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Saliva Collection Instructions

Click here to download the most current collection instructions as a PDF. Or, see each section below for specific questions. Call your provider with any other questions pertaining to collection or shipping.

Click here to download the most current collection instructions for the Cortisol Awakening Response Profile as a PDF. Or, see each section below for specific questions. Call your provider with any other questions pertaining to collection or shipping.


Before Collection

  • Make sure your provider selected a test panel on the requisition form. Call your provider if nothing is selected.
  • Fill out all requested information on the requisition form (front and back) and the patient survey. Missing information can delay testing.
  • Collect saliva on a day that is determined by you and your provider. Follow recommendations on page 3, or call your provider for more info.
  • The night before collection, wash your face before bedtime. Do not apply lotions or creams.
  • Freeze the ice pack. Keep in freezer until you are ready to ship.

Day of Saliva Collection

  • Wash hands and rinse mouth with water to remove food residue. After rinsing mouth, wait at least 10 minutes before collecting saliva to avoid sample dilution.
  • Wash face before bedtime the night before collecting saliva, and do not apply lotions or creams that night or next morning (some may contain interfering substances). Use of routine cosmetics is permitted.
  • Do not brush, floss teeth or have dental work done 30 minutes prior to collecting saliva. Slight bleeding from these may alter test results.
  • The timing of the first morning collection is critical; it must be collected thirty minutes after awakening. Begin timing upon awakening even if you remain in bed.
  • Avoid food one hour prior to saliva collection times. Food particles will contaminate the sample.
  • Use of the straws included to "funnel" saliva into each tube is optional.
  • Each tube should be 3/4 full - bubbles or foam are acceptable
  • FILL ALL FOUR TUBES regardless of how many tests are ordered.
  • After each collection, place the sample in the freezer immediately.
  • Please dispose of straws before shipping.
  • Freeze the samples along with the cold pack for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight if you finish the collection at night. Keep in the freezer until you are ready to ship.
Time of Day for Saliva Collection:

You must collect saliva four times in one day.

After each collection, place the sample in the freezer immediately.

PINK TUBE  should be collected 30 minutes after awakening (even if staying in bed), before breakfast and brushing teeth.

GREEN TUBE should be collected before lunch.

ORANGE TUBE should be collected before dinner.

BLUE TUBE should be collected before bedtime, preferably at least one hour after dinner.

FOR ADRENAL FUNCTION PROFILES ONLY (CORTISOL, sIgA and/or DHEA):

Complete the test on any day. See cortisol supplementation section below.

WOMEN WITH MENSTRUAL CYCLES:

Collect saliva during one day of the mid-luteal phase (day 19-23 of a 28-day cycle)* counting the first day of your period as day 1. If your cycle is irregular, contact your provider for direction on when to collect your samples.

POST MENOPAUSAL WOMEN OR WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD A HYSTERECTOMY:

Collect saliva any day of the month. Collect saliva during one day of the mid-luteal phase (day 19-23 of a 28-day cycle)* counting the first day of your period as day 1. If using hormones, please read and follow the guidelines below. Call your healthcare provider with any additional questions pertaining to the timing of collection.

WOMEN TAKING HORMONE REPLACEMENT OR BIRTH CONTROL (REGARDLESS OF MENSTRUAL CYCLE):
  • Topical hormones (cream): DO NOT APPLY ANY TOPICAL HORMONES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY OF SALIVA COLLECTION. This will contaminate your sample and compromise your tests results. Your last dose prior to saliva collection should be applied within a window of 12-24 hours before collecting your first saliva sample.
  • Sublingual hormones or troches (dissolved under tongue): DO NOT USE ANY SUBLINGUAL HORMONES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY OF SALIVA COLLECTION. This will contaminate your sample and compromise your test results. Your last dose prior to saliva collection should be taken within a window of 24-36 hours before collecting your first saliva sample, followed by two 8 oz. glasses of water.
  • Oral hormones (pills): Should be used as prescribed on the day of collection.
  • Injections, subcutaneous pellets and transdermal patches: It is recommended to collect mid cycle of the dosage interval.
  • Cortisol/glucocorticoid supplementation: CONSULT WITH YOUR PROVIDER for instruction if you are taking a cortisol supplement for adrenal support (or any other glucocorticoid for medical reasons). Note: certain medications, including hydrocortisone creams and asthma inhalers, contain cortisol. To evaluate your natural cortisol production, it is recommended to stop using cortisol-containing products 5 days prior to sample collection. Consult with your provider prior to stopping cortisol-containing medication(s).
  • IUD does not change usual testing guidelines.
FOR ADRENAL FUNCTION PROFILES ONLY (CORTISOL, sIgA and/or DHEA):

Complete the test on any day. See cortisol supplementation section below.

MEN NOT ON HORMONES:

Collect saliva on any day. If using hormones, please read and follow the guidelines below. Call your healthcare provider with any additional questions pertaining to timing of collection.

IF YOU ARE TAKING HORMONES:
  • Topical hormones (cream): DO NOT APPLY ANY TOPICAL HORMONES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY OF SALIVA COLLECTION. This will contaminate your sample and compromise your tests results. Your last dose prior to saliva collection should be applied within a window of 12-24 hours before collecting your first saliva sample.
  • Sublingual hormones or troches (dissolved under tongue): DO NOT USE ANY SUBLINGUAL HORMONES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAY OF SALIVA COLLECTION. This will contaminate your sample and compromise your test results. Your last dose prior to saliva collection should be taken within a window of 24-36 hours before collecting your first saliva sample, followed by two 8 oz. glasses of water.
  • Oral hormones (pills): Should be used as prescribed on the day of collection.
  • Injections, subcutaneous pellets and transdermal patches: It is recommended to collect mid cycle of the dosage interval.
  • Cortisol/glucocorticoid supplementation: CONSULT WITH YOUR PROVIDER for instruction if you are taking a cortisol supplement for adrenal support (or any other glucocorticoid for medical reasons). Note: certain medications, including hydrocortisone creams and asthma inhalers, contain cortisol. To evaluate your natural cortisol production, it is recommended to stop using cortisol-containing products 5 days prior to sample collection. Consult with your provider prior to stopping cortisol-containing medication(s).

Make sure ALL information is entered onto test requisition form, patient survey, and specimen bag, and all required patient signatures are completed (missing information may cause a delay in testing and/or interpretation).

  • Required information on requisition form, including signature.
  • Patient name, address, date of birth, sex, time of sample collection, menstrual history (women only).
  • Test requested is checked by healthcare practitioner.
  • Patient signature
  • Patient height and weight.
  • Symptom questionnaire (patient survey)
  • Hormone therapy (including date and time of last dosage).
  • Make sure tubes are tightly SNAPPED closed and put into zip-top bag.
  • Make sure completed test requisition form is in box with specimens.
  • Make sure you have frozen the samples immediately after each collection.
  • All samples and cold pack must be frozen for a minimum of 4-6 hours before shipping. If you complete the collection at night, freeze overnight and mail as soon as possible.
  • Check whether the box has prepaid FedEx, UPS or US Mail postage.