DIY home pregnancy tests – do they work?
Have you heard of homemade pregnancy tests? Well, before store-bought pregnancy tests, women used to depend on homemade methods to find out if they were pregnant. Luckily, that has changed since you can now buy instant pregnancy tests that are quite accurate. However, some people still use old school methods to test for pregnancy. Can these methods be trusted? Here are the facts.
What are DIY pregnancy tests?
DIY pregnancy tests are methods people use to find out if they are pregnant that are not based on any real medical/scientific knowledge. For example, people try mixing urine (pee) with toothpaste, vinegar, or bleach to see if it fizzes or changes colour.
There are lots of hacks and “tests” circulating the internet, and a lot of people have been using them since the lockdown started. The problem with these tests is that they are not accurate, which means that you run the risk of getting false “negative” or “positive” pregnancy results.
Commonly used DIY pregnancy tests
Urine-bleach test – This method involves pouring bleach into a cup or bucket and peeing over it. If the bleach becomes cloudy, it’s believed that you are pregnant.
Toothpaste test - For this test, girls pee in a cup and then put a drop of white toothpaste. If the toothpaste turns blue, then it’s believed that they could be pregnant.
Sugar test – This test involves peeing in a cup first thing in the morning and then adding 3 teaspoons of sugar to the urine. If the sugar doesn’t dissolve then you are “pregnant”.
Do they actually work?
A pregnancy test works by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s body. This is a hormone that is produced at high level during pregnancy because it’s responsible for taking care of the embryo (baby) during pregnancy. DIY pregnancy tests cannot detect hCG levels, which means that they cannot tell you whether you are pregnant or not, Choma. The only way to find this out is to go to your nearest clinic or pharmacy to get a pregnancy test.
Take care of your health
Relying on DIY pregnancy tests and not using any form of contraceptive (birth control) is a form of unsafe and risky behaviour. Having unprotected sex increases your chances of falling pregnant and puts you at risk of getting STIs. This is why it’s important to use a condom and hormonal birth control (like the pill or the injection) for maximum protection against unwanted pregnancy and STIs.
If you think that you may be experiencing pregnancy symptoms, then you can either buy a pregnancy test or go to your nearest clinic to get tested. It’s better to get a store-bought pregnancy test or consult a healthcare professional, than to use any DIY tests. Feel free to ask your doctor for contraceptive methods that can help you prevent unwanted pregnancy, if you are not pregnant.
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