This biodegradable pregnancy test protects privacy

The usual pregnancy checks you realize are clunky, plastic gadgets, and so they’ve been that method, with out vital innovation, for many years. The improvements which have occurred within the pregnancy test discipline have primarily functioned to modernize the devices, digitizing them with fancy laptop screens. Whereas that will make them simpler to learn, it’s additionally made a product that was already arduous to recycle much more environmentally unfriendly.

“Chances are high, for those who have been born earlier than the Nineteen Eighties, your mother’s plastic pregnancy test remains to be someplace right here on earth in a landfill,” says Bethany Edwards, cofounder of Lia Diagnostics, an organization dedicated to “revolutionize reproductive well being.” To do this, they’re revamping the outmoded pregnancy test, to make the hormone-detection course of extra sustainable.

Bethany Edwards and Anna Couturier [Photo: courtesy Lia Diagnostics]

On this week’s World Changing Ideas podcast, Edwards and her cofounder, Anna Couturier, talk about the event of their biodegradable, glueless, paper pregnancy test—whose prototype received our World Altering Concepts Award within the Well being class in 2018. The completed product was launched this March.


One of many greatest points that drove them to shake up the old style mannequin was that the life cycle of the product is so brief. It solely takes minutes to make use of a pregnancy test, however at such a long-term environmental value. They determined to give attention to a test that might be disposable and biodegradable, quite than recyclable.

That took quite a lot of analysis and improvement, together with testing 1000’s of urine samples. “Anna and I’ve gotten most likely method an excessive amount of urine on our fingers,” Edwards says. “Actually.” Couturier’s child, now 16 months previous, was first detected throughout their improvement section. After 1000’s of urine samples, origami influences, and flushing checks utilizing a specifically raised rest room with clear PVC pipes (to trace flushability) in Couturier’s basement, they generated a foldable and flushable pregnancy test.

[Photo: courtesy Lia Diagnostics]

However Lia additionally tackles one other appreciable issue: privacy. After use, the product goes straight down the bathroom as a substitute of within the rubbish can, the place checks could possibly be uncovered to different toilet customers’ prying eyes. That’s empowering, the duo says, for each ladies who’re making an attempt to get pregnant and those that aren’t. For the previous, checks can typically be overwhelming. “Seeing a bunch of them pile up within the trash is heart-wrenching,” Edwards says. “You don’t essentially need any individual realizing that you just’re taking that many checks.”

Ultimately, Lia created a pregnancy test that’s easy, minimalist, and does precisely what it must do at one of many nerviest moments in a girl’s life. “They should know a solution,” Couturier says. “They don’t want a pc display screen, and batteries, and extra plastic, and glass fibers, and all this junk. Sure or no: That’s what you want.”

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