From seemingly out of nowhere, the bleach pregnancy test has become an internet “thing”. Take one look on your favourite search engine and you’ll almost be overwhelmed with stories of women all over the world conducting this experiment.
If you’ve ever taken a home pregnancy test then you’ll know that they don’t come cheap. This is partly why the bleach pregnancy test has become so popular. Quick and easy to do, the test can apparently be done using just a few common household items.
But is it safe and more importantly, is it accurate? In this post, we find out.
What Is The Bleach Pregnancy Test?
The bleach home pregnancy test is billed as a cheaper and quicker alternative to a traditional pregnancy test
The method couldn’t be easier – pour some bleach into a cup, add fresh pee and wait to see what happens.
If the test is positive, the bleach will supposedly bubble and foam. If the mixture doesn’t react then supposedly you’re not pregnant.
Sound’s easy right? However, you might be asking…
How much urine? How much bleach?
Well, that’s totally up to you.
As this is an unscientific method, your best guess is as good as anybody else’s.
Why Do People Think This Works?
Supposedly, bleach reacts with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) similar to how a standard pregnancy test works.
Early in pregnancy, a woman’s body will start to produce this hormone and levels will continue to rise during the first trimester.
Because these levels rise over time, this is one of the reasons that doctors advise you take a home pregnancy test typically a week after your missed period.
The Danger of Bleach Pregnancy Tests
Okay, time for a quick science lesson…
As you might have learned in chemistry class, certain chemicals play well together and others don’t create potentially dangerous reactions.
Chlorine (bleach) and ammonia (urine) are two chemicals that don’t play well together.
When these two chemicals combine, they can create a gas called chloramine which can produce some nasty side effects if you inhale too much of it.
- Breathing issues
- Chest Pains
- Eye, nose and throat irritation
Does It Work?
All this is all well and good but the question remains – do bleach pregnancy tests actually give an accurate reading?
Despite what YouTube and Instagram would have you believe, bleach pregnancy tests aren’t accurate.
Those online videos that you see are either faked or lucky guesses.
The Bottom line
If you’ve seen the bleach pregnancy tests videos online, it’s easy to get caught up with the hype and miss the crucial part where they use a standard pregnancy test to validate the results.
Personally, we feel that you should skip the danger, inaccuracies and mess that come with bleach pregnancy tests and just stick to a regular home test instead.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.