The best way of disposing of a pregnancy test is by following the instructions on the package.
Typically, all pregnancy kits have instructions regarding using and disposal of a pregnancy test, which makes disposing of one quite straightforward.
In the case of not having the guidelines or the kit carton to know the procedure (let’s say you accidentally throw it away), you can wrap the stick in a Ziploc or any other plastic bag and toss it in the trash.
Disposing Pregnancy Test Kits
Most pregnancy test kits are made with plastic, so you cannot do much for their disposal other than throwing them in the bin.
As bad for the environment as it may be, chucking a used pregnancy test in the trash is the only way to get rid of it.
That said, you can try a more responsible approach to disposing of pregnancy tests by wrapping them up before throwing them away.
Method #1 – Let it Dry
The first method to dispose of a pregnancy test should be the one mentioned on the pack. But if you don’t have that, you can take the following steps.
Open the kit and use it to test if you are pregnant or not. After you are done with it, let the stick dry to not contaminate the trash bin.
Fluids are carriers of bacteria, so you should wait for the pee to evaporate before chucking the stick out.
If you are in a hurry and you have to throw the kit right away for whatever reason, try to place it in a sealable bag before putting it in the bin.
Method # 2 – Wash it
The second way to dispose of a pregnancy test is by washing it after use to reduce the chances of bacterial transmission.
When you wash a pregnancy stick after using it, you force the pathogens sitting on it to flow down into the drain with the water stream.
Doing so makes the disposal much safer, especially if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to seal the stick.
Method # 3 – Wrap in a Tissue Paper
Using a paper baggie to wrap a used pregnancy test is the most responsible approach to getting rid of a used test kit.
As already mentioned, bodily fluids can carry bacteria that are easily transferable with contact.
Therefore, isolating a used pregnancy stick in a paper bag is advisable, as doing so will keep the bacteria trapped inside.
If you don’t have a bag nearby, follow the second method to keep bacteria from transferring.
You can also use tissue paper to cover the washed stick to absorb any residual water droplets on the device.
Method # 4 – Use a Sharps Container
Make an in-house sharps container for getting rid of all medical waste, including a used pregnancy test.
Hospitals, maternity clinics, and other healthcare facilities have sharps containers to dispose of medical waste, such as blood, urine, and placenta.
If you want to go by the book and follow the proper protocol, you can create a makeshift disposal box at home.
Here’s how you can do that:
Take a plastic detergent box or any other holder made with hard plastic (one that doesn’t break or pierce easily). Place a heavy lid on top, one that doesn’t open without deliberate force.
You can fill your sharps container with pregnancy tests and all other in-home test kits (such as the ones used for glucose testing, and coronavirus antigen testing, among others).
Once it’s filled to the brim, you can seal it with tape to secure all the items, then take it to a medical facility or local medical waste disposal center.
Can You Flush Your Pregnancy Tests Down The Toilet?
No, you shouldn’t flush pregnancy tests, unless you want to clog your toilet.
Standard in-home pregnancy tests are made with plastic that doesn’t discompose for hundreds of years and stays in the environment.
This means if you flush a used pregnancy test down the toilet, it will not dissolve and end up blocking your sewage system.
That said, with the growing awareness of eco-friendly practices, more and more people now know the perils of using plastic. As a result, they try to look for alternatives to save the planet.
For such eco-conscious individuals, new pregnancy tests are coming into the market that claim to be compostable and can be flushed down the toilet.
One such product comes under the name Lia. Lia claims to make its pregnancy kits with plant-based fibers, typically found in toilet papers.
Due to this reason, they don’t have plastics or any other harmful materials.
If you use such a pregnancy test, you can certainly flush it down into the drainage system. It will collapse and dissolve in the sewage water. Thus, no landfill!
An in-home pregnancy test is a quick and easy way to put your suspicions to rest and find out whether you are pregnant or not.
But as mentioned above, there are downsides to it, such as lack of discretion, inaccurate results, and environmental degradation.
If you don’t have an issue with any of that, you can use a pregnancy kit and throw it in the trash, or if you can use a compostable test, buy that to be more responsible.
Lastly, if possible, visit a healthcare facility to get tested!
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