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Finally, a New Type of Pregnancy Test That Keeps Up With the Times

by Angelica Lai

Photograph by Twenty20

For those who have hid their pregnancy tests in the trash (or in someone else's bathroom—no judgment), there's a new pregnancy test about to hit stores. And let's just say it's about damn time.

Look, it has been about 30 years since the at-home pregnancy test as we know it delivered life-changing news for generations of women. But even as other technology (like phones and music devices) have rapidly changed around us, pregnancy tests are still the the same stiff, bulky plastic they were before. Lia Diagnostics is finally changing the game with the world's first ever flushable pregnancy test.

Yeah, actually flushable.

The pregnancy test still acts like a pee stick and will show results with lines like usual (two if you're pregnant, one if not). But instead of plastic, the test is made from natural plant fibers that flush as easily as 3-ply toilet paper, disperses in water and biodegrades in soil. There's also a larger collection area on the test (so we don't have to try to aim our pee at a small target and end up getting urine all over our hand). Futher, it's more than 99 percent accurate when used on the day of our expected period.

The test lasts long enough for people to take it and get results before it starts breaking down. That means women can take the test and share the results on our terms. You don't have to worry about who sees it. You can tell whoever you want whenever you're ready, which is a huge step for women who want privacy. Wasn't that the appeal of at-home pregnancy tests to begin with? Even in the early days of the EPT, it was advertised as "a private little revolution that any woman can easily buy at her drugstore."

The pregnancy test's features also make it sustainable—so, major points for being a little less taxing on the environment.

"Pregnancy tests account for enough plastic waste to travel from Philadelphia to the Space Station and back seven times. Lia is the only discreet pregnancy test made with zero glass fibers, batteries, plastic or nitrocellulose—elements found in nearly all single-use diagnostics available on the market today,” said Anna Couturier Simpson, who co-founded Lia with Bethany Edwards.

According to Edwards, that's two million pounds of plastic and digital waste that fill U.S. landfills every year.

The team at Lia made its global debut on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin, where it won first prize among highly competitive startups. A representative told Mom.me that the over-the-counter pregnant test has received FDA clearance and will be available for purchase in Spring 2018. Compared to the average at-home cost of pregnancy test, which can range anywhere from $9 to $20, Lia will fall somewhere in the middle.

Keep your eyes open, folks. There's a lot to expect from Lia for those who may be expecting.

Explore More: gear, news, getting pregnant
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