World's first saliva pregnancy test goes on sale
The days of urinating on a stick, and then sharing those sticks online, might be numbered, with the world’s first saliva pregnancy test hitting the market.
SaliStick, which is currently available instore in the UK and Ireland, operates in a similar way to oral COVID-19 tests. A handheld applicator is used to collect a saliva sample, which is then placed into an analysis unit. Results will be displayed on a screen within 10 minutes, with two lines indicating pregnancy and one returning a negative test.
It tests for elevated levels of β-hCG, traditionally known as the pregnancy hormone, which is generally detected in saliva from around three to four weeks and steadily increases.
In clinical trials of more than 300 women, the test proved to be around 95% accurate when taken from the first day of a missed period. What’s more, an app will let you share the results digitally with loved ones, though a photograph usually does the job just as well.
While slightly less accurate than popular traditional urine-based tests claim to be, the advantage is you don’t need to find a bathroom, nor do you have to chance peeing on your hand while trying to take the urine-stick test. You do, however, need to wait 30 minutes after eating or drinking to take the test.
“This exciting innovation offers women the opportunity to test for pregnancy in a cleaner, more straightforward and easier way, and is a long overdue development in the pregnancy testing market,” said Chris Yates, CEO of Abingdon Health, which has partnered with the company behind SaliStick, Israeli saliva-test startup Salignostics.
Salignostics, which has been developing a range of saliva tests since its inception in 2016, has applied for FDA authorization to sell the product in the US.
The company has scaled its production to be able to produce a million tests per month. In the UK and Ireland, SaliStick is exclusive to Superdrug stores and retails for £9.99 (US$12.75), which is comparable to traditional pregnancy tests on the market.