Pregnancy tests weren’t always quick-check. Not always could you pee on a stick and expect results in a few; sometimes you had to inject your urine Into a frog to see if you were expecting.
W. H. A. T.
You read that right! Even though medicine is as advanced as it is now, this wasn’t the case less than a century back. The infamous amphibian pets, clawed African frogs, commonly just referred to as “my cute slimy buddy” were being sent all over the world from Africa to check for women’s pregnancies. The frog pregnancy test was known as the Xenopus pregnancy test! Confused? Let us break it down.
What was happening?
Clawed African female frogs were imported into many countries. These hoppers would be kept in special frog labs, where urine samples of possibly pregnant women would be received. This liquid would then be injected to a frog’s hind leg. Then the frog would be left to chill. The next day, doctors would check if it had lain eggs. If yes, it meant the woman was pregnant! Weird, isn’t it? But it worked.
Here are the animals who were used as pregnancy test kits before the frogs came to light…
Bunnies, for one. And mice. Same procedure. The downside of using these animals, though, was that they had to be slaughtered and then dissected to check for ovarian changes. The cruelty stopped when doctors figured out that the frog could be kept alive, would be happy in an aquarium, and could be reused.
When was Xenopus prevalent?
Frog pregnancy test, or Hogben, was prevalent during the 1930s to the early 1960s. Thousands and thousands of frogs would be exported from Africa. This stopped when more sterile, more convenient and cruelty-free testing was invented!
Now you know why clawed African frogs can be found everywhere. The ones we see now are the descendants of the ones who detected pregnancies!
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