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A comment by Organic Marble on the question Is it possible to get pregnant through natural means in space? includes a link to PREGNANCY TEST (ISS MED/3A - ALL/FIN) which seems to indicate there is a pregnancy test kit on the ISS.

As indicated in the original question mammals do not seem able to get (or stay) pregnant in the ISS.

Why is the test kit there? Has it ever been used? What is the procedure if the results where positive?

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    $\begingroup$ I would guess that even if you can't get pregnant in space, you can always get pregnant on earth and then go to space. Pregnancy tests really only work from about 6 weeks, so this can happen more easily than you'd think $\endgroup$ – neelsg Mar 27 '15 at 11:04
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    $\begingroup$ There is also always the Jurassic Park woo around not being able to get pregnant in space that goes something like: Life finds a way... $\endgroup$ – neelsg Mar 27 '15 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ So far there is only observed evidence that rats seem to have trouble getting pregnant, but so far it has not been tested with humans (at least nobody wants to admit to have joined the 250 mile high club). $\endgroup$ – Philipp Mar 27 '15 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ Hm. What is the protocol if the test comes back positive? Toss the guilty party back to Earth on the next mission that comes along? $\endgroup$ – Everyone Mar 28 '15 at 6:42
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The test kit is there in case a female crewmember suspects that she might be pregnant. Your second question will never be answered because of US medical privacy laws. For the 3rd question, I have not found a documented answer, but I suspect a medical evacuation would be in order, due to the unknown developmental effects on the unborn child. This would result in the return of one three person crew (two of whom, I suspect, would be grumpy).

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    $\begingroup$ There's "supportive" in the sense of "yes, this obviously needs to be done, and we're obviously going to get in the Soyuz and go home early", and there's supportive in the sense of "no, it's no problem at all that after six months of preparation for this mission we're abandoning our experiments and going home." $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Mar 27 '15 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ Years of preparation. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 27 '15 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ @KennyPeanuts: I think the point is that they wouldn't evacuate just one person; they'd have to evacuate all three members of the crew. Even if the one astronaut who needs to be evacuated is qualified to fly and land the Soyuz capsule alone, leaving the station short one Soyuz is probably unacceptable. $\endgroup$ – Keith Thompson Jul 27 '15 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @ACarter Medical testing is not a perfect science. Sometimes it behaves quite well, but sometimes its an art. I expect mission parameters are chosen to intentionally ensure the tests occur during a timeframe where they are highly accurate, but nothing's perfect. Consider the cost of hauling the test kit up there (fuel costs and all) vs. the spectacular PR nightmare of a child born with defects due to an astronaut's time in space, and that pee stick starts to look like an excellent and frugal expenditure of government resources. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Feb 1 '16 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ When diagnosing some sets of symptoms or complains, a pregnancy test may be indicated. The test is there simply because who would want to deny it to the physician on the ground trying to make a diagnosis? It't not like it's very heavy. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 30 '16 at 14:37

protected by Community Aug 30 '16 at 12:42

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