Here's why that matters.
Anyone paying attention to feminine health products knows that in the past few years, they've gotten a total makeover. From the re-popularization of eco-friendly menstrual cups to the introduction of reusable tampon applicators, to underwear (and even activewear) that lets you forgo these tampons and pads completely, things are finally changing in the world of feminine hygiene—for the better.
Now, pregnancy tests are getting a much-needed makeover, too, so they can actually start addressing the real needs of the people using them: women.
While pregnancy test commercials all seem to indicate that women taking them are doing so with the support and knowledge of their partners (cue emotional moment when they get a positive result), any woman can tell you that there are multiple circumstances when you might want to take a pregnancy test privately. (Related: How to Use Fitbit’s New Period Tracker When You're Trying to Conceive)
Maybe you don't have a partner. Maybe you don't want your partner to know you're taking a test just yet. Maybe you have to take the test while you're at work and you don't want your coworkers to find out. There are a lot of legit reasons for wanting to make this moment a private one, and there's a new pregnancy test hitting the market in mid-2018 that will help make that possible.
Meet Lia, the flushable pregnancy test, which gained FDA approval last year. Like other at-home pregnancy tests, it's about 99 percent accurate.
The way you use the test is pretty much how you'd use any other pregnancy test. You pee on it, then lay it down flat and wait for the results. Just like traditional pregnancy tests, one line means "not pregnant" and two means "pregnant." The biggest difference? You flush the test down the toilet or compost it—and that's it! No wrapping it in toilet paper, furiously trying to hide it from anyone else who shares your bathroom.
When you think about it, it's pretty crazy that this didn't exist before. Here's why flushable pregnancy tests are a good thing:
Privacy matters. If you've ever taken a pregnancy test, you know that it's not exactly, well, discreet. If you were trying to keep the fact that you might be pregnant on the DL, you'd have to figure out what to do with the box, the wrapper, and the big clunky testing apparatus itself. With Lia, you take the test, flush it, and it's gone without a trace.
They're better for the environment. Like many other new feminine health products, Lia puts sustainability first. The test is fully biodegradable and compostable, which means that whether you choose to flush it or compost it, you can rest assured it's not making a negative environmental impact.
It may be more sanitary. Look, in terms of bodily substances, pee isn't all that bad. But when you pee on a pregnancy test, handle it, and then place it in the trash, your pee is kind of getting all over the place. With Lia, you're most likely flushing the test, which means your pee is, for the most part, staying in the toilet where it belongs.
It's definitely encouraging to see another product that's used by women be revamped to actually put the consumer first. Hopefully, we'll see Lia and more products like it become completely mainstream in the interest of making women's lives just a little bit easier. While we're at it, maybe we can finally do away with that tampon tax?