How Home Pregnancy Tests Have Changed the Whole Game

A new survey points out just how far we've come since the first home pregnancy test hit the market 40 years ago.

Woman Taking Home Pregnancy Test antoniodiaz/Shutterstock
I will never forget taking a home pregnancy test and finding out I was pregnant for the very first time.

I was home alone, with no one to tell, and so I ran around the house shaking and screaming and crying and waving that stick around in the air like a lunatic. In fact, I still have the thing, taped onto one of the pages of my daughter's baby book. You can still see the those two amazing lines.

Taking a home pregnancy test is a pretty common way to find out you're expecting today. But it wasn't always that way. In fact, according to a new survey from e.p.t., only 16 percent of respondents aged 60 or older said they had ever taken one!

Which is why—in celebration of its upcoming 40th anniversary—the pregnancy test maker decided to explore how the journey women experience to find out if they are preggers has changed over the years, by surveying more than 600 women within two age groups—ages 22–34 and 60-plus.

The verdict? For starters, time is of the essence when you're waiting for some of the biggest news of your life. Which is why nearly eight out of 10 women reported first learning they were pregnant by peeing on a stick, and nearly half said they did so immediately after buying the test. Yay for drugstore bathrooms!

In the days before home pregnancy testing, however, most women (82 percent) made appointments with their doctors to confirm a pregnancy, with many waiting up to eight weeks after first suspecting they may have a bun in the oven. Can you even imagine doing that today?

Now, nearly half of the women (or 47 percent) find out they are expecting within the first four weeks of pregnancy, with only two percent getting the news in their second trimester. That's a pretty big shift!

Meanwhile, 45 percent of women surveyed said their pregnancy was unplanned. And 37 percent of them admitted to feeling more scared than excited when their at-home test returned a positive result. Which is only fair, considering having a baby is, you know, the biggest game-changer ever!

And while 38 percent of the respondents aged 60 or older reported being skeptical about at-home pregnancy tests when they first hit shelves nearly 40 years ago, 81 percent now consider them the first step in confirming a pregnancy.

In other words, we've come a long way when it comes to finding out we're having a baby, baby!

More: Would You Photoshop Your Pregnancy Test For an Early Result?