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Shocking methods that doctors used to test for pregnancy

Pregnancy tests have come a long way since the first modern pregnancy kit was made available. People in the past, however, didn’t have the luxury of pregnancy test kits and thus relied on some bizarre ways of detecting whether a woman is pregnant or

Pregnancy By Meenakshi Chaudhary / Dec 07, 2015

Urine colour

In the 16th century, prophets guessed pregnancy by merely looking at the woman’s urine. Analyzing the tones, hues and smells of the urine, the prophets could guess whether the woman was pregnant.

The wheat test

In ancient Egypt, people tested pregnancy by sprinkling a woman’s urine on wheat and barley seeds. If the seeds sprouted, she was believed to be pregnant. The test could also tell the gender of the child. If the wheat sprouted, the woman was believed to be pregnant with a girl and if the barley sprouted, the woman was believed to have a boy.

The onion test

Surprisingly, even those focused on medical reasoning made blunders when it came to pregnancy detection. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, suggested that an onion be inserted into a woman’s vagina to tell if she was pregnant. If the woman’s breath smelled of onions the next morning, she was not pregnant.

Mouse test

After the hCG hormone was identified in 1920, scientists tried to determine pregnancy with the help of mouse. A sample of the woman’s urine was injected into an immature female mouse. If the hCG hormone was present in the urine, the mouse would become sexually active.

Radioactive samples

Before the modern kit was developed, radioactive labels were used to pick up hCG hormone during early 1970s. The modern kit has made things a lot easier, much safer and less disgusting for women. Image Source: Getty


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