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Fields & Applications Clinical

Mum’s the Word

The humble pregnancy test has altered little since the 1980s. Home tests are extremely accurate, but there are drawbacks – for one thing, disposing of the test in the trash means the result might not be as private as you’d like. Then there’s the environmental impact – it is estimated that two million pounds of plastic and digital pregnancy test waste is produced each year in the USA alone (1).

Lia Diagnostics think they have the answer: the world’s first flushable (and compostable) pregnancy test. Small, discreet and made of plant-based materials, the pad boasts the same 99 percent accuracy as regular pregnancy tests, but is fully water-dispersible and decomposes by 98.2 percent after three months in soil.

Women urinate on the test as usual, and wait for it to do its job – detecting the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, produced when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus). After getting the result, women can simply flush the test away – or bury it in the garden (which seems a little strange, but to each her own).

Discreet, easily disposable and eco-friendly? Seems that from now on, pregnancy testing could be as easy as 1, 2, pee...

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  1. Lia Diagnostics, “Why Lia”, Available at: Accessed January 10, 2018.
About the Author
Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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