Names of the Week
Fact of the Week

Saliva Ferning

Used alone, monitoring the changes in your saliva is a difficult way to determine ovulation.

We recommend that you use this method, in conjunction with another method.

Being aware of the changes in your saliva throughout your cycle, will help to provide yet another indicator of your most fertile time.

  • Saliva Ferning is also sometimes monitored and recorded daily on BBT charts.
  • Is a technique that looks for crystallization patterns in a woman's saliva as her cycle progresses. As ovulation approaches, a woman's estrogen levels increase. The increase in estrogen causes an increase in the body's sodium levels. Both saliva and cervial mucus are affected by the increased salinity. Near ovulation, a dried sample of saliva or cervical mucus should show a crystallization pattern resembling a fern plant.
  • Is difficult to determine as the differences are not always obvious.
  • Requires a ferning microscope or any microscope that provides at least 60 to 100 times magnification.
  • When used alone is a poor way to detect ovulation.
  • Examining your ferning pattern: obtain a microscope, take a sample of saliva from under your tongue first thing in the morning or after waiting 3 hours after eating or drinking, place on a slide, allow to dry for 5 minutes and examine under the microscope.
  • N - No ferning pattern - During the non-ferfile portion of your cycle you should detect no ferning pattern.
  • T - Transitional Ferning - Between no ferning and ferning, ovulation is approaching.
  • F - Ferning - As you approach ovulation a more distinct ferning pattern should appear with the greatest number of branches, or most significant ferning, occuring at ovulation.