Medicine: Pregnancy Kits

A do-it-yourself test

Ancient Egyptian women urinated on the leaves of the papyrus plant. If the plant died, everything was as usual. If it survived, they were pregnant. Such self-diagnosis among would-be mothers (or those who would prefer not to be) is still coveted today. Despite some frowns from the medical establishment, a growing number of women are using commercial kits, sold over the counter in pharmacies, which are designed to allay their fears—or confirm their wishes—about pregnancy. Says one proponent of the do-it-yourself trend: "It gives me the opportunity to find out whether I am pregnant in the privacy of my...

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