is it possible to reuse a pregnancy test?
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Pregnancy tests are an important part of adult life whether you’re actively trying to have a baby or doing your best to avoid it.

If you’re used a pregnancy test before, you might know they’re pretty simple tools. But they can be costly. And since life is getting more expensive, you might be wondering if you can reuse a pregnancy test.

Before we answer that question, lets look at how pregnancy tests work.

How does a pregnancy test work?

A pregnant body starts producing HCG when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. It helps thicken the uterine lining so there is more nutrition for the future embyro. The hormone’s level increases until around the 10th week of pregnancy. Most pregnancy tests (especially the cheaper ones) rely on this hormone to detect whether a person is pregnant or not, although in a few cases there can be another reason behind the rise of HCG levels.

Inside of the pregnancy test there is a paper strip which has enzymes and mobile antibodies that will help you determine whether your HCG levels are elevated or not. The antibodies bind to the HCG and the enzyme changes the color of the test line. After that the remaining antibodies continue forward up until the control line, which will tell you if the test worked. If you are using a pregnancy test with a digital screen then you should know that the mechanism is the same, the paper strip act as a wick and the test tells you whether you are pregnant or not without you having to guess if a faint line is actually there or not.

These tests are incredibly accurate. As long as they are used correctly and you pay attention to factors that can influence the outcome. These factors are:

  • Expiration dates
  • How long you left the test after urinating on the strip
  • How dehydrated you are
  • The time of day you took the test
  • Evaporation
  • Exposure to wind, fire, dust and moisture (other than urine, of course)
  • Taking the test too soon after the beginning of the pregnancy

The second point is incredibly important. If you leave out a pregnancy test for longer than the instructions say then the test line will start to darken. The process usually starts at 10 minutes but some pregnancy test will start to show a false positive as soon as 7 minutes. This can lead you to believe you are pregnant when you really aren’t, which might lead to some stress or disappointment.

Hydration is also key here. If you are drinking a lot of water, way more than the recommended amount for a healthy adult, then you will have very diluted urine. This will dilute the HCG as well, which might give you a false negative. However, if you are dehydrated it’s not likely that the opposite might happen. HCG is always present in the body in low amounts, but not drinking enough won’t concentrate it enough to show a false positive. In most cases.

Can you reuse a pregnancy test?

The short answer is: no. Once the urine carries the enzymes and antibodies off of the paper strip you will not be able to use the pregnancy test. So chuck it straight in the bin. If you paid attention then you know that the same is true for digital pregnancy tests, since they only eliminate the factor of human error and they work on the same principal as regular pregnancy tests, so you can not reuse a digital pregnancy test either.

The chemical reaction that goes on within a single test can not be repeated, which makes it completely usless, not to mention that it technically counts as a biohazard because of the urine.

What can you use instead of a pregnancy test?

Humans had ways of checking whether they were pregnant or not long before pregnancy tests and strips existed. These aren’t as reliable but if you need an emergency pregnancy test and have no way of getting one then one of these other ideas might be of use to you. Also if you do want to reuse a pregnancy test, these are the sort of methods you could try out.

However, you should most definitely get an actual pregnancy test or visit your doctor as soon as possible if you have a reasonable suspicion that you are pregnant.

Bleaching or vinegar test

This is the method most women used. They simply collected urine into a cup and mixed a bleaching agent or vinegar into it. They mixed it well and if it started to foam or fizz it meant pregnancy. If nothing happens then it means you are not pregnant or once again, it is too early in the pregnancy to tell.

Be wary of the vinegar test though, as it has always been part of rumors. Some say that it can help you tell whether you’re pregnant, while other say that if it fizzes up then it means you’re having a girl. Or a boy, depending on who you ask. This just goes to say how unrealiable the vinegar method is, so that’s probably the one you should leave for last if you do decide to go with an alternative pregnancy test.

Sugaring

Combining equal parts of sugar and urine can be a good way to tell whether you are pregnant or not. The HCG hormone does not let sugar dissolve easily, so it will start to clump up and swirl within the liquid instead of dissolving if you are pregnant. As a negative pregnancy test you will simply see the sugar dissolve, and it will happen quite quickly.

Toothpaste

Make sure that the toothpaste you are using has a white color. This means no swirls either, however small flakes are fine. Push a small amount of it out and pour a little bit of urine on top. If the color of the toothpaste changes and it starts frothing then you are pregnant. Once again, if you don’t see anything happen then you aren’t pregnant.

Once again, if you decide to use any of these methods keep in mind that they might not be as accurate as a modern pregnancy test, so your best bet is always to visit your doctor.

About Post Author

Hedi Nemeth

I love to write about dating, relationships, the occult and the more alternative side of life. If you see me in a cafe I'll be drinking a hot chocolate and reading a book.
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By Hedi Nemeth

I love to write about dating, relationships, the occult and the more alternative side of life. If you see me in a cafe I'll be drinking a hot chocolate and reading a book.

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