If you’re farther along your TTC journey and actively working with a reproductive endocrinologist – maybe you’re planning for a cycle of IVF, in the middle of one, or have already completed one – you know the seemingly unending drill of daily or near-daily blood tests. Time-consuming, costly, and definitely not fun.
There may be an improvement on the horizon: Last week, Boston.com, the site for The Boston Globe, reported on the work of Dr. Michael Alper, medical director of Boston IVF, a chain of fertility clinics. The center is using a new saliva text it developed that measures levels of estrogen (what’s called estradiol) just as well as blood tests do, though a lot more easily -- especially if you're no fan of needles.
While the saliva test is less painful than being pricked with a needle for a blood test, it won't really save you much time or money, most likely. Alper was quoted by Boston.com as saying the new test costs $150, the same as a blood test, and while the saliva for the test can be collected at home, it still needs to be dropped off at a doctor’s office for analysis and same-day results. (Maybe a home test will come eventually? One can hope.) Right now, Boston IVF is just using it at their locations in Massachusetts.