It’s not a secret that, if you tell people you did a toothpaste pregnancy test, you’ll raise some eyebrows. Many individuals haven’t even heard of this method of testing, but it’s getting more popular due to its small price tag.
Also, there are those who prefer a more natural approach or live in a slightly remote area where pharmacy supplies are scarce. These are just, some of the reasons people reach for this DIY home pregnancy test, and we are not here to judge. We are here to make sure you do it safely and follow the correct procedure to ensure accurate results.
First, let’s talk a bit more about the pregnancy itself.
Pregnancy, or gravidity, is a condition where a woman is carrying one of more offsprings in her uterus. It can be natural or assisted via modern reproductive technology and will commonly last around 40 weeks.
A healthy pregnancy is divided into three stages (trimesters):
- First (weeks 1 through 12) – this is a stage where the egg gets fertilised by a spermatozoid and travels through Fallopian tubes to the uterus
- Second (weeks 13 through 27) – this is the period when you can feel the fetus start to move around
- Third (weeks 28 through 40) – this is the last period until the baby is born.
- Difficult sleeping
- Mood swings
- Tender nipples
*During the first eight weeks the term we use for offspring is embryo and after we use the term fetus. By the end of week 37, baby’s organs are considered ready to be operated on their own.
The main symptom of pregnancy is, of course, a missed period, but there are other symptoms as well:
What Is A Pregnancy Test?
Put simply; a pregnancy test is a test we use to confirm whether a woman is pregnant or not. The test is relatively simple, all we need is a sample of a woman’s urine of a drop of blood.
But how the test itself came to be?
In the 1930s, the researchers found that a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is present in a woman’s blood or urine. This hormone is produced by the syncytiotrophoblast cells, these cells are being formed during the first stages of pregnancy and are the first cells to differentiate from the fertilised egg (Source: NCBI).
The downsides of this test are that it can only work after the egg implantation, and it can show a false positive result in early pregnancy.
The first homemade pregnancy test was invented in 1968; soon after it spread over the markets of Europe and Australia.
The quickest and most accurate test is rosette inhibition assay for early pregnancy factor (EPF). EPF is present in the maternal serum (blood plasma) shortly after fertilisation. This test can detect pregnancy after 48 hours. The only downside is that is somewhat expensive, and it takes more time.
The most test used today are about 97% correct. This is an excellent, solid number, but as you can see, it is wrong three times out of 100. In addition to this “standard deviation,” there are a few more cases where a pregnancy test may “get it wrong”:
If it is expired – when a test expires, the chemical used to measure the level of hCG gets compromised and can get incorrect results.
Using medication – some drugs can raise the level of hCG in your body and show positive results even though you might not be pregnant. Which is why you should consult your doctor before testing yourself.
Early miscarriage – some women don’t even realise they are pregnant before it’s “too late.” Some studies suggest that as much as 25-40% of all pregnancies end up in an early miscarriage. If this is the case, the test might show a positive result even though the miscarriage already happened.
Tumors – in some RARE cases, a tumor on the ovaries can cause your test to come up positive. But, as I said, these are extremely rare cases and should not worry you.
In addition to false positive, a test can also be a false negative, disappointing future parents that were looking forward to the baby. This is also a rare occasion, but it can happen. And here are some of the usual reasons:
Expired test – due to the compromised chemical in a pregnancy test, it can also show up as a false negative. This is why you should always check the expiry date.
Taking the test too early – people are impatient, it’s in our nature, and this is why many parents rush buying and taking the test before the actual fertilisation can manifest itself. This is why you should always wait at least one week after missed period to take the test. Waiting will allow the hCG to raise in numbers to be able to show up on a test.
One more thing: you should use the test first thing in the morning. This is when your urine is most concentrated, and the results will be the most accurate.
Toothpaste Pregnancy Test
Some women simply don’t like buying a pregnancy test from the pharmacy, some simply can’t get to a pharmacy to buy it, and some simply like to experiment and use a homemade test.
Using toothpaste for your DIY pregnancy test seems to be the preferred method, it’s also fairly cheap, easy to use and gives relatively accurate results.
How To Preform The Test
Here is a step-by-step guide on the correct way of performing the pregnancy test using toothpaste:
- Gather everything you need (toothpaste, a clean cup for the test, a clean cup for the urine) and have it by your side so you can use it first thing when you wake up
- Take white toothpaste! The colour of the toothpaste is critical; you need white. Otherwise, the results might be inaccurate
- Take a clean cup or a plate(you need to clean the cup thoroughly to eliminate the bacteria that might contaminate the reaction between the toothpaste and the urine)
- Squirt some toothpaste into the cup; a teaspoon is quite enough
- Take the other cup and fill it up with your first, morning urine
- Take a medicine dropper (if you don’t have it you can just pour it) and drop a few droplets of urine onto the toothpaste
- Stir the mixture using a clean stick. You can use anything you can get your hands on, just make sure it’s clean
- Give it a few minutes to react
- Check the mixture for – changes in colour(bluish colour might appear), the appearance of froth, bubbles, and pretty much any reaction. If you notice it, chances are you are pregnant
- If nothing happens, no reaction whatsoever, the odds are against you being pregnant
How Does The Test Work?
The chemicals found in a white toothpaste (which you hopefully purchased), will have such chemical compound which will react with hCG in woman’s urine and cause a chemical reaction.
This chemical reaction will result in changes in colour, and the appearance of bubbles.
How Accurate Is This Test
Thought this is a home-made test, accuracy is still quite high. If everything is done correctly, getting a positive result will be 80-85% accurate! But, there is still a 15-20% chance the test will be wrong. Here are some of the most common factors to influence the accuracy of the results:
- Contaminants – even if you make an effort to clean the plate as best as you can, there is still a chance it will get contaminated by chemicals or bacteria before you put toothpaste and urine on it
- The colour of the paste – as noted above, you need a white toothpaste. Toothpaste that isn’t white will have different chemicals, chemicals that might not react with hCG and fail to provide a chemical reaction
- Duration – the perfect timeframe for this test is 3-5 minutes. Wait too long, and you might miss the reaction taking place; the same will happen if you try to rush the results
It is important to note that this test does raise some issues and controversies. Some groups state that the chemical used in toothpaste is different than the one utilised in a regular pregnancy test. Hence these results should be disregarded.
But just because the chemical is different it doesn’t mean we should ignore it entirely. The chemical is different, but what we are interested in is the ability of the compound at hand to react with the hCG from the urine.
This test has many advantages:
- Saving money – this test is cheap, and it will save you money. The pharmacies will charge around 10$ for a pregnancy test, sometimes even more, and this test is virtually free
- Easy to perform – to carry out this test correctly, all you need is toothpaste, a few clean cups, and a timer. Make sure to complete it a week after you’ve missed your period; this is when hormones build up
- Super fast – taking the test and reading the results will only take a couple of minutes, so it’s a timesaver
Although is cheap and rapid this test has some disadvantages:
- Confusing result – it is important to use correct amounts or urine and toothpaste (about the same amounts) to be able to get a proper reaction and be able to “read the results.” Otherwise, the results might be inconclusive
- The result might come in late – though 3-5 minutes is a general rule of thumb, there are instances where the actual reaction took place after 10 minutes. This is something you should take into consideration
- Just being plainly wrong – the truth of the matter is, this is not a standardised pregnancy test. There are a lot of variables, and there is a chance you could be dead wrong. This is why we advise you to see a doctor if you suspect you are pregnant