7 of the Best Pregnancy Tests You Can Make at Home
Last Updated August 17, 2017
Do you just have that gut feeling that a baby is growing inside of you?
Are you stuck at home with all the kids and can’t get out to the store, but you really want to find out NOW if you’re pregnant or not?
Homemade pregnancy tests have been around since before over-the-counter tests were available, and are a quick, reliable way to confirm your pregnancy without having to run to the store.
They are a great option if you’re short on money or if you want to keep your pregnancy discreet.
In this post, we will cover how accurate homemade pregnancy tests are, how they work, when you should take them, and what to do if you get a positive result. You will also learn how to take and read 7 of the most common homemade pregnancy tests.
How Accurate are Homemade Tests?
While homemade pregnancy tests are reasonably reliable, none (including over-the-counter tests) are 100% accurate. Always be sure to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test or ultrasound through your OB/GYN or midwife.
Homemade tests are trickier to read, and one person could interpret the results different from another. You can also have false-negative and false-positive results.
A false-negative is where you got a negative result, but you are indeed pregnant. This can occur if you took the test too early, you checked the results too soon, you misinterpreted the results, or if your urine was too dilute.
A false-positive is when you got a positive result, but you’re not pregnant. This kind of result is rare but could happen if you misinterpreted the results, took the test too soon after taking a fertility drug with hCG, or had a pregnancy loss soon after the fertilized egg attached to the uterine wall (source).
It’s always a good idea to take a few homemade tests, rather than just one. If you get mixed results, wait a few days or a week and retake the test. Be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider to confirm your pregnancy and start your prenatal care.
How Do They Work?
Homemade pregnancy tests work the same way as any over the counter pregnancy test; by detecting the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If you have a positive test, you will observe a chemical reaction between the hCG in your urine and the substance you are using to test.
Your cells start to produce the hCG hormone when they start creating the placenta. This hormone increases rapidly early in pregnancy and enters your bloodstream and urine, confirming conception (source).
When Should I Take the Test?
To get the most accurate results from a pregnancy test, it is best to wait until a week after your missed period. It is also best to take your test first thing in the morning, as your urine will have a higher concentration of the hCG hormone.
However, not every woman will have a missed period, and some women experience implantation bleeding, which could be mistaken for a period.
If you absolutely can’t wait for your missed period, then you can take the test as early as two weeks after conception. If you get a negative result, wait five days and retake the test.
Early Signs of Pregnancy
It may also be time to take a pregnancy test if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
Swollen or tender breasts
Food cravings or aversions
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Spotting or light bleeding
What Should I Do If I Get a Positive Result?
You will probably experience an overload of mixed feelings once you see that positive result come up. You’ll be overjoyed with excitement, but yet so nervous at the same time, especially if you’re first time parents.
I mean you’re about to bring new life on to this earth! You’ll think “now what?”
Here are nine things you should do once you find out you’re pregnant:
Write down the first day of your last period to help calculate your due date.
Call your OB/GYN or midwife to schedule your first prenatal appointment and confirm your pregnancy.
Start taking a prenatal vitamin.
Talk with your doctor to find out which medications are safe for use during pregnancy.
Eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake to 200mg per day (which is equivalent to one 12 oz. cup of coffee) (source).
Cut out alcohol, raw meat, fish and eggs, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk, deli meat, and fish high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, and king mackerel (source) from your diet.
Engage in low to moderate pregnancy-safe exercise 4-5 days a week. Take a 30-minute walk, swim some laps, or sign up for a prenatal yoga class.
Decide when you’ll announce your pregnancy. Many women like to wait until after the first trimester, when the chance of miscarriage drops drastically, to announce their pregnancy, while others are comfortable with announcing early on. If your workplace could be a hazard to your pregnancy, you will need to tell your employer as soon as possible so that they can accommodate for you and your baby.
Start documenting your pregnancy, preparing yourself for pregnancy, and be sure to take lots of belly pictures.
The 7 Best Homemade Pregnancy Tests
Here are seven pregnancy tests you can make at home and how to take and interpret them.
