What is pregnancy test with salt?

Have you ever wondered how women in medieval times used to test whether they are pregnant or not? With the absence of advanced medical pregnancy test kits, we have today; they have a handful of homemade tests for pregnancy. For over 3000 years, women of ancient Egypt have been performing a pregnancy test with urine and simple household items. It may sound shocking, but according to new studies, these home pregnancy tests identify correct results in 75 to 80% of the cases. The folklore pregnancy tests may have faded with the advent of medical pregnancy kits that are now easily available over the counter. Nevertheless, even in the 21st century, many women use homemade pregnancy tests before switching to medical testing kits. In this writeup, we will discuss a comprehensive traditional pregnancy test done with common salt. 

See: What To Do After Positive Pregnancy Test

How can we check pregnancy at home naturally?

Salt used for a pregnancy test

It is often claimed that a home pregnancy test with salt is one of the most effective and straightforward ways to detect pregnancy in the initial period. The fundamental principle behind the salt pregnancy test is relatively the same as the rationale for medical pregnancy test kits. They function by trying to detect the presence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Hormone in the urine. When a woman is pregnant, the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone is produced in the body to support placental growth. The HCG is released with urine that forms the basis of the pregnancy tests. The level of the HCG hormone in the blood increases after you have missed your periods and continues to upswing as the pregnancy advances. The salt pregnancy test detects the HCG in the urine sample, and the changes indicate whether the woman is pregnant or not. Some physicians believe that salt test works by testing the pH level of the urine. (1,2,3)

See: Calculate Your Pregnancy By Months, Weeks and Trimester

How can you do pregnancy test with salt and urine?

How to do a salt pregnancy test at home

Salt pregnancy test is a simple, quick, and easy way to determine whether you have embarked on the journey of motherhood or not. Although the test's authenticity is likely to be questionable in the eyes of modern science, the salt test can be fun to try by the awaiting parents. For this test, you would require three things:

●       A transparent and nonporous container to collect the urine sample.

●       A clean and transparent bowl for the salt and urine mixture

●       A few teaspoons of salt

How to perform the Salt pregnancy test?

The hassle-free steps to perform a successful pregnancy detecting test with salt is as follows:

●       The first step is to collect the urine sample early in the morning. The first urine of the day is concentrated and has higher chances to give accurate results.

●       Then in another bowl, take two to three teaspoons of salt. One can use the common salt for this test. However, there is no specific illustration of salt varieties like Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.

●       The final step involves pouring the urine in the salt bowl. Then the mixture is allowed to sit for 2 to 3 hours. 

Deciphering the test results

After a few hours, if the urine and salt mixture turns into a cheese-like composition or develops a milky appearance, it confirms that you are pregnant. If the mixture remains unaffected, you are not.  

The salt pregnancy test may take a few hours to show changes. It may differ from woman to woman and also on the HCG level in the blood. (2,4)

See: Anxiety & stress in pregnancy natural remedies

How to tell accurate results vs. false results

Distinguish between accurate results and false results

There are many instances when you are likely to get false results from the salt pregnancy tests. If you perform the test after you have recently missed your period, there are high chances that the test will turn out to be negative. The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a biomarker that helps to detect pregnancy. HCG hormone appears in the urine within 9 to 10 days after the woman has conceived successfully.  In the initial phase, the level of HCG hormone produced in the body may be less in some women. The insufficient level of the hormone is one major reason for your test to turn out negative. Thus, it is important to confirm your pregnancy by a blood test or medical consultation as it will determine the exact amount of HCG in your body. 

There is also a possibility when your test will show positive results even if you are not pregnant. It generally happens in cases of ectopic pregnancy, early pregnancy loss, and the use of fertility drugs with HCG hormone. Thus it is advisable that if you have missed your periods and the salt pregnancy test confirms that you are an expecting mother, you should go for medical consultation. (5,6,7)

See: Cloudy urine during pregnancy causes & treatments

Other homemade pregnancy tests

Other home remedies to carry out a pregnancy test

Besides the salt pregnancy tests, there are a handful of other homemade tests that are popular to detect pregnancy. Some of these tests use sugar, shampoo, toothpaste, bleach, vinegar, soap, and baking soda. All these home pregnancy testing items revive around the principle of reaction with the HCG hormone. A similar test is prominent among Egyptian women where they urinate on wheat seeds. If the seeds sprout quickly, it indicates a positive result of pregnancy. 

All the homemade tests are not efficiently backed by any scientific evidence but have been used for ages. If you are observing other symptoms of early pregnancy like morning sickness, tender breasts, and nausea. you should take these tests or seek physician's guidance. (1,8)

See: Ovulation Bleeding Causes & Pregnancy

How can the salt pregnancy test work?

There is no scientific explanation for how salt pregnancy tests work. Proponents of the test believe that hCG will respond with salt, and cause the mixture to curdle. But there is no scientific evidence backing up that theory, and no reason why salt and hCG would cause this response. From ancient times in Egypt until today, the urine-based pregnancy test has improved in speed, precision, and feasibility. The earliest known evaluation involved urinating on grain seeds to see if they sprouted. The late 1920s saw the emergence of first modern pregnancy tests, where urine was injected into animals: pregnant women's urine made them ovulate. These evaluations required shipping urine into a laboratory and required at least a week to get results. Antibodies allowed testing for pregnancy to be performed in physician's offices in 1960. It made pregnancy testing quicker and more routine. By 1971, an at-home version of the antibody-based evaluation was available in Canada, although at-home testing did not get to the USA before 1977. The first stick tests, like at-home tests available on the market today, were developed in 1988. 

What is different about Pregnant Women's Urine? The urine of a pregnant woman has a unique mix of hormones. A woman gets pregnant as soon as an egg released from her ovary is fertilized by sperm. This fertilized egg then starts growing into an embryo.  Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone normally produced by the placenta. If you are pregnant, you can detect it in your urine. Like all hormones, hCG sends a signal. HCG's particular job is to inform the uterus to prevent the woman's regular menstrual cycle and prepare for pregnancy.

Since hormones are excreted into the urine as soon as they're done sending their signs, the urine of pregnant women has hCG inside, whereas the urine of anybody who's not pregnant doesn't. Since the invention of the evaluation, all modern pregnancy tests have concentrated on detecting hCG.

See: Ayurveda for Nausea in Pregnancy

Summary

The pregnancy test has become more comfortable with the abundance of pregnancy test kits available over the counter. However, ancient home test methods can give you results by using things from your kitchen shelves. One must be cautious before relying on the home test results entirely as they might be deceiving in some cases. Thus, even if you have done a home pregnancy test, it is important to get your pregnancy confirmed by a doctor.

See: Pregnancy Diet & Nutrition

References

1.      http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2018/pee-pregnant-history-science-urine-based-pregnancy-tests/

2.      https://dubawa.org/medieval-lore-is-the-salt-pregnancy-test-accurate/

3.      https://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-get-pregnant/knowing-if-you-are-pregnant

4.      https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/home-pregnancy-test-with-salt

5.      Johnson, S. (2020). The home pregnancy test. In 100 Years of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (pp. 107-121). Elsevier. 

6.      https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/pregnancy/how-soon-can-i-do-a-pregnancy-test/

7.      https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/home-pregnancy-tests/art-20047940

https://www.healthline.com/health/homemade-pregnancy-test

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