Frequently Asked Questions

Ferning is a type of microscopic ovulation test. Saliva from the subject is placed on a reusable slide, and viewed through our microscope. When there are high levels of estrogen present in the saliva, a “fern-like” pattern will form due to crystallization of salt in your saliva. Ferning is a way to detect evidence of ovulation and fertility. Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding ferning below. View the Science of Ovuscope.

How do I replace the batteries?

The OvuScope uses 1 CR2032 lithium coin cell battery, these are readily available at many vendors online such as Amazon, and in various retail stores worldwide. To preserve battery life, always turn off the OvuScope when not in use.

These products use lithium batteries only, which are NOT rechargeable. We do not recommend rechargeable batteries (lithium-ion) for this product.

Mixing old and new, different brands or types within brands may cause batteries to leak, overheat or explode. Keep away from fire or excessive heat. Inspect batteries for corrosion or leakage. Insert in direction indicated. Discard lithium cell batteries carefully. Keep lithium cell batteries away from children.

How long does shipping / delivery take?

Ships 1-3 business days from NY and then typically delivered within 5-7 business days later via USPS.

How do I check my order status / tracking?

Go to with you order number and billing email address.

What does ferning look like under the microscope?

Picture taken using iPhone holding above microscope

How do these results compare with LH urine-based methods?

Differing from LH-measuring urine tests, ferning is a response to your estrogen hormone levels, whereas LH rises about 12-24 hours after estrogen spikes. So ferning gives you an extra day notice of your fertile window, giving you extra time to try to conceive.

Does ferning mean I’m ovulating?

When you see ferning throughout your sample, it indicates the beginning of your fertile window. OvuScope does not confirm you are ovulating or did ovulate. It’s a predictor of when ovulation may occur. Typically, ovulation should occur 24-72 hours after the peak ferning pattern appears. During/after ovulation, it is likely that you won’t see any ferning at all.

Does the OvuScope ship discreetly?

Yes, at OvuScope we understand your fertility is your own private business! The item comes in a plain brown cardboard box, with a basic shipping label that doesn’t mention ovulation, for your privacy. Also, billing charges are listed under company “Carson” not “OvuScope”.

Do you ship outside of the USA?

Not yet, but we are working on launching internationally soon. Please signup below to join the notification list for your country, so you will be the first to know its available to ship!

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Does the OvuScope work when I’m on certain medications?

The OvuScope shows ferning when you are ovulating, which is due to higher estrogen levels. If you are on certain medications that effect your hormone levels, it could affect your results with the OvuScope or any other ovulation testing methods. For specifics about your medications, please consult your doctor.

What’s the contact information for Ovuscope?

By Phone: 631-963-5090

By Email:

Is the OvuScope FDA approved?

The FDA considers saliva-based ovulation methods as Class I devices, so the OvuScope is not subject to FDA approval.

Can you use cervical fluid instead of saliva?

We only support usage of testing using saliva.

How do I clean the slides?

Sides can be rinsed with warm water and dried gently with a soft cloth. Ensure there are no water marks or dust left behind as this can alter readings. Do not use any abrasive chemicals or cloths on the slide, such as alcohol, paper towels, etc. which may degrade or scratch the optical surface.

Can the OvuScope be used as a contraceptive?

This device is not intended to be used as a contraceptive or pregnancy test, nor is it proven to provide any definitive information during pregnancy. Use only as a means to monitor your most fertile stage.

It’s usually not recommended to use ovulation tests as birth control because ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) only identify the most fertile window (up to 72 hours), and sperm can survive in the body up to 5 days.

My ferning pattern results don’t align with my BBT thermometer results. What does this mean?

BBT thermometers provide a shorter spike, typically lasting 24-36 hours. However, ferning may last closer to 72-96 hours, providing an extended window in which to remain sexually active and maximize the chance of conception. Also, there are more factors that may affect your body’s temperature than factors that may affect your saliva chemistry, so the two methods may not coincide perfectly.

I saw ferning on the slide when I first took the sample, but it was gone several hours later. How long can a sample stay on the slide?

For reliable results, look at samples that have just finished drying. It is possible to see a dry saliva sample several hours after you prepare the slide, but we don’t recommend waiting this long. The sample could be affected by environmental factors like temperature and humidity, which could alter the results you see in the microscope.

My fern patterns look different from my friend’s. Is this cause for concern?

No, fern patterns are dependent on several factors that are unique to each person. Some women may fern more/less than others. After a few weeks of monitoring, you will be able to immediately recognize what is normal and expected for you.

How much saliva do I need for testing?

Just a very small drop.  Do not overfill the small square cutout.

The image seems blurry. Why?

Please adjust the focus until clear.  You also may need to allow the saliva more time to dry fully before viewing.

Does this work for women who have Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?

Yes, depending on your PCOS. The only difference is that you’ll typically need more than one month to learn about your cycle. Generally speaking, the menstrual cycle is usually between 25-35 days. A woman with PCOS could go months or longer without experiencing a period, so it may take several months to observe ferning.

The crystallization of saliva responds to estrogen, instead of LH, so you may get new & different information with this if you have PCOS, compared to other LH based methods. You may need to go through two or more full cycles to understand how your body is behaving in relation to this test. However, this is a good tool for people with irregular cycles, because its reusable. So you can test every day and keep track of your results, which is helpful if you have no idea of if or when you may ovulate within those 120 days. Just keep in mind, depending on how your PCOS is and in relation to your estrogen, you may or may not see ferning. If you have any questions along the way, you can contact us, but for specific questions about your individual medical needs, we recommend that you consult with your doctor.  

Ferning appears at random times. Why?

Make sure that the saliva sample was taken prior to brushing your teeth, eating, drinking, or smoking. Also, an illness, such as a cold, or some medications may affect the results. All of these factors have an impact on ferning, causing ferning to appear at random times.

Can the OvuScope test give me a false positive?

Yes, ferning can appear if a saliva sample is taken after eating, drinking, smoking, or taking certain medications.

Why can’t I focus the OvuScope?

To focus the OvuScope, look at the edge of the square cutout of the slide and use the focus knob to adjust focus. Once the square cutout is in focus, move the slide over and refocus until you see small black objects on a green background. If you are still having trouble focusing the OvuScope, try again with your glasses off or make sure you are placing your eye close to the microscope’s eyepiece.

I’m not seeing any ferning. What’s wrong?

First, review the directions to make sure you are using the OvuScope correctly. Also, make sure you are looking at the entire region where the saliva has dried; ferning may occur near the edges of the region. However, if you still do not see any ferning throughout your cycle, there are several possible reasons. First, not all women fern. This could be caused by one of many factors, including a hormone imbalance. In this case, please contact your physician. You also may not be near ovulating at the time you first check your saliva. Study a fresh sample of your saliva every day for about one month to get a good understanding of when you typically may ovulate during your menstrual cycle. Second, ferning may be disrupted by smoking, eating, drinking (water, alcohol, etc.), brushing your teeth, how saliva is put on the slide, or where/when you did the test.