Does Homemade Pregnancy Tests Work?

Written by Aparna Mallampalli , BEd (Biological Sciences), MSc (Microbiology), Diploma In Nutrition

The possibility of pregnancy, whether you are prepared for it or not, can be quite overwhelming. This makes you nervous and scared. So, what do you do? Take a pregnancy test. What if you are not in a situation to get a pregnancy kit right away? This is where homemade pregnancy tests can help you out. They are not always accurate but can give you some ideas before heading for a doctor consultation or grab the store brought test kits. Keep reading to discover more about homemade pregnancy tests.

When To Take A Pregnancy Test

You must take a pregnancy test a week after you have missed your periods for the most accurate results. This duration must be maintained because the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone for maternal recognition of pregnancy, appears in maternal blood after 6-8 days of implantation. The tests detect the presence of HCG in your urine to determine if you are pregnant (1).

If you don’t want to wait until your periods to know whether you are expecting or not, wait for at least a week or two after having had sex and retake the test. Repeat the test in a couple of days to reconfirm the results.

Also, do not drink too much water before a test to prevent diluting the urine. This may not give you accurate results. It is better to test your first urine in the morning. Keep reading to learn how to detect pregnancy with homemade tests.

Best Homemade Pregnancy Tests

Note: All these tests are based on anecdotal evidence. We strongly recommend you to use a pregnancy kit and consult a doctor.

1. Urine Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of urine
  • A flat-surfaced container

What You Have To Do

  1. Collect half a cup of your first urine after waking up.
  2. Let it stand untouched for 24 hours.

How It May Work

After 24 hours, if you see a small frothy/ foamy layer on top, you might be pregnant. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a frothy layer may indicate the presence of the HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone, which is usually secreted when you are pregnant.

2. Sugar Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
  • ½ cup of urine (first urine of the day)
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Put the sugar into a plastic cup and pour the urine into it.
  2. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes and observe.

How It May Work

If the sugar dissolves in the urine, you can rule out the chances of pregnancy. But if it begins to clump, it may be an indication of pregnancy. The presence of the HCG hormone in your urine may lead to the clumping of sugar.

3. Bleach Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of bleach
  • ½ cup of urine
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Collect half a cup of your first urine in the morning in a plastic cup.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a mask before handling the bleach to avoid inhaling its fumes.
  3. Wear gloves and pour bleach into a plastic cup.
  4. Pour the urine sample into the cup filled with bleach.
  5. Wait for about 5 minutes and observe.

How It May Work

Anecdotal evidence suggests that you might be pregnant if it foams or you observe any reaction/changes in the bleach. The urine may react with bleach due to the presence of the HCG hormone. However, if there is no reaction, the result may be negative.

4. Toothpaste Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of morning urine
  • A dollop of white toothpaste
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Put the toothpaste in a plastic cup.
  2. Pour the collected morning urine into it.
  3. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes.

How It May Work

It is believed that if the toothpaste turns light blue or becomes frothy, you might be pregnant. However, if there are no reactions and the toothpaste dissolves in the urine, the result might be negative.

5. Strips Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of urine
  • HCG test strips
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Dip the HCG strip into the urine (the arrow must point towards the urine).
  2. Remove the strip after 3 seconds and place it on a clean, dry, and nonabsorbent surface.
  3. Read and check the results within 5 minutes.

How It May Work

Two colored lines on the strip indicate pregnancy, while a single line indicates a negative result. If there are no lines, the test is invalid and you have to try again.

6. Salt Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of urine
  • 2-3 tablespoons of salt
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Collect half a cup of your first urine in the morning.
  2. Add the salt to this and wait for about 5 minutes.
  3. Observe the mixture.

How It May Work

Anecdotal evidence suggests that clumped salt may be a sign of pregnancy. This is because the salt reacts with the HCG hormone and clumps. However, if the salt dissolves without clumping, the test is negative.

7. Shampoo Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of urine
  • 1-2 tablespoons of shampoo
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Take two tablespoons of shampoo in a plastic cup.
  2. Pour the urine into this.
  3. Wait for 5 to 7 minutes and observe the urine.

How It May Work

If you observe any change in the color, it hints at a positive pregnancy. But in the absence of any such changes, the result may be probably negative. However, the exact mechanism or logic behind this test is unclear.

