Women's Health Collection Tips

When should I collect my Women's Health Test sample?

Day 1 of a menstrual cycle is considered the first day of “full flow”. 

There are two collection times for regular (21-35 day) menstrual cycles:

  1. Blood sample collection on day 3 is preferred, but day 4 is also acceptable
  2. Saliva and blood sample collection 7 days after ovulation or on days 19-21 of your menstrual cycle.  You can use this Ovulation Calculator as a tool to help predict ovulation. The saliva collection will be 4 collections throughout the same day and should be completed at least 2 hours apart:
    • Saliva 1 (large tube)- In the morning, within 30 minutes of waking, no drinks or food prior to this collection
    • Saliva 2 (small tube)- Noon before lunch
    • Saliva 3 (small tube)- Before dinner
    • Saliva 4 (small tube)- Before bed (prior to brushing teeth or using mouthwash)

What if I have a short cycle?

Day 1 of a menstrual cycle is considered the first day of “full flow”. You are considered to have short cycles if your menstrual cycle is <21 days. Women who have short cycles should collect their first sample on day 3 (preferred) or day 4. The second sample should be collected 7 days prior to your next cycle. For example, someone who has 20 day cycles should collect their second sample on day 14. 

What if I have a long cycle?

Day 1 of a menstrual cycle is considered the first day of “full flow”. You are considered to have long cycles if your menstrual cycle is between 36-40 days. Women who have long cycles should collect their first sample on day 3 (preferred) or day 4. The second sample should be collected on day 21 OR 7 days after ovulation. You can use this Ovulation Calculator as a tool to help predict ovulation. For example, someone with 32-day cycles should do the second collection between days 21-25. 

For very long cycles (>40 days), women should collect their samples in reverse. They should collect their “second sample” (blood and saliva) 7 days before their next expected menstrual cycle. They should then collect their “first sample” with the following period on day 3 (preferred) or day 4. As a reminder, day 1 of a menstrual cycle is considered the first day of “full flow”.

What if I experience spotting during my cycle?

Women who have spotting during their cycles should still collect their samples according to the directions for their cycle type. 

What if I experience an irregular cycle?

If your cycles are unpredictable (i.e. extremely irregular) and/or if you experience excessive bleeding or pain, then we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider for further guidance on timing and choice of diagnostic testing. 

Women who have slightly irregular cycles should wait for their next period to do their collections, and then follow the directions according to their cycle type. 

What if I do not have a cycle?

Women who do not have a menstrual cycle can collect all of their samples on the same day. This would include women with a hysterectomy, amenorrhea, or uterine/endometrial ablation.

Common Collection Questions

Does it matter if I do the second collection first?

Unless you have a very long menstrual cycle (>40 days), you should collect the day 3 samples first to avoid sample expiration. That means you should wait until your next cycle begins (first day of full flow) and collect the first blood card on day 3 (preferred) or day 4. The second collection will be according to your cycle type. Make sure to properly label your samples with the collection dates and carefully fill out the lab form including the section relevant to your cycle type.. 

Oh no! I forgot to collect all of my saliva samples at the right time/on the same day!

Don’t worry, just rinse out your saliva sample with water and then re-collect your sample tomorrow. If today was day 21 of your cycle, it will be fine to collect your sample on day 22.

I collected my first sample, but completely forgot to collect the second sample this cycle!

If today is only one day past the expected collection date for your cycle type, it will be okay to collect tomorrow. However, if you have completely missed the collection window based on your cycle type then please do not collect the rest of the sample and reach out to the Customer Care Team who can provide guidance on what to do next.