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Internet forums suggest numerous at-home pregnancy test options, including a pregnancy test with salt. However, there is no medical research suggesting that salt-based home pregnancy tests work.

People may be interested in trying a homemade pregnancy test with salt because they do not wish to pay for or use a traditional pregnancy test. However, using salt to test for pregnancy is not a reliable option.

Read on to learn more about salt pregnancy tests and some alternative options.

A close-up of sea salt to accompany the article about the reliability of taking a pregnancy test with salt.Share on Pinterest
There is no scientific evidence that proves pregnancy tests with salt are reliable.

People who use the salt home pregnancy test usually apply a few drops of urine to a tablespoon or two of salt, then wait a few minutes to see whether the salt or urine changes.

Some people say that urine from a pregnant person will cause the salt to clump up or fizz, while others assert that the urine will turn cheesy or grow thicker.

Different sites recommend various procedures, and this inconsistency points to the unreliability of the test. There is no evidence that there is any way to perform this test accurately.

No scientific data suggest that anything in a person’s urine reacts with salt to indicate pregnancy.

Even before the invention of modern pregnancy tests, people did not typically use salt-based tests.

Home pregnancy tests all work by measuring human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The body releases this hormone early in pregnancy, and its levels continue to rise during the first trimester. Although hCG is present and detectable in the blood, the body eliminates it in the urine, which makes simple urine pregnancy tests effective.

Learn more about hCG pregnancy tests here.

Proponents of the salt pregnancy test say that hCG interacts with the salt, but there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Many sites propose alternative pregnancy tests using salt, sugar, mustard, or even wine. Scientific research does not support any of these tests, especially as faster and more reliable tests are available.

Learn more about homemade pregnancy tests here.

People may consider alternative home pregnancy tests for several reasons. However, in each scenario, there is a better alternative:

Free and affordable options

Pregnancy tests can be expensive, especially if a person uses a digital test or an early result test. Many family planning clinics, however, offer free pregnancy testing. People with insurance may be able to get free pregnancy testing as part of a well-woman visit.

For people who do not want to go to the doctor, it is possible to get very low cost pregnancy tests online. Strip-based pregnancy tests come in bulk packages so a person can test many times. It is usually possible to order them from drugstore sites and other product sites for arrival within a day or two.

A range of pregnancy testing strips is available for purchase online.

Secure and private options

Some people worry that someone else will see them buying a pregnancy test. When this is the concern, ordering a test online is usually a better option. A person can even deliver the test to a trusted friend or family member if they worry about a parent or spouse seeing it.

Medical privacy laws mean that doctors cannot tell another person about a patient — not even the patient’s spouse. Free pregnancy testing clinics can also test for pregnancy in complete privacy.

Protection is more complicated for those under 18 years of age, whose doctors might have to share certain medical records with parents or caregivers. However, family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, usually offer free or low cost testing to minors.

Quick alternatives

A faster way to get a more reliable test is to order a pregnancy test for delivery. Some stores now offer same-day delivery with a driver who collects the products from the store. Others offer curbside pickup so that a person can pay for their order without interacting with a cashier or risking people seeing the pregnancy test.

Even when same-day delivery is not available, a person can usually order a pregnancy test online for receipt within just a few days.

Being pregnant is not usually a medical emergency. Many healthcare providers do not require checkups with pregnant people until near the end of the first trimester.

Some reasons to see a doctor include:

  • A person’s period is very late. Call a doctor whether or not a pregnancy test is positive.
  • Bleeding follows a positive pregnancy test. Call a doctor even if the next pregnancy test is negative.
  • A person has intense pain in their stomach and a positive pregnancy test.
  • A person who feels afraid or unsafe at home thinks that they might be pregnant. A doctor can provide advice on safe help and options.
  • A person is pregnant and wishes to have an abortion.

A person should go to the emergency room if they have heavy vaginal bleeding or experience intense pelvic pain alongside bleeding, dizziness, or a fever.

A simple, natural, free home pregnancy test might seem like a good idea. However, salt and other alternative pregnancy tests are neither proven nor reliable.

Better alternatives are available. People who think that they might be pregnant can contact a local free clinic, midwife, or doctor for help.