopic lens before putting the stick back in its container. After 10-15 minutes the device indicates whether a woman is fertile or not
A full pattern of fern leaves on the lens means the woman is ovulating at that moment.
Lyn McGoohan, a spokeswoman for Maybe Baby, said: The one thing that a lot of people don’t realise is that just before ovulation is the best time for women to try to conceive.
‘Because you can use the kit every day, women can chart their cycle. That’s really important because it’s not black and white.
‘Women, and I include myself, have no idea how little they know about their fertility cycle.
‘If you use it every day then you’re not going to miss when you’re ovulating.’
But fertility experts warned that saliva tests have a history of being unreliable.
Jane Knight, Fertility Nurse Specialist at the Zita West Clinic said: ‘A study of saliva testing devices published in the Lancet found that 8/10 post-menopausal women and all 10 men tested positive for ovulation!
‘They concluded that the saliva test is unreliable for predicting the fertile time and its use should be discouraged.’
The new tester will be available in more than 500 Lloyds Pharmacy stores across the UK at the start of November. It is currently available to buy on rowlandspharmacy.co.uk.