Sunday, October 11, 2009

Science Experiment

When we first started trying to get pregnant, I bought an Ovulite Saliva Ovulation Test-- I was intrigued by it because it's reusable and didn't require peeing on something every single morning.

It's the size of a tube of lipstick and it has a tiny slide that you put a drop of saliva on, let it dry, then look at it through the lens in the tube. There's a small green light that illuminates the slide and the shift of hormones during your cycle changes the pattern of your saliva.

Weird, I know. Really, what happens is that a surge of estrogen increases the sodium in your spit. So, early in your cycle (when estrogen is low), your saliva looks like a bunch of little bubbles. When you get close to ovulating and your estrogen levels increase, the increased sodium makes your dried saliva crystallize, which looks like frost on glass (or ferning) under the microscope.

I start testing right after my period ends and when I get a full ferning pattern, I usually follow up with a urine OPK to attempt to confirm I'm ovulating. The Ovulite monitors estrogen, while a traditional OPK tests for an LH surge. (Yes, all of this in addition to the fertility monitor and taking my temps each morning. Hey, I'm nothing if not thorough.)

I'm still spotting a bit from this last anovulatory cycle, but I decided to go ahead and start testing this morning. WTF-- a full ferning pattern!!? It's only CD5! I've never gotten a full ferning pattern before CD16-- there's no way I was ovulating this early. I did a urine OPK just to check and, of course, it was negative.

Anyway, out of a slight fascination with the biology of my body, I tried to document what the slides look like and the pictures turned out pretty cool!

I'm not sure if my hormones are messed up because I'm sick-- perhaps it's something to do with my prescriptions. Who knows? Add it to my list of questions to ask the doctor on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's really beautiful. I'm impressed at how thorough you are with your monitoring! I used to temp but found that it messed with my sleep and sanity too much. Now I just use the fertility monitor.

    I'm looking forward to hearing your update after tomorrow. I hope you get good news and feedback.