Pregnancy: Boots Home Pregnancy Test, First Response, Clear Blue and Predictor all work by detecting the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) in the urine. They can be used on the day the woman's period is due, and are around 99 per cent accurate. (From pounds 9.95 for two.)

Ovulation: First Response and Clear Plan One Step home ovulation prediction tests (both pounds 19.95) include five urine tests to determine when the point of peak fertility is about to occur. Each test takes around five minutes and is 98 per cent accurate.

Blood pressure: Omron battery-operated blood pressure monitors are available from Boots and other chemists. (From pounds 69.99.)

Cholesterol: the Boots Home Cholesterol test (pounds 7.99) measures cholesterol levels using a drop of blood from the finger.

Blood glucose: regular blood glucose testing can be the key to successful management of diabetes. Finger-prick monitoring kits available from chemists include Glucometer 4 (pounds 54). One Touch (from pounds 38.70) and Accutrend (from pounds 29). Test strips to go with the monitors cost extra.

Cystic fibrosis: The University Diagnostics test (pounds 65 individual, pounds 98 couple) detects the 16 most common forms of CF genetic changes, identifying carriers in about 85 per cent of cases. The test involves a simple mouthwash that is sent to the lab to ex-tract DNA from the cells for diagnosis.

And in the future?

Adult-onset diabetes; allergy screening; Alzheimer's; asthma; bowel cancer; breast cancer; colon cancer; emphysema; gastric ulcers; heart disease; hepatitis; HIV; osteoporosis; prostate cancer; rheumatoid arthritis; skin cancer