Here's why you should save your toothpaste and opt for a method proven to be a bit more accurate when it comes to finding out if you're pregnant.

By Kristi Pahr
December 30, 2019

If you've been trying to conceive (or trying not to conceive) those days between ovulation and starting your period can be anxiety-inducing to say the least. Obsessing over every little twinge and change—"Are my boobs usually this sore?" "Does my coffee always make my stomach feel funny?" "Oh wow, I REALLY need some french fries!"—in the early days is pretty standard. Why? Because literally everything could be a sign of pregnancy.

It stands to reason then, that finding out if you're actually pregnant is probably priority number one. At-home pregnancy tests are easy to find, and if you get them at a discount store, can be affordable. But sometimes perhaps you don't want to walk through Target with a box of pee sticks or risk running into your gossipy work colleague in the checkout line. (And who can blame you really.) Sometimes you may wish you could just use what you have on hand, right?

Enter the longstanding myth that you can in fact skip the pee stick and use a super common household item, instead; something literally everyone has on hand: Toothpaste.

What is the Toothpaste Pregnancy Test?

Those who claim toothpaste can be an accurate predictor of pregnancy say that when toothpaste is mixed with a small amount of urine a chemical reaction—fizzing or a change in color—indicates the presence of a hormone that indicates you're pregnant.

How Does the Toothpaste Pregnancy Test Work?

According to Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month by Month, published by the American College of Gynecology (ACOG), conventional pregnancy tests, those that do not depend on the use of toothpaste, are able to detect pregnancy as early as a few days after the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall. It's at this point, after implantation, that the body begins to produce hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which is a hormone that is only present during pregnancy. Once hCG is present in urine, store-bought tests can begin to show a positive result.

The claim with the toothpaste pregnancy test is that there is an ingredient in toothpaste that can also denote the presence of hCG and therefore, fizzing and changing of color of the paste when mixed with urine equals a positive test result. Easy peasy, right?

Before you run to your bathroom cabinet though, hold up. Despite a glut of information online about how to perform the test and more than a few people who claim they're accurate, there is zero scientific evidence that this chemical reaction is for real—or a scientific explanation as to why hCG would change the color of toothpaste.

How Accurate Is the Toothpaste Pregnancy Test?

Turns out that one of the more common ingredients in toothpaste, calcium carbonate, reacts with acid and urine is, wait for it, frequently acidic. Anyone with acidic urine could get a "positive" from a toothpaste test, even non-pregnant people. A "negative" toothpaste test could really just be an indication that you're urine is dilute and therefore less acidic.

The Bottom Line

If you think you might be pregnant, take a real test. Even though there are occasionally false-positives, they are much more accurate than oral hygiene products and can always be confirmed by your doctor.

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