You have used a pregnancy test, and now it shows a faint line. What does this mean? If you are trying to conceive, waiting two weeks before a pregnancy test can be very nerve-wracking, and it is probably unbearable a few minutes before you see the result. So when you come across a faint line on the pregnancy test, this can be very confusing. You ask yourself: Is there a line? Is it really a line if I hold it right against the light? Is a very faint line on a pregnancy test considered a positive result?
Fortunately, you do not need to be confused. In this article, we will see why you may see a faint positive pregnancy test, how to interpret it and how to avoid it in the future.
What is a Faint Line on Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy and preparation for this milestone give an amazing feeling, which is why most women, especially young women planning to conceive a baby for the first time, use pregnancy tests at home with excitement and perhaps much anxiety.
Women who are trying to conceive usually use a home pregnancy test. These tests have lines that, if highlighted, can indicate pregnancy status.
But the biggest question about these home tests is the appearance of a faint second line on a pregnancy test. It should be noted that in most pregnancy test kits, an HCG-sensitive strip is inserted into the mother's urine, and depending on the amount of hormone in the urine, one or two pink or blue lines appear on the strip, with the second line indicating pregnancy. And seeing just one line indicates a negative test result. But sometimes, the second line is much less visible, and the test result is ambiguous.
Just like a blood test, the test strip absorbs human chorionic gonadotropin (hcg), and it is the amount of this hormone that activates the line on the strip. The second line is on the bar, where it shows the minimum hormone required for a positive answer. Therefore, the hormone concentration in the urine can reveal or hide this line. When this line appears even to a minimal extent, it means a positive result, and it rarely happens that the answer is wrong. Even if a extremely faint line on pregnancy test is seen, we will consider the result as positive.
So even if you see a very faint line on the pregnancy test, almost invisible, your result is positive, and you should be congratulated. As the levels of hcg increase in the following days, you will definitely see a very bold and clear line if you repeat the test again.
Reasons for a Faint Line on a Pregnancy Test
You are in early pregnancy
In this scenario, you are certainly pregnant, but you did the test very early. Before the HCG level is high enough to achieve a strong positive result (with an undeniable dash). Fortunately, you do not have to wait long for this to happen: gonadotropin levels double every two to three days in early pregnancy. Whenever this happens, wait a few days and repeat the test to see if the line gets bolder.
The pregnancy test is not sensitive enough
Not all pregnancy tests are the same. Most tests detect gonