Ancient Egypt And Their Bizarre Method Of Pregnancy Detection

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In Ancient Egypt, women suspected of being pregnant were made to urinate on barley and wheat seeds as a form of a pregnancy test. If the barley grew, it was a boy. If the wheat grew, it was a girl. If none grew, she was not pregnant.

The Ancient Egypt And Their Bizarre Method of Pregnancy Detection

In ancient Egypt, women were made to pee on barley and wheat seeds as a form of a pregnancy test. If the barley grew, it was a boy. If the wheat grew, it was a girl. If none grew, she was not pregnant.

In the first known pregnancy tests, ancient Egyptian women in 1350 BCE urinated on barley or wheat seeds: If the barley grew, it was a boy. If the wheat grew, it was a girl. If none grew, she was not pregnant.

The ancient Egyptians were certainly onto something, as modern pregnancy tests work in pretty much the same way: they detect a hormone in urine.

While this wheat and barley test may sound bogus, several modern studies have shown that it works pretty well, correctly identifying 70-85% of pregnancies.

A laboratory experiment was conducted in 1963 through which the wheat and barley pregnancy tests were proved to be correct around 70% of the time.

The Ancient Egypt And Their Bizarre Method of Pregnancy Detection
Image credit: Harvard

It wasn’t just egypt though.

In 16th century Europe, there were “piss prophets” who could tell if a woman was pregnant by looking at the characteristics and color of her urine. Some also mixed urine with wine to determine pregnancy.

Another method of pregnancy detection during the Middle Ages was the “needle test”, “piss prophets” believed that if a needle placed in a vial of urine turned rust red or black, the woman was probably pregnant.

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These days we have fast, convenient, and very affordable pregnancy tests found in pharmacies all over the World, some very sensitive pregnancy tests can even tell you if you are pregnant even before you miss a period which to us at listwand is a very big leap from peeing on seeds and waiting a week to see if they sprout.



Talk Africana
Fascinating Cultures and history of peoples of African origin in both Africa and the African diaspora

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