These days it's pretty simple. Pee on this little stick and in a few brief moments you'll know if you've been knocked up. But before the advent of EPTs (or early-pregnancy tests), what did we ladies do to make sure we weren't just having delayed periods or something? Some weird shit, I tell you.
In Ancient Egypt, women would piss on planted wheat and barley seeds, and when neither sprouted that meant you weren't pregnant. BUT if the wheat seeds sprouted, that allegedly meant you were expecting a girl and if the barley started growing you were having a boy. Except not really. While having a lot of estrogen in your pee could help seeds along in the budding process, there's no way to predict the sex using this method.
The Middle Ages weren't too far off from what we do now. Supposed specialists would dip a needle into a vial of a woman's urine. They would then analyze the needle, and if it became black or rust-colored, that meant the women was with child.
Now this process is totally fucked IMO. Back in the '20s, it was proven that the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was only found in pregnant women. Doctors would inject a woman's urine into frogs, mice, and rabbits and if the animal went into heat that meant the woman was preggers. Ew, ew, ew. Although this had a 98 percent accuracy rate, it was fortunately abandoned because it wasn't cheap or efficient.
The EPT was developed in the '70s, when women were finally able to take these tests in the privacy of their own homes. According to an article from LiveScience, "In 1976, drug maker Warner-Chilcott sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an early-pregnancy test, or 'e.p.t.' For $10, women could purchase the two-hour test kit to use in the privacy of her own home; it included a vial of purified water, an eye dropper, a test tube and an assortment of compounds including sheep's blood. Used correctly, the e.p.t. was 97 percent accurate for positive results and 80 percent accurate for negative results." Ew again, though. I'm personally really stoked on never having to handle sheep's blood. Thanks, science!
Today's tests are up to 99 percent accurate and now there's the test brand "EPT" which stands for "error-proof testing." After all those years, testing based on the hCG in our pee is still the most reliable approach. Thank goodness for those handy little sticks.
Source: Yahoo! Shine
Photo via Yahoo! Shine