Practical home pregnancy tests were first used in the mid-1970s. In the past, blood or urine tests were usually done to determine if a woman was pregnant. However, practical kits sold in pharmacies offer an option that women can easily use on their own and get results quickly. The first home pregnancy test was a product called “ept”, released in 1976. This test determined pregnancy status by detecting the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in a woman’s urine. Later, various brands and models of home pregnancy tests were developed and many different options exist today. But of course it wasn’t always like that. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, very interesting tests were carried out to determine whether a woman was pregnant or not. Here are some pregnancy tests used in history…

1. Wheat and barley test

One of the first known home pregnancy tests was used in ancient Egypt. In 1350 BC, people thought to be pregnant urinated on wheat and barley seeds for several days. women; If the wheat sprouted as a girl, if the barley sprouted, it was believed that she was pregnant with a boy. If none of them sprouted, they were considered not pregnant. Sounds weird, right? Not finished! The most interesting thing about this test is that it actually worked. In 1963, this test was repeated in the laboratory. Indeed, the urine of 70% of pregnant women sprouted seeds.

2. Onion test


Some of the pregnancy tests used in history can be really scary. While the ancient Egyptians excelled in the wheat and barley test, they failed in other tests because there was not much information about human anatomy at the time. An interesting pregnancy test has been suggested in Egyptian medical papyri. According to this, the bulb was inserted into the vagina of a man believed to be pregnant, and the smell of his breath was detected the next day. If a person smells like onions from his mouth, he was not pregnant. You might think what’s the matter. According to the ideas of people who lived at that time, if the uterus was open, then the smell of onions could enter the mouth through the tunnel. If a person were pregnant, that is, if there was a fetus in their stomach, the uterus would be closed, so there would be no wind tunnel and no bad breath.

3. Check latch/key

pregnancy tests

A very interesting testing method is mentioned in the Spinning Gospels, a collection of medical information about women written at the end of the 15th century. The author of the book said: “My friends, if you want to know if a woman is pregnant, you must ask her to pee in a basin, and then put a latch or key in the basin. But it is better to use a latch. Leave this latch in your urine basin for three to four hours. Then pour the urine into the basin and remove the retainer. If you see latch marks in the pelvis, you can be sure the woman is pregnant. Otherwise, she is not pregnant.”

4. Experts

pregnancy tests

As strange as it may sound, the “latch test” showed that the urine of a pregnant woman is different from that of a non-pregnant woman. In addition, in the 16th century, European “piss connoisseurs” appeared. These so-called experts claimed they could tell if a woman was pregnant by the color and characteristics of her urine. Some even mixed urine with wine and watched the results. It wasn’t actually a horribly wrong test, because we now know that proteins found in a pregnant woman’s urine can react with alcohol. Of course, the prophecies of these people were not limited to pregnant women; they could also “guess” if the owner of the urine was suffering from some disease by examining the urine.

5. Changes in the eyes

pregnancy tests

Jacques Guillemot, a 16th-century physician, claimed that the eyes could tell if a woman was pregnant. Guillemot, who wrote reviews of ophthalmology (ophthalmology, eye diseases and surgery), at the beginning of the second month, “in pregnant women, the pupils are constricted, the eyelids are lowered, the veins around the eyes are swollen” said. Although these arguments are not entirely correct, the doctor was right about one thing: the eyes can change during pregnancy, affecting your vision.

6. Chadwick’s sign

pregnancy tests

In early pregnancy, around six to eight weeks of age, the cervix, labia, and vagina may turn a deep bluish or purplish red color due to increased blood flow to the area. This remarkable sign of pregnancy was first noticed by a French doctor in 1836. The issue was later raised by obstetrician James Reid Chadwick at the American Gynecological Association meeting in 1886. Since then, it has been known as Chadwick’s mark.

7. Frog Test

pregnancy tests

We end our list of the most interesting pregnancy tests in history with a strange twist. In the late 1940s, scientists injected the urine of a pregnant woman into a live frog. They thought that if a woman was pregnant, the unfortunate frog would lay eggs within 24 hours.

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