The world's first flushable pregnancy test is an innovation for women

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Susan Devaney
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The first-ever flushable pregnancy test has been cleared by the FDA and it’s set to be revolutionary. 

The home pregnancy test was a game-changer for women everywhere when it first entered homes in 1987, but it hasn’t had a major update since – until now.

Now, 30 years later, the FDA has given the green light to the first-ever flushable pregnancy test.

Women-run tech company, Lia Diagnostics, aim to launch the biodegradable pregnancy – made from the same plant-based material as toilet paper – test next year, and we’re willing to bet women everywhere will be rejoicing at the innovation.

With 99% accuracy – just like current over-the-counter pregnancy tests – you use it the same way as regular tests on the market today.

Let’s be honest, taking a pregnancy test can swing one way or another. It can provide a joyous outcome if you’re hoping to fall pregnant - or not so much if you weren’t planning on falling pregnant anytime soon. But, there should always be an option to take a test in the comfort of privacy. But after peeing on stick to find out the result, you’re then faced with the issue of what to do with it?  The lack of discretion involved can lead to unwanted conversations for many women. Take Rachel Green from Friends who found out she was pregnant during Monica and Chandler’s wedding. The pregnancy test was discovered in the bin and Phoebe had to pretend she was pregnant, as Rachel wasn’t quite ready to break the news to Ross. 

Now, imagine that storyline but with a flushable pregnancy test. None of the drama would’ve happened! And we can only imagine how many women have experienced similar issues over the past 30 years.

“It’s been the same stick test since 1987, and that’s kind of crazy,” explained founder Bethany Edwards to TechCrunch.

Inventors, Bethany Edwards and Anna Simpson, met at the University of Pennsylvania whilst studying for a master’s degree and first created the test back in 2015, with sustainability at the forefront of their minds.

“Single-use diagnostics are only used for a couple of minutes, and they’re all made out of plastic and non-sustainable materials,” says Edwards, referencing current kits on the market.

It’s estimated that around two million pounds of plastic and digital waste from home pregnancy kits find their way to American landfills every year, according to Lia

“What we’ve done here is essentially creating a new category of water-dispersible, biodegradable diagnostics,” says Edwards, as the test will decompose by 98.2% after three months in the soil.

The current gender gap in medical health research has long been limited by how much we truly know about specifically female health conditions, and women have suffered for it. Which is why Edwards and Simpson will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from all their pregnancy tests to women’s health education in the U.S. and across the world. And, if you donate $10 (£7.50) the company will give a pregnancy test to a women’s health organisation of your choice.

“This is just the start for us,” says Edwards. And we can’t wait to see what innovation Lia offer up next.

The product is planned to be sold on Amazon from next year, with prices expecting to range from £6.70 to £16.39.

Images: Lia Diagnostics / YouTube