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Now You Can See When You're Ovulating

Optical device can help determine fertility time

MONDAY, Jan. 21, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- A hand-held magnifying lens may literally hold the clue for women who want to know when they have the best chance of becoming pregnant.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval for an international optical manufacturer to market an ovulation test kit for home use. This is the first test that measures the salt content of a woman's saliva to determine her estrogen level.

Here are the actual study results from TCI Optics, showing how reliable this test is.

The optical device, which TCI says will sell for about $60, will allow a woman to put a dab of her saliva on a tiny slide and place it under the magnifying device. As she looks through the eyepiece, she'll be able to see when there's enough salt to form a crystal-like pattern called ferning. This pattern signals the beginning of ovulation.

Previous fertility tests often had to be conducted with a medical professional, and they called for blood or urine samples.

This do-it-yourself test, called the TCI Ovulation Tester, is a much neater and simpler way to determine estrogen levels, according to FDA officials. Estrogen is the hormone found in a woman's uterus that controls her menstrual cycle and initiates fertility.

This FDA report explains the process of testing the new device and granting approval.

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