8. Soap Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of morning urine
  • A small piece of soap
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Place the soap in a plastic cup.
  2. Pour the morning urine into the cup.
  3. Observe the cup after 5 minutes.

How It May Work

It is said that when the HCG hormone comes in contact with the soap, it may react and form bubbles or froth, which indicates a probable pregnancy. But in the absence of this hormone, the soap will not changes and remain intact, thus indicating a negative result.

9. Vinegar Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • 1½ cups of morning urine
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • A plastic cup

What You Have To Do

  1. Pour a cup of vinegar into a plastic cup.
  2. Add the urine to it.
  3. Allow it to stand for about 5 minutes and observe.

How It May Work

Anecdotal evidence suggests that vinegar changes color on reacting with the HCG hormone in the urine if you are pregnant. But if it doesn’t change color, it rules out chances of pregnancy.

10. Dandelion Pregnancy Test

You Will Need

  • ½ cup of morning urine
  • 2-3 fresh dandelion leaves
  • A wide container

What You Have To Do

Place the dandelion leaves in the urine and observe them after 10 minutes.

How It May Work

It is believed that the dandelion leaves may develop red marks after reacting with HCG, indicating pregnancy. However, if they do not change color, you may not be pregnant.

11. Pregnancy Test Using A Basal Body Thermometer

You Will Need

A basal body thermometer

What You Have To Do

  1. Check your basal body temperature immediately after waking up in the morning.
  2. Place it under your tongue for a few seconds.
  3. Check the reading.

How It May Work

It is said that if the thermometer shows a basal body temperature of 98.6°F or 37°C, there is a chance that you may be pregnant. The basal body temperature usually increases during ovulation and decreases if you don’t conceive. But if you are pregnant, it continues to remain high.

The above-mentioned homemade pregnancy tests are not backed by any scientific research and may not be accurate. So, if you think you are pregnant, it is better to check using a pregnancy kit and consult a doctor.

What To Do After Taking A Home Pregnancy Test

If you test negative for pregnancy but have not yet got your periods, you must:

  • Wait for a week and retake the pregnancy test to rule out the chances of pregnancy.
  • Take a pregnancy test first thing in the morning for best results.
  • Wait for your periods to arrive. Sometimes, they might be delayed because of an underlying medical condition like PCOS.
  • If you have not got your periods even after a month or two, and you still test negative for pregnancy, consult your doctor.

If your pregnancy test is positive, here is what you should be doing:

  • First and foremost, you must visit your doctor to confirm your pregnancy and get an ultrasound test done.
  • The next thing you must do is calculate the due date of your baby and start preparing. Follow the doctor’s advice to maintain your overall health and care for the fetus.
  • Wait until you complete the first three months before you reveal your pregnancy to your extended family, as it becomes stable only after the first trimester.
  • Give up unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking.
  • Indulge in healthy habits like some mild pregnancy-safe workouts. Also, pay extra attention to your diet.

You need to work with your doctor throughout the pregnancy to ensure the journey is safe for you and the child. Here are some early signs to check out for during pregnancy.

Early Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your body experience changes, and as a result, you may experience:

  • Tender and swollen breasts
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Food cravings or aversions
  • Frequent headaches
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Increased basal body temperature
  • Missed periods

Although these symptoms have been observed in many pregnant women, they might also occur when you are about to get your periods (PMS) or could even be an indication of an underlying condition. It is best to consult a doctor and get yourself tested.

To Conclude

Homemade pregnancy tests are not a sure-fire way to determine whether you are pregnant or not. The tests discussed in the article may or may not be accurate. While there is no harm in trying these methods, you should not depend on the results. It is best to consult a doctor and go for a pregnancy test under their guidance. This will help you start your prenatal care as early as possible and ensure a safe pregnancy.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How many days will it take to confirm pregnancy?

You can confirm whether you are pregnant or not after 7 to 10 days following the implantation. Wait for about a week or 10 days after you miss your period, and then take the pregnancy test.

How do pregnancy tests work?

Most pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) hormone in your urine, which indicates a positive pregnancy.

What is the basal body temperature during early pregnancy?

Your basal or resting body temperature will be quite high during early pregnancy and will be around 37°C or 98.6° F.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Pregnancy tests: a review
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1639991/

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