Both saliva and urine test kits give women a great advantage in learning to understand their cycle by helping to determine when ovulation is about to occur. Both types of tests claim 98 to 99 percent accuracy. Choosing which test to use in the end becomes a personal decision. Consider the usability of the test and your own personal medical history when deciding which test is best for you.
How the Urine Test Works
Through chemical reactions, urine ovulation predictor kits measure the luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in the urine, which increase a day or two before ovulation. These kits require you urinate in a cup or directly onto a stick, which can be done anytime during the day. A dark line, similar to a pregnancy test, shows the test results. This line is next to a control line. If the test line is equal in color or darker than the control line, an LH surge has been detected
How the Saliva Works
Saliva ovulation predictor kits test for increased levels of salt in the saliva, which increase closer to ovulation. You smear saliva onto a slide and then observe it through a microscope. The salt produces a ferning pattern that becomes more obvious closer to ovulation. You can test anytime during the day, but only if you have not eaten, drank anything, smoked or brushed your teeth in the last two to three hours. Test results are compared to pictures that come with the kit.
Advantages of Urine Tests
These test kits are available at almost any retailer that sells personal products. They are straightforward to use. You urinate on a stick and wait a few minutes for the results. The control line is right next to the test line, making it simple to compare the results.
Disadvantages of Urine Tests
This test can be inaccurate for women with polycystic ovary syndrome and menopause; both groups tend to have high LH levels even when not ovulating. It takes practice to read these tests. Unless the test line is clearly darker than the control line, you may find yourself questioning the results. Previous negative results do not indicated an upcoming LH surge; the test lines do not progressively become darker as a woman nears ovulation. One last disadvantage is the cost of these tests, averaging about $2 to $4 per test in 2010.
Advantages of Saliva Tests
The saliva test gives you a daily picture of what is happening in your cycle. The ferning is a gradual process that you can see developing several days before ovulation. True positive results are detected 24 to 72 hours prior to ovulation. These tests cost about $30, as of 2010, and have limitless use. This makes it inexpensive to test several times so that you are less likely to miss ovulation.
Disadvantage of Saliva Tests
The main disadvantage of the saliva ovulation tests concern how the test works. Cysts, hormonal conditions, and fertility medications may cause ferning even without ovulation, according to the IVF1, a Chicago-based fertility clinic. Also, taking the test several times a day is difficult, as you will need to plan around meals.