Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

The Surprising History of the Home Pregnancy Test

by Staff


Tags: Science-Technology, Home pregnancy test, National Institute of Health,

Home pregnancy test

We’ve come a long way since the earliest version of the home pregnancy test. In 1350 BCE, Egyptian women tried to figure out if they were pregnant by urinating on wheat and barley seeds, according to A Thin Blue Line, a website set up by the National Institutes of Health. If the seeds sprouted, it was thought that she was pregnant. In the middle ages, European “piss prophets” analyzed urine to determine various health conditions, including pregnancy.

In the last few decades, the home pregnancy test has become increasingly accurate and commonplace. The website features a detailed timeline of the home pregnancy test, and cultural analysis of it, which includes a history of references to the home pregnancy test in TV shows and advertisements.

(Thanks, Bitch.)

Sarah Pumroy