Q: I was wondering what the steps are for the saliva testing for progesterone and estrogen. I experienced a miscarriage 3 days after taking a home pregnancy test about 4 months ago. I have concerns about my progesterone levels after ovulation. My questions are how soon after the start of menstruation do you test? I seem to ovulate around days 16-18 of my cycle. How fast is the turn around? Thanks in advance for any additional information you can send me!
A: The best time to test for ovulation is two weeks before the beginning of your next menstruation. In other words, figure out when day 1 of your next period is due and count backwards two weeks. However, if you want to test your post-ovulation progesterone levels simply wait 2 to 3 days after that.
Another very useful tool is the Fertile Focus Microscope. It’s a lipstick-sized and shaped microscope that can be used to look at saliva. On the days that you’re ovulating it has a very distinct ferning pattern.
The hormone test kit takes about a week to arrive from the time it’s ordered, and results are usually available within 5 business days of when the test sample arrives at the lab. You can request a faster form of delivery, and you can also request that results be sent via email.
If you’re concerned about timing, Dr. Lee felt that, for women at risk of miscarriage, there was no harm in using progesterone cream in his recommended doses, after ovulation until menstruation to support pregnancy. If menstruation does not occur, then you would keep taking the cream and take an early pregnancy test. Here’s an article by Dr. John Lee with more details, Getting Pregnant and Staying Pregnant. For even more details please read our “… PREmenopause” book (also available on amazon.com).