Think back to the first indicator that you were pregnant. Maybe your boobs started getting bigger. Maybe your pet started acting funny. Or maybe your toothpaste started fizzing. Never heard of that last one? Google search traffic shows ‘toothpaste pregnancy tests’ are on the rise. But that doesn’t mean you should be putting stock in this DIY test.
Based on YouTube tutorials, the toothpaste pregnancy test requires one step: mix a small amount of urine with some toothpaste in a dish. After stirring, the toothpaste will supposedly change color and/or froth if a woman is pregnant.
We’re raising some obvious flags here. First of all, perhaps it’s really just the mixing causing frothing—the way that brushing does. Second of all, this is not a trusted method backed by doctors or scientific research. Still, pharmacist Stuart Gale tells The Huffington Post UK that some core scientific principles lie behind the reaction sometimes caused by mixing toothpaste and urine.
“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,” Gale says. “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."
Similar compound interactions cause the reactions found in other YouTube-dwelling homemade pregnancy tests, like bleach and urine or vinegar and urine. Our advice? If you’re taking the urine test route, stick to store-bought pregnancy tests. They retail for anywhere between $1 and $20 and are 99 percent accurate when used correctly.
No matter how you test, make an appointment with your doctor if you think you’re pregnant or have seen a bona fide plus sign. Leave the toothpaste for your teeth. Pregnancy will require extra care for your pearly whites.