The question, 'Am I pregnant?' can be quickly and easily answered today, thanks to test-kits available at local drug stores. But the question itself is not a modern one.
Early cultures had already established traditions to answer the question of pregnancy: Through close observation and deductive reasoning, the fact of conception and even the gender of a child could be predicted - more or less successfully. Over the course of centuries, innumerable methods were developed to ascertain pregnancy. Plants as well as animals were very often utilized as indirect indicators.
However, a woman's wish to be informed at an early stage of her pregnancy did not always meet with tolerance. On the one hand, physicians felt their competence was being challenged: "I concede that it might be quite comfortable to diagnose pregnancy based on the submitted morning urine samples; however, it gives me greater satisfaction to be relatively assured of the same conclusion within the briefest amount of time by way of comparative observations." (Hubert Bardenheuer, 1944)
On the other hand, there was a concern that informed women might take measures to terminate pregnancy given an early diagnosis.
Here you will find the most remarkable and curious stories about pregnancy testing.
A 4000-year-old document describes the first pregnancy test.
A new test for rapid confirmation of pregnancy was developed by Zondek, Sulman und Black ZSB in 1945.