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The Pregnancy Test of the Future Is Headed Your Way

Photograph by Twenty20

With all the advancements in technology over the past 20 years (hello, smartphones and backup cameras!), you would think that someone would have invented a better home pregnancy test by now.

Guess what? Someone finally did! And life, as women know it, will never be the same.

Bethany Edwards and Anna Simpson are the founders of Lia Diagnostics, a company dedicated to creating a better experience for women during one of the most emotional moments of their lives. Recently, at TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin, the duo announced the birth launch of their new baby, Lia: the first-ever eco-friendly flushable pregnancy test.

What does this mean for consumers? Well, if Lia does as promised, women can expect more privacy and less mayhem when testing for a pregnancy.

For years (OK, decades), women have reached for the same magic wand to determine their fate: a tiny stick that detects the hormone hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which increases rapidly when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall.

The problem: Women's urine streams splatter—everywhere—making it hard to obtain an accurate reading. In fact, without proper protection (i.e., rubber gloves, tons of soap and a roll of paper towels), the aftermath of personal testing can often lead to embarrassing situations.

“It’s been the same stick test since 1987," Edwards said at the conference, "and that’s kind of crazy.”

Although the Lia tests work in much the same way (i.e., you pee on it), the collection area is a lot bigger, making them easier to use, with less splashing. They are also appealing to those looking for a more natural product than one made of plastic. Because they are made from a special paper that disperses in water and biodegrades, Lia tests allow women to flush their discarded evidence into the abyss instead of burying it in a trash can. Not only that, but the test is more than 99 percent accurate (when used from the day of a woman's expected period).

As stated in the press release, the company has received FDA approval and is planning to start selling Lia (online only) in mid-2018 with a retail strategy to follow. The cost: somewhere between $9 and $22 with an option to donate a test for $10 to partner organizations including Planned Parenthood Global and SOS in Canada.

But the company’s business plan doesn’t end there. Edwards believes that this new technology will offer worldwide applications—beyond pregnancy tests—over time.

“What we’ve done here is essentially creating a new category of water-dispersible, biodegradable diagnostics,” Edwards said. “This is just the start for us.”

According to its website, Lia is currently working on a flushable packaging option to complement their biodegradable test. The company’s ultimate goal is to modernize and humanize female reproductive health and wellness—once and for all.

Pregnancy test image via Lia Diagnostics

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