Woman's reproductive information and diagnose is regulated by designs that don't include every woman alive. Stigmatization, high price (sometimes you need to take 2 tests to avoid false-negatives and false-positives) and hard to find information lead to woman finding out that they're pregnant till the end of first trimester, where physical evidence (belly, nausea, headache, interruption of menstruation) is the diagnose for pregnancy, or "bad reputation" issues that impact the mental health of woman.
Is it possible to recreate the mechanism of pregnancy tests with things that woman might already have in their houses? Can we design a strategy to help woman get comfortable with testing themselves as the now-normalized-COVID-19-tests are?
Large scope of the problem
Contemporary drugstore pregnancy tests are not designed for all circumstances where a quick pregnancy diagnose is needed. They're designed to be urinated at home instead of solving the problem at home. There is a threshold where woman have to go under judgement before they have a certainty about their future. This fact takes a lot more importance when 87% of raping (in Mexico) during childhood is performed by the family of the victim (Gobierno Federal de México, 2020). This violence is portrayed to the stigma of "not talking", specially when asking for a medical accurate diagnose, and not being able to approach several woman organizations and feminist collectives who are already helping woman to go through an unwanted pregnancy. In Mexico, the second cause of death for young woman is related with teenage pregnancy (Gobierno Federal de México, 2020). The scope of this project also includes every woman who also wants to continue with the pregnancy but either can't afford a pregnancy test, or can't or won't go to get one.
There is a centralization of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, clinical procedures and testing, it seems that we can no longer perform these by ourselves. We are subject to a condition of ignorance/submission imposed by the institutionalization and encryption of this knowledge.
Interpretation of results and understanding of what goes on in our reproductive and endocryne system, will allow us to make decisions based on science, and hopefully, all consequences will be intentional.
- Appropiation of sexual and reproductive health.
- We're talking about a hack/translation/divulgation/destigmatization of clinical, anatomical and reproductive knowledge.
- Pregnancy tests seem to be affordable and accessible enough, but not all women are in the same ''level'' of privilege to:
- Afford one (The price of a pregnancy test here in México ranges between 3 and 10 dollars, which, on average, represents 80% of the minimum wage)
- Have a sufficiently private space to do the test
- Relying on support networks, which provide accompaniment during the process and a destigmatized perspective on the issue.
- Recently, I saw a question in a forum which said ''Is chlorine pregnancy test accurate enough?'', and it made me think about what some women might really need in those cases, which is inmediacy of results, accuracy and accessibility.
- There is a period of time of extreme uncertainty when a women gets her period late. This is important, as there's no extremely public information about factors that might delay the period. Also, there are occassions where the person gets "the period", but is already pregnant. Contemporary culture tells the woman "not to worry" if any blood comes in any moment. This takes time out of making an important decision in either abort, or taking real good care of the pregnancy.
- Finding data to support these points is a bit complicated, which is part of the problem itself too. Most of the clinical world might assume that the problem of pregnancy diagnosys is already solved, but is important to state that is not solved FOR ALL WOMAN.
- A lot of information about reproductive health exists, but only in certain information channels, such as feminist collectives, or ONGs but with a morally extrapoled society as it is Mexico, all online information is only first-hand allocated where the affinity algorithms assume is correctly to share it, mostly on woman who already know what to do, leaving women with divergent opinions of feminism outside these algorithms, and therefore, without access to this type of information.
- Drugstore pregnancy tests are for peeing at your house, not for doing the test yourself at home. It's asusmed that acquiring the test is the easiest part.
- Easily disposable materials (no trace of having this test done). On many cases, the mere fact of making this test (even when its results end up being negative) has an important impact on the "reputation" of the person who makes the test.
People with an uterus, in the range of 2 years previous to reproductive capabilities, till the start of menopause (8-55 years old)