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Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?

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1 Answer 1

One issue with taking such a test is tzovaya, as usually the test involves chemicals in the stick changing colors by reacting to the urine. R' Ribiat, in 39 Melachos, with regard to clinical test sticks used by diabetics to determine urine-sugar level, cites Sh'miras Shabbos K'Hilchasa (33:20), who is unsure about this (see footnotes 81-83 there), and recommends that one not urinate directly onto the stick, but rather such that the urine comes by way of g'rama onto the stick.

For practical ruling, though, CYLOR.

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Re "The issue with taking such a test is tzovaya": the issue, or an? What about kosev (many show a plus sign)? (I'm not suggesting it is kosev, merely that that's an issue to deal with.) –  msh210 Jun 19 '11 at 5:17
    
@msh210, Thanks; changed it. –  jake Jun 19 '11 at 5:33
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Jake, why would the case of a pregnancy test and a urine-sugar test be similar? It would seem to me (as a diabetic) that knowing if my sugar level got too high or too low, I could take immediate action that would avoid putting my life in danger by going into a diabetic shock or coma. Not sure how a 24 hour wait for a women to know if she is pregnant or not would matter. I'm not saying that a pregnancy test should or shouldn't be allowed just that I don't think you can use one to allow or not allow the other. –  Ken Jun 19 '11 at 11:01
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@Ken, I was comparing them because (although I don't know that much about it) they seem to be pretty much the same type of urine testing. The issue that one is clearly more necessary to perform immediately is a separate issue. The SSK quoted above discusses whether taking such a test is tzovaya in a melacha shetzricha l'gufa form at all. He then writes that even those who do not think it is permissible to take the urine test will allow it for pikuach nefesh or even safek pikuach nefesh. That goes without saying. The question is whether one may do so without any particular necessity to. –  jake Jun 19 '11 at 17:09
    
@Ken I was about to write jake's comment above, until I decided to read it before posting ;-) ....one thing I might add, is that those urine tests from years ago didn't provide very accurate information, and what they did tell you came hours late -- they were more for long-term adjustment of treatment, and short-term problems were treated based on how a person felt. Also, before rapid-acting insulin analogs, there really wasn't any way to treat high BG in the exact way that we do it today. Thank God for modern science! –  Shokhet Nov 24 at 2:08

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