Evaluation of the Lady Free Biotester® in determining the fertile period

  • Richard J Fehring
    Name and address for correspondence: Richard J. Fehring, RN, DNSc, Marquette University College of Nursing, Clark Hall, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881; Tel.: +1-414-288-3838; Fax: +1-414-288-1597
    Marquette University College of Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
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  • Nancy Gaska
    Marquette University College of Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
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      Small hand-held microscopes have been developed for self-observation of salivary ferning patterns to detect the fertile time of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The purpose of this study was to evaluate one such microscope, the Lady Free Biotester®, by comparing it with the self-observation of cervical-vaginal mucus and with the self-detection of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the urine. Twelve natural family planning teachers (average age 34.6 years) observed their cervical-vaginal mucus, tested their urine for LH, and observed salivary and cervical-vaginal mucus ferning patterns (with the Lady Free Biotester) for two menstrual cycles. Data indicated that there was a strong correlation between the LH in the urine and the peak in self-observed cervical-vaginal mucus ferning (r = 0.99, p ≤0.001) and salivary ferning (r = 0.98, p ≤0.001). However, it was difficult to assess the beginning and end of the fertile time based on the salivary ferning patterns. Further testing of salivary ferning patterns is recommended before widespread use of these devices for family planning.


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