People Are Using Toothpaste As A Pregnancy Test, So Let’s Talk About Science

Desperate times call for desperate measures and for some women, whether hoping for a positive or a negative result, the driving need to know if they're pregnant ASAP pushes them beyond what many would call the edge of reason. Believe it or not, women are actually mixing their urine with regular old toothpaste to find out whether they've got a bun in the oven. It sounds far fetched, but does the toothpaste pregnancy test work?

Recently, Us Weekly published an article spotlighting the growing toothpaste pregnancy test trend, explaining, "Here’s how it works: Just squeeze a small amount of plain white toothpaste on a dish and add a few drops of morning urine. Then mix it up and wait for about three minutes. If a woman is pregnant, the toothpaste will froth and might even turn a bluish color. If nothing changes, the test is negative."

No word on how exactly this experiment started (or what rational adult decided to try it), especially since you can pick up a pregnancy test for less than a buck in some stores. In fact, since many people don't even use toothpaste that is purely plain white, you might end up spending more on a new tube of toothpaste than you would on a legitimate pregnancy test. Someone please explain this.

But the question is, does the toothpaste test work? I reached out to Dr. Carolyn Alexander of the Southern California Reproductive Center to find out. "At this time toothpaste pregnancy tests are not evidence based to detect the hormone hCG that increases in pregnancy," says Alexander, "and I would suggest using more traditional ways."

A diplomatic answer to be sure (after all, she could have just laughed at me), and one that is in keeping with the conclusions Us Weekly's experts responded with as well, since the frothiness observed is caused by the urine's acid and pregnant women are understood to actually have less acidic urine, not greater. Even men have gotten positive results from this "pregnancy test" so, um, congratulations to daddy?

If you think you might be pregnant, save yourself the time and emotional energy and skip this dubious home test. A quick trip to the pharmacy or your doctor's office will make a world of difference in putting your mind at ease. At least until next month.