Maybe Baby & Fertile Focus Saliva Tests Explained

​If you don’t know when you ovulate, thanks to technology, you now have access to a wide range of tools to help determine whether or not you may be approaching ovulation. These tools can be used to time intercourse to help couples achieve pregnancy in a non-medical setting. Some ovulation predictors detect the presence of female reproductive hormones in saliva or urine to help you know when to expect to ovulate and to determine the most fertile period of your cycle. The Maybe Baby Saliva Ovulation Tester​ and Fertile Focus Saliva Test​ work using the same principle: they detect the presence of estrogen in your saliva.

​But first, lets take a look at how these tests work and what you should expect after performing a test.

What is a Saliva Ovulation Test​?

This is a qualitative test that detects the presence of estrogen in your saliva. As you approach ovulation, the levels of estrogen in your body increase, causing a sharp rise in the levels of luteinizing hormone, which stimulates the release of the egg from the ovary.

Saliva-based ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) detect high levels of estrogen in your saliva, and display the results as patterns formed by your saliva (when viewed under a microscope).

In general, saliva ovulation tests have been reported to be very accurate and can help women detect their fertile window to maximize their chances of conceiving. However, a saliva ovulation test may give a ferning pattern in some men or pregnant women, and it may not work well in some women for the following reasons:

  • Ferning may be disrupted when you smoke, eat, drink, or brush your teeth prior to taking the test. It may also be disrupted depending on how you placed your saliva on the test slide.
  • Ferning does not occur in some women.
  • Some women are not able to see the fern.
  • You might not fern on some days of your fertile period.

How to Perform a Saliva Ovulation Test

​A saliva-based ovulation kit comes with a small microscope and built-in or removable slides. First, you have to put a small amount of your saliva on a glass slide and allow it to dry (typically takes five minutes). Next, examine the slide under a microscope for the pattern formed by your saliva.

How to Interpret the Results

This will vary depending on your cycle day. You should see a “ferning” crystal-like pattern if you’re approaching ovulation. If you’re not any close to ovulating, you’re expected to see dots and circles or a combination of these​ and a fern-like pattern.

To achieve the best results, it is better to perform the test approximately five days before the day you expect to ovulate. This five-day period includes the two days preceding and the two days following your expected day of ovulation. This can be very challenging for women who have irregular cycles and cannot determine when they should expect their ovulation time.

The good thing with saliva-based ovulation tests is that the microscope is reusable and you can perform the test day after day for many cycles unlike urine-based OPKs where you have to discard the test stick after testing.

  • What does a positive saliva ovulation test mean?

A positive test doesn't imply that you're ovulating. Rather, it is an indication that you're approaching ovulation. Although a positive might give you a heads-up that ovulation is approaching, it doesn't guarantee that you will get pregnant.

  • What does a negative saliva ovulation test mean?

As mentioned above, a number of factors can give you a negative test result. So a negative test might not necessarily mean that you're not any close to ovulation. Note that the test was not designed for use as a contraceptive method.

This ovulation test is produced by Care Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd, an Australia-based company that was established in 1986 (formerly known as Paedpharm Pty Ltd). The test measures the link between your estrogen and salt levels in your saliva.

According to the manufacturer, the test works best when you use it in the morning before brushing your teeth at least three hours after eating, smoking, or drinking. ​​The Maybe Baby Fertility Tester is designed to show high resolution at a magnification of 52X, which is the optimal magnification to observe ferning in a saliva sample. This ensures that users get accurate and reliable results. ​

For instructions on how to use the Maybe Baby Fertility Tester, visit the manufacturer’s website here​ or watch the video below for a demonstration.


  • It is reusable and affordable compared to fertility monitors that require a monthly purchase of test sticks. 
  • The test is user-friendly and non-invasive and results can be read within 10 to 15 minutes.
  • It can help you pinpoint your ovulation two to three days in advance. 
  • The test kit includes a custom made fertility chart to help you track your fertile days.


  • Some women do not fern, so the test might not work well with them.
  • It uses batteries and it might be hard to find a replacement light globe.

Fertile Focus is manufactured by Fairhaven Health, a US-based company that offers natural fertility, pregnancy and and nursing products.​ This saliva-based ovulation test can help you identify your estrogen surge, which occurs before ovulation. You should​ expect to see a fern-like pattern approximately three to five days before ovulation, allowing you to pinpoint the most fertile day of your cycle.

According to the manufacturer, the test can be used by women with regular or irregular cycles to help determine their peak fertile periods.

For complete instructions on how to perform the test and interpret the results, visit the manufacturer’s website here or watch the following video, which demonstrates how the test is performed.


  • You can perform unlimited tests. 
  • The test has an accuracy rate of 98% according to the manufacturer. 
  • The test is easy to use.
  • Results can be read within a short time (approximately five minutes).


  • Given that some women don't fern, this test might not work well with them.
  • It also uses batteries and it might be hard to find a replacement bulb.


Saliva ovulation-based OPKs are helpful tools that can help you determine your fertile days to increase your chances of getting pregnant. By understanding how these test work and following the instructions of the manufacturer, you can achieve reliable results and get pregnant without the need for unnecessary medical interventions.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray. Protection Status