The evolution of the pregnancy test

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If you’re TTC, then you’re no stranger to the home pregnancy test. But that little pee stick you’re so familiar with hasn’t been around forever! In fact, it’s a pretty recent development. Read on to learn more about its incredible legacy.

In the beginning…

The modern pregnancy test has only been around since the 1970s, and before that we tried some pretty weird things to test for pregnancy.

Some cultures believed that a pregnant woman’s urine would cause a needle to rust red or black. Others thought you could mix urine with wine or sulfur to test for pregnancy, and ancient Egyptians used a method of pouring urine on barley and wheat seeds to see which would grow.

What’s really interesting is how, even in humanity’s earliest days, we sensed that pee would be the way to detect pregnancy. Why? We wish we knew.

Science starts getting involved

In the early 1900s, we started to learn a lot about the human body very quickly, first leading to the discovery of hormones and then hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in the 1920s. This hormone can be found in high amounts in the urine of pregnant women, and is actually what modern pregnancy tests look for.

The first science-based tests used to spot hCG were a little…barbaric. They involved a doctor injecting a woman’s urine into an animal, then dissecting the animal to see if the urine put them in heat. While this early pregnancy test was reliable, it clearly wasn’t very sustainable.

Hospital testing improves

Thankfully, in the 1960s, scientists develop non-animal tests for hCG. It used what’s called “immunoassays,” which is essentially a test that can detect the presence or absence of a chemical.

By 1972, doctors were not only able to see the presence of hCG, but measure the levels of it! That meant they could finally look for the surge in hCG associated with pregnancy. It was the breakthrough potentially pregnant women around the world had been waiting for.

The first home test

In 1977, the first patent for a home pregnancy test was awarded to e.p.t®, which stood for the “early pregnancy test.”

This early test came with a vial of purified water, a test tube, an angled mirror, and red blood cells from a sheep. It was hard to take, and results took two hours — but it was a revolution!

For the first time, families could get an answer to the thing they wanted to know most. They could find out on their own, on their time, in their own home, all thanks to e.p.t®.

Modern advances

The e.p.t® test has helped millions of couples since it was first introduced in the ‘70s, but has come a long way since then.

The e.p.t® test is now over 99% accurate at detecting the presence of hCG when taken on the day of your expected period. It also only takes two minutes, and you can get results from either a digital display, or those familiar blue lines. You also don’t need sheep cells!

If you’d like to try e.p.t® for yourself, you can tap the button below to have a coupon emailed to you and save $3 the next time you’re in the store.

When you’re looking for the answer that matters most, consider the only test that can honestly say they’ve been helping women since the very beginning.

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This ad is brought to you by e.p.t®

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