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Medieval Lore: Is The Salt Pregnancy Test Accurate?

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CLAIM: Pregnancy test with salt or white toothpaste is an effective way of testing for the positivity or negativity of  pregnancy.

SUMMARY: Using salt or toothpaste to test for pregnancy is not medically proven and therefore not (advisable).

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DIY Facebook page- Homebuilders– claimed that the salt pregnancy test is the most effective and easiest way of testing for pregnancy. The page was created to solve women issues ranging from skin routines to sex life… according to its bio.

Facebook Claim

The post has garnered over 500 shares and 400 reactions from its readers. 

How Effective is the Salt Test?

DIY (home remedy- in this regard) is not a new term in the slightest. Infact, there are some generally accepted home remedies that do work for certain conditions. For instance, gargling warm salt-water solution is known to ameliorate tonsillitis (sore throat). However, this salt/toothpaste remedy is just strange; neither has any major health authority suggested it.

Preliminary findings revealed certain articles that mirrored the claim’s position. These articles list other instant homemade pregnancy tests that can be carried out; sugar, mustard powder, wheat… the list goes on.

Not Medically proven!

 First, we reached out to a medical consultant at Dubawa. He had this to say about the home made based test:

There have been claims on a number of homemade pregnancy tests, each claiming to work in the same manner as the tests done in the hospitals.
Tests done in the hospital or verified kits sold over the counter for pregnancy tests work by a reaction between a hormone(hCG) in the woman’s body produced after the embryo, earliest form of the baby after fertilization occurs, implants in the uterus.
These home made tests claim to work in this manner but none of the home ingredients they use has been scientifically shown to contain ingredients that react with hCG. Over the counter pregnancy test kits are much more reliable & quite cheap now that there is no need trying mislead women.

Dr Tavershima Adongo

Additionally, Healthine likened the homemade pregnancy to a “good-fun experiment”; further surmising the baseless nature of its clinical assertion. 

Planned Parenthood took it a step further in the FAQ section of this article. It explains a popular phenomenon- false positive- as it relates to home pregnancy tests. So, the reason this happens is because of a misleading detection of hCG in urine; the latter being the pregnancy hormone- human chorionic gonadotropin. The presence of this was attributed to “early test”, fertility drugs, etc. Hence, the presence of hCG is not the be all of pregnancy diagnosis.

Fact-checking body- Africacheck– also addressed the claim; arriving at the verdict- incorrect. They surmised the same points we have hammered on. The claim is not scientifically accurate.

It’s got little to do with hCG; everything to do with pH

Furthermore, we found that the salt homemade test has everything to do with pH level and little to do with hCG detection. Turns out, the reaction that occurs when mixing urine with home products has to do with the urine Ph level; and not, the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin ( HCG). Dr. Wiley further reiterated how the level of pH can vary depending on individual physiology, diet, and medical conditions.

Nonetheless, these are the general symptoms to diagnose pregnancy:

  • Missed period;
  • Morning sickness;
  • Vomiting;
  • Bloat or abdominal discomfort; 
  • Nausea… amongst others. 

Want to be absolutely sure? Purchase pregnancy test strips over the counter; or better still,  go for a test. As for the homemade test, totally unadvisable; perhaps as a fun experiment that will make for good talking points.

Conclusion

Salt, toothpaste, vinegar, soap… tests have no medical basis to diagnose pregnancy. Sure, it is a fun experiment; but against the risk of uncertainty, blood tests at the hospital are the most welcomed solution.


Dr Tavershima Adongo is a health consultant for Dubawa who works at the Ministry of Health. Information given by this researcher is purely professional medical advice and does not conflict in anyway with our ethos- independent evidence and zero conflict of interest.

Temilade Onilede is a researcher and the Programme Assistant for Dubawa, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts From the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State. She is a trained journalist, with good research and writing skills, coupled with her knowledge in Journalism; a personable character and an engaging mind who is well skilled in the field of fact-checking and verification.

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