For best results, be sure you use your first-morning urine and make sure your products are not expired.
1. Urine in a Jar Pregnancy Test
For this homemade test, you need nothing but a clear jar (or cup) and your urine.
Collect your urine in a clean jar first thing in the morning.
Lay the jar on a flat surface and let sit for 24 hours.
Negative Result: no change observed
Positive Result: A thin white layer has formed at the top of the urine
2. Sugar Pregnancy Test
I’m sure you probably have some sugar lying around in your kitchen. Sugar is a cheap way to test the hCG in your urine and confirm your pregnancy.
Place three tsp. of white granulated sugar in a clean bowl.
Either directly urinate into the bowl or urinate in a clean cup and add it to the bowl of sugar.
Wait 5-10 minutes.
Negative Result: sugar dissolves
Positive Result: sugar clumps together, does not dissolve
3. Toothpaste Pregnancy Test
Everyone brushes their teeth; If you have nothing else in your house, you can use your toothpaste for your pregnancy test. Be sure to use white toothpaste for this test.
Add 2 TBSP. of white toothpaste to a clean container.
Either directly urinate into the container or urinate in a clean cup and add it to the container with toothpaste.
Wait 5-10 minutes.
Negative Result: no reaction
Positive Result: the toothpaste starts to turn blue and/or starts to foam or froth
4. Bleach Pregnancy Test
A lot of people keep bleach in their laundry room and can actually be used to determine if you are expecting or not. Be sure to use plain bleach for this test. Do not use scented or chlorine-free bleach.
Since bleach is a potentially hazardous chemical, you will need to take some precautions to use this for your test safely. Always be sure to wear gloves, a mask, and old clothes when handling bleach, especially if you think you might be pregnant. It is also best to run this test outside, rather than in a confined space.
Add 1 cup of bleach to a clean cup or bowl.
Urinate in a separate clean cup. Try to get at least ½ cup of urine.
Add your urine to the bleach.
Wait 3-5 minutes.
Negative Result: no reaction or very little fizzing
Positive Result: the mixture will start bubbling up or fizzing up
5. White Vinegar Pregnancy Test
White vinegar is another product that many people keep in their kitchen and can also be used as a DIY pregnancy test.
Add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a clean bowl.
Either directly urinate into the bowl or urinate in a clean cup and then add it to the vinegar.
Wait 3-5 minutes.
Negative result: no change in color
Positive result: a change in color
6. Dandelion Leaves Pregnancy Test
Who knew that the nature in your backyard could help you determine if you are growing a human inside of you or not?
Collect 2-3 dandelion leaves and place them in a clean container.
Urinate in a separate clean cup.
Pour some of your urine over the dandelion leaves. Be sure to soak the leaves.
Wait 10 minutes.
Negative Result: no red spots or blisters appear on the leaves
Positive Result: red spots or red blisters appear on the surface of the leaves
7. Baking Soda Gender Test
If you already know you’re pregnant, but just can’t wait to find out the gender, you can use another common household kitchen item, baking soda, to see what you’re having. This may be an old wives tale but has been proven accurate for many women.
Add 2 TBSP. of baking soda to a clean bowl.
Urinate in a separate clean cup.
Add your urine to the bowl with baking soda.
If it fizzles like beer or soda, you’re probably having a boy.
If there is little to no reaction, then you are probably having a girl.
Share Your Experience
Homemade pregnancy tests have been around for centuries, and are a quick, inexpensive, and reliable way to see if you are expecting or not. However, no homemade or over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 100% accurate, so be sure to follow up with your OB/GYN or midwife to confirm your pregnancy and start your prenatal care.
Believe it or not, many items around your house like vinegar, sugar, toothpaste, bleach, and even dandelions can be used for DIY pregnancy tests. You can even get a better idea of the gender by seeing how your urine reacts with baking soda.
Have you ever tried any of these homemade pregnancy tests? Were your results accurate? Share your experiences with us in the comments and be sure to share this post with your friends that are trying to conceive or think they may be pregnant.