Are home fertility tests accurate?
Many home kits used to predict a woman's fertility, a man's sperm viability or a baby's gender lack solid data.
A trio of researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore looked at dozens of products across a range of applications, including pregnancy tests, genetic screens and various measurements used to determine when a woman is ovulating.
"A lot of them are good and serve a useful purpose, but some are not, and may even have claims that are misleading to patients," said Paul Brezina, one of the study authors.
Common, over-the-counter pregnancy tests that measure hormone levels in urine are some of the more reliable products available, they said.
have been subjected to the scrutiny of scientific investigation and have publicly mandated control measures aimed at ensuring their accuracy," they wrote.
The same is true for fertility monitors that use hormone concentrations to predict when a woman is ovulating.
But a variety of other consumer products used to predict ovulation
, such as tests that analyse saliva or vaginal secretions, failed to have reliable, independent studies confirming their accuracy.
The same issues exist for products to identify a baby's sex.
"We looked hard, and we couldn't find any data," Brezina added.
Some experts said that in some cases, a lack of accuracy could be harmful.
Would you use a home test kit to predict fertility, sperm viability or a baby's gender?