Pregnancy tests (HPTs) aren’t cheap, so it’s understandable why you might want to reuse them as many times as possible. The environmental impact of pregnancy tests is also considerable as they are constructed from plastic which ends up in landfill.
In this article, we explore whether or not you can reuse pregnancy tests.
What is a Pregnancy Test?
Pregnancy tests are designed to tell women and girls whether or not they are pregnant.
They usually take the form of a piece of plastic which has a results window. Inside the pregnancy test are paper strips which are used to take a hormone measurement.
How do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Pregnancy tests are designed to be urinated on or placed into a container containing an appropriate amount of urine.
After a few minutes, a result will be provided through a small window indicating whether or not you are pregnancy. Digital pregnancy tests provide a text reading (pregnant or not pregnant) and the basic tests provide a set of lines which have to be interpreted.
What these tests measure for is the presence of the hormone known as hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is found in the urine of pregnant females, so if you are pregnant, your test will indicate this.
Can You Reuse Pregnancy Tests?
No, pregnancy tests cannot be reused.
They are designed to be single use only and can only provide a result once. This is because the paper strip inside cannot be reused due to contamination, and the result window cannot be cleared for a new reading.
There are several factors which affect the accuracy of new tests so reusable pregnancy tests are not viable. Some of these factors include the presence of evaporation lines and moisture or water getting into the test.
False positives and inconclusive results are already a problem which is why many females take several new HPTs to confirm whether or not they are pregnant.
Pregnancy tests are not reusable. It is important that the results provided by these tests are as accurate as possible, which is why they should never be used more than once.
Companies are inventing biodegradable pregnancy tests as well as flushable pregnancy tests that can be flushed down a toilet. Eventually, these new tests should replace the old plastic ones and prevent the disposal of tons of plastic waste.
Until then, as much of the HPT should be recycled as possible. Read the packaging to find out how to recycle the various parts of your used pregnancy test.