Ladies, Here’s Why The Homemade Pregnancy Test Trend Is So Dumb— And Dangerous

The idea of being able to make a pregnancy test a DIY activity sounds appealing in many ways. For starters, you can get the verdict immediately instead of having to wait for your local pharmacy to open so you can purchase a pregnancy test. However, this is a terrible idea and you need to avoid this trend at all costs.

  1. There are tons of DIY pregnancy tests out there. You can find a range of different recipes that promise to reveal if you’re pregnant or not. These recipes make use of different ingredients such as bleach, vinegar, toothpaste, and many others that are mixed with your urine.
  2. There are even YouTube videos about DIY pregnancy tests. These explain the process you need to follow to discover if you’re pregnant. A popular video makes use of sugar. Basically, you mix sugar with your urine and see what happens. If the urine becomes foamy or fuzzy, then it’s a sign you’re pregnant. Yes, people really claim it’s that simple, but before you head to the kitchen to get some sugar, read on.
  3. It’s (fake) science. The idea behind these DIY pregnancy tests is that certain ingredients, such as bleach or sugar, will react to urine because they are sensitive to the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone that’s only present in your urine when you’re pregnant because it’s produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
  4. How do these ingredients react? For example, the sugar might become frothy and this will reveal that a woman’s pregnant. If nothing happens to the urine after it’s been mixed with these ingredients, that means she’s not pregnant. But experts say that these homemade pregnancy tests can’t really tell you if you’re carrying a child or not. They’re a big pregnancy myth. Sorry.
  5. So what’s causing the urine reactions? Those most likely come down to pH levels. Ingredients such as bleach and toothpaste are alkaline in nature so when they’re mixed with urine, which is acidic, they become foamy. Weird. Does this mean everyone who’s trying these DIY pregnancy tests is getting a positive result?!
  6. Are DIY pregnancy tests dangerous? In some cases, they can be. If you’re messing around with bleach, you could be breathing in fumes. This could be harmful to you (and your baby if you are pregnant). In addition, if you believe the result of your DIY pregnancy test, this could potentially be harmful. Say you get a false negative, for example. You might think you’re not pregnant and end up doing things that could put your baby’s health at risk.
  7. It’s a waste of time. In other cases, playing around with urine and some toothpaste might not be dangerous, but that’s not the point. The point is that homemade pregnancy tests are a waste of your time because they don’t give you a clear, factual answer to your question.
  8. They can cause more drama. Instead of giving you a legit answer to your burning question, these DIY pregnancy tests can make you even more stressed out. You’ll be wondering why your urine is fizzing after you mixed it with a bit of sugar, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. You’ll be more confused than ever and maybe freaking out about motherhood. It’s just not worth the stress.
  9. pH can be affected by many things. It’s not just the alkaline-acid reaction we mentioned earlier that can be causing your urine to do dodgy things. Different people have different pH levels and this can be due to medical conditions, diet, and even just how we’re built.
  10. Get an actual pregnancy test, please. Instead of wasting time with homemade pregnancy tests, get your hands on an over-the-counter (OTC) test instead. These contain antibodies that capture the hCG hormone, unlike your favorite toothpaste brand. Plus, they also usually contain a second antibody that detects the presence of that hormone. Brave the wait until your pharmacy opens and pay a little bit of money for an OTC pregnancy test – it’s worth it to get something much more reliable and put your mind at ease.


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.