Home tests

Home tests

  Autor NN Team Data: 18.06.2007

Home tests
If you're ready to have your own family, but after a few months of attempts you still didn't get to see the two pink lines on the pregnancy test, it might be the time to add a few fertility tests in your drugs locker. 

Ovulation tests
There is a wide range of ovulation tests, from simple sticks to electronic devices that monitor different signs of ovulation in saliva, urine or through skin. 

Standard ovulation tests. They measure luteinizing hormone (LH) from the urine. The amount of LH from the urine reaches a maximum level with 12 - 48 hours before the ovulation. The tests show you when you've reached the maximum level of LH, anticipating the most fertile period of about 36 hours before it installs itself. Most of the packages contain five or six sticks, so you must calculate when to take the test according to the length of the period. Women with very long or irregular periods may need more than a package to determine their fertile period. 

Saliva tests use a small microscope to examine the amount and aspect of the sodium in the saliva. You must put a little saliva on the segment and then observe the eventual aspect changes. Near the fertile period, the sodium in the saliva takes a shape resembling a fern. Although the tests are easy to take, some women find it harder to identify the fern's characteristic shape. 

Watch-tests are actually small watch-shaped computers which monitors the chlorine level in the skin. The level of the chlorine ions increases with 24 hours before the increasing in the estrogen level and with two days before the increasing in the level of LH, so that the mini-computer notify you with five days before the ovulation. You have to wear the watch only at night and there is no more need for blood tests or saliva tests. The package contains a sensor that will work for a month, so you'll have to buy more sensors separately. 

Clearblue tests are electronic devices which use urine tests to measure the level of both the estrogen and the luteinizing hormone. Because the estrogen reaches the maximum level with a few days before the LH reaches its maximum, the monitoring of both hormones may predict the ovulation a few days before. The computer registers the personal information monthly and indicates the fertility level accurately. The package contains 30 urine sticks which should be enough for three months. 

Ovacue tests measure the electrolytes level in the saliva to indicate the maximum level, which is reached a few days before the increasing of the LH level. These sophisticated tests register the rise and fall of the electrolyte level through a spoon-shaped sensor that you keep in your mouth in the morning. If you also use a vaginal sensor, which is optional, you'll have the confirmation that in that month the ovulation really happened. No other test has this quality. 

Sperm tests
Many men avoid going to the doctor's to ask a sperm analysis. In order to respond their privacy need, sperm tests that can be done at home can be found in drugstores. These can detect if the number of spermatozoids reach the 20 millions per millimeter, the level set by The International Health Organization. 
The test measures with decent accuracy the number of spermatozoids in each sperm sample. Still, the spermatozoids concentration may vary a lot from day to day. Men who take this test in specialized offices are advised to repeat the tests two or three times if a low number of spermatozoids has been found on the first test. Besides, the tests that can be found in drugstores can't offer information about other factors that affect the quality of the sperm: mobility (the percentage of active spermatozoids), speed (the spermatozoids' movement is straight line) or morphology (the spermatozoids' shape and size). The most advanced tests that can be done in a specialized office also offer information regarding the genetic quality of the sperm and the total volume of sperm in the ejaculated liquid. So, if the home-taken test gives good results, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are fertile. 
The good side is that the bad result got from a home-taken test can convince your doctor to ask for more sophisticated lab tests, which will accurately show whether you need a treatment or not. 

Read the English version of this article: Home tests