Our ancestors didn’t have any of the modern methods we do, for confirming pregnancies early in the first trimester. They relied totally on what we now call DIY or homemade pregnancy tests. You can still use these ancient methods today and you may be surprised at how accurate they are!
Why Use a Homemade Pregnancy Test?
It is recommended that you see a physician if you think you may be pregnant. But there are a variety of reasons why you may want to check at home first. Some of these reasons include:
• It may be difficult for you to get an appointment with your physician.
• Your physicians’ fees may be high, especially if you don’t have adequate health insurance.
• You may advocate for natural childbirth. Thus, you’ll want to minimize your contact with medical professionals.
• You may have anxiety about waiting for the results of a medical test. You can use homemade pregnancy tests anytime you like, in your own home.
• Your pregnancy may be embarrassing or inconvenient, or you may not want anyone to know of your pregnancy until you’re sure you’re pregnant.
What Role does hCG Play in DIY Pregnancy Tests?
Homemade pregnancy tests look for the same thing as tests purchased over the counter, or those done by a physician. They are all attempting to detect the presence of the hormone “human chorionic gonadotropin” (hCG) in your urine. In the case of a physician’s test, she may be looking for the hormone in your blood.
The vital hormone hCG is made by cells that will be forming the placenta. This nourishes and protects your fertilized egg after it attaches to the uterine wall. The tests with the most reliable results observe natural pregnancy signs, as well as hCG, using toothpaste, bleach, Pine-Sol and other techniques.
Natural Pregnancy Signs
The earliest type of homemade test for pregnancy is still used now. It’s based on knowing your body so that you recognize changes within it. When you become pregnant, you will experience physical changes, even in early stages of pregnancy. These are indicators that you may be pregnant, and may lead you to try the DIY pregnancy tests below.
The first sign is also the most obvious, and it’s the late or missed period. You may also sweat more than usual, and have a higher than normal body temperature. Your nipples may become tender or swollen.
You may also urinate more frequently, and experience nausea, which is known as “morning sickness”. If you have these symptoms, your homemade pregnancy test may just be confirming what you already suspect.
Not every woman experiences these pregnancy signs, though. Some women have just one or two symptoms, and others may experience light bleeding, which makes it more difficult to ascertain whether they are really pregnant or not. If you are in that group, you may benefit from the use of a homemade pregnancy test.
When should You Take a Homemade Pregnancy Test?
Homemade pregnancy tests cannot detect pregnancy as early as sophisticated OTC tests or those run by your physician. You will generally have to wait until the first day of a missed period in order to get accurate results from DIY pregnancy tests.
As far as administering the test, you need to use the morning’s first urine to conduct it. Morning urine is the most concentrated and therefore will detect hCG sooner.
Types of Homemade Pregnancy Tests
Household bleach is commonly found in most any home. You may use it for such diverse tasks as disinfecting, whitening your clothes or removing stains. This reasonably priced liquid can be used to detect pregnancy, too.
To use this testing method, pour bleach into a clean container and then add a sample of your first urine of the day. Watch this mixture closely. If it fizzes or foams, it shows a chance of pregnancy. If the two agents don’t interact with each other, it likely means that you’re not pregnant.
When you use the bleach test method, there isn’t any specific amount of urine or bleach that you are supposed to mix. It’s typical to use a 50/50 mix. There also is no timing on when the chemical reaction will take place.
Bleach can be dangerous if you don’t use it properly. To be safe, wear disposable or rubber gloves. When pouring the bleach and urine into your container, do it outside. Otherwise you may expose yourself to rather noxious fumes.
2. Dandelion Leaves
Dandelions were among the first plants to be used in homemade pregnancy tests. Women of years past were much more in touch with herbs and other parts of the natural world than we are today.
Dandelions are still quite common, and easy to find. Unless someone pays a professional landscaper, or weeds his lawn by hand, you’ll find them in most yards. Select the leaves from dandelions that happen to be in a shady area. If the leaves have had direct contact with sunlight, this could make the test less efficient. After you gather your dandelion leaves, protect them from sunlight until you use them.
Place your leaves in a medium plastic container. Add enough urine – early morning urine is best – to soak the leaves well. In 10 minutes, check for blisters on the leaves. They are usually red. If you don’t see them the first time you check, continue to check every 10-15 minutes until you are sure that there are no discernable blisters. No blisters equals no pregnancy, according to this test.
Here’s another test item you already have in your house. Be sure to use white toothpaste, not gel or striped varieties. Two things may happen when you add your urine that would signify pregnancy. The toothpaste may begin to foam and froth, or it may turn a light blue color. Either one of these two reactions is interpreted as a positive indicator that you may be pregnant.
Again, we have no set amount of how much urine or toothpaste to use for this test, nor a length of time to wait for a reaction to occur. Toothpaste may froth on its own in urine, if left for a long time. Discard the test after a half hour, so you won’t get a false positive. Like most homemade pregnancy tests, this is just a back-up to OTC and physicians’ pregnancy testing.
4. Pine Sol
This is another homemade pregnancy test that may have its origins far back in history. Although Pine-Sol is a name brand now, the ingredients were available to women long ago. You can purchase a bottle of Pine-Sol at the grocery or dollar store or just collect pine leaves, cones and needles.
To use this method, pour Pine-Sol into a container, or start with a container with pine leaves, cones and needles in it. Add urine from your first visit to the bathroom in the morning, when it is most concentrated. Look for a color change, which will indicate possible pregnancy. You’re more likely to observe a change if you use store-bought Pine-Sol, rather than the natural ingredients.
Vinegar is among the least expensive ingredients women use for DIY pregnancy tests, so if cost is important to you, it’s a good choice. Pour white vinegar in a container and add urine. Look for a change in color.
If you don’t see results, but you think you are indeed pregnant, you can run the test for several mornings in a row, with more and less vinegar. You may opt to wait a bit longer each day, as well, for the color to change.
This is an inexpensive and common household item that you probably already have in your pantry, and it works well as a natural pregnancy test. Put a few spoons of sugar in a bowl and add urine.
You will look for sugar clumps to form, to determine whether or not you are pregnant. If the sugar forms clumps, that is a sign of pregnancy. If it just dissolves into a liquid when you add your urine, you likely aren’t pregnant.
Like our other homemade pregnancy tests, this is most accurate if you do it first thing in the morning. This is when your urine is most concentrated, and the levels of hCG are highest. If you don’t have time to do the testing in the morning, seal your morning urine in a container until you have time.
7. Soap & Water
Soap and water have been used for years as a test for pregnancy at home. Mix the lather from your soap and water into your first sample of urine in the morning. If the soapy solution bubbles up noticeably, you may be pregnant.
Soap and water is not quite as accurate as some of the other ingredients on our list, but it’s still a popular ingredient in DIY pregnancy tests.
Homemade Pregnancy Test Advantages
DIY pregnancy test materials are readily available and inexpensive. You may not even need to leave your home, since you probably have the basic ingredients there. They don’t have complicated directions, and just a few general observations for you to make.
Homemade Pregnancy Test Drawbacks
DIY pregnancy tests all have one common drawback. They don’t have any scientific data that proves whether or not they are accurate. They are not as sophisticated as OTC and physicians’ tests. However, they do look for the same hormone, hCG, just as newer tests do.
Homemade pregnancy tests don’t usually give you an exact amount of urine or your additive to use. Pharmaceutical companies have much more effective means of testing for pregnancy, but if you’re not near a drugstore, you can use homemade tests quite easily. Be sure you don’t try homemade testing earlier than the day before your next menstrual period is due, since there isn’t enough of the hormone hCG in the urine of these tests to accurately detect it.
Can You Rely Solely on the Result of Homemade Pregnancy Tests?
The results obtained from DIY pregnancy tests are not as reliable or accurate as we would like them to be. The results may also vary from one woman to the next. The way the color changes, etc., is individually interpreted by the tester. Since there is no set rule about how much of the test substance and how much urine to include, this could skew results.
In addition, the things to look for, like clumping, blistering, frothing and foaming may be vague enough to be confusing for some women. While experimenting with homemade pregnancy tests is intriguing, you will always want to back up your findings with an OTC pregnancy test or a test done by your physician.
Having Choices is Beneficial
Modern women are no doubt glad that they don’t have to rely on only homemade pregnancy tests. Although their great-grandmothers and ancestors further back in time didn’t have access to things like Pine-Sol or bleach, they most likely did make use of natural alternatives, and some of these are still in use today.
Living in a high-tech world, you have the benefits of choice that allow you to connect with the past by trying these recipes for DIY pregnancy tests. Regardless of the result, it’s nice to know that your physician is just a call away, so that you can obtain a more accurate assessment.
While these homemade pregnancy tests can be somewhat helpful in determining whether or not you are pregnant, they are not meant to replace the level of testing and care that is available through our modern health system.
Once you know that you are carrying a child, avail yourself of all the care and prenatal treatment that is so necessary to bringing a healthy baby into the world. You need to ensure your well-being, as well as that of your baby.
Experiment with these homemade pregnancy tests, using everything from dandelion leaves to vinegar. Don’t neglect the more accurate pregnancy testing that is available now, so that you take advantage of all that modern medicine offers.