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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2008 Feb 15;65(4):299-314. doi: 10.2146/ajhp060565.

Devices for home evaluation of women's health concerns.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Seminole, FL, USA.



Devices used for home evaluation of fertility, pregnancy, menopause, colon cancer, breast cancer, and urinary-tract and vaginal yeast infections are discussed.


Ovulation-prediction devices monitor natural changes in a woman's body during the menstrual cycle, including changes in basal body temperature, urinary luteinizing hormone, and urinary estrone-3-glucuronide concentrations. Also available are devices that identify changes in the content of sodium chloride and other electrolytes in saliva and cervical-vaginal mucus. Home pregnancy tests are designed to detect human chorionic gonadotropin in the urine. Both urine and saliva tests are available for home evaluation of menopause; the most common devices use urine to measure follicle-stimulating hormone. The saliva tests measure estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone. Devices for home screening for colon cancer use either the guaiac test or the fecal immunochemical test. For aid in breast self-examination, patients may use a simulated-breast product designed to train them to detect lumps or a thin, silicone-containing pad intended to increase the sensitivity of the fingers to abnormalities. Urine-dipstick tests can be used to screen for urinary-tract infection, and a swab or panty liner can be used to detect vaginal pH changes indicative of vaginal yeast infection. Home-based tests may be convenient and economical but also have limitations; pharmacists can help educate patients and clinicians.


Many devices are available to help evaluate women's health concerns at home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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