The toothpaste pregnancy test theory is taking the internet by storm - but what does it involve, and is there any truth behind the concept?
What is the toothpaste pregnancy test? It used to be when you thought you sensed the early signs of pregnancy (opens in new tab), you'd pop down to the chemist to buy a stick test, and then visit your doctor to get the news confirmed.
However, women around the world appear to be becoming more and more convinced by the cheap, DIY toothpaste pregnancy test - so much so that Google searches for the test are on the rise.
How does the toothpaste pregnancy test work?
To try the toothpaste pregnancy test, it's said that you simply need to mix your usual paste with a small amount of urine. According to advocates of the method, if you're pregnant, the toothpaste will change colour, and sometimes become frothy - if you're not, it will stay the same.
Does the toothpaste pregnancy test work?
Experts have their doubts about the validity of the test. Stuart Gale, owner and chief pharmacist at Oxford Online Pharmacy, told HuffPost that whilst the tests were 'a bit of fun', they may only actually measure the acidity of the urine, rather than providing a positive or negative results.
'The fizz in the toothpaste is caused by the acid in the urine reacting with the calcium carbonate in the toothpaste to give off carbon dioxide,' he explained.
'The more acidic the urine is, the greater the fizz. Whether or not a person is or isn't pregnant wouldn't make any difference.'
Professor Mark Kilby, spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists added to The Sun Online: 'When women become pregnant, their bodies begin to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). This can be detected in a woman's urine by a pregnancy test.
'There is no evidence that toothpaste can detect HCG in a woman's urine, and women should not rely on DIY methods to confirm if they are pregnant or not.'
Toothpaste pregnancy test: What the results look like
To see if the test has any basis in fact at all, we asked three women - one pregnant, two not - to give it a go and see if the results looked as expected. Here's how we got on...
Tester #1: Result = Pregnant
This tester ISN'T actually pregnant, but according to the toothpaste pregnancy test, she would be. The toothpaste went foamy straight away - but it did the same when she tested it with tap water, to compare, so this one could be down to the brand of toothpaste.
Tester #2: Not pregnant
This tester also isn't pregnant, and her result did reflect this - the toothpaste wouldn't mix, even with a good stir, and there was absolutely no reaction.
Tester #3: Not pregnant
Confusingly, this tester IS pregnant, but the toothpaste pregnancy test didn't seem to react for her either. No fizzing and no colour change - just thinned out toothpaste. It would seem the jury is still out!
The NHS states that home pregnancy tests can be purchased from pharmacies or supermarkets, or taken for free at most contraception clinics, sexual health clinics, GP surgeries, and NHS walk-in centres.
If you think you might be pregnant, you can of course try the toothpaste pregnancy test (who knows, it may work for you!), but it's always best to speak to a healthcare professional to verify the results and get information and advice about what to do next.
Did you try the toothpaste pregnancy test when you were pregnant? Or are you expecting at the moment and tempted to give it a go? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!