The Pregnancy Test of the Future Is Headed Your Way
by Lisa René LeClair
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.
Someone finally did! And life, as women know it, will never be the same.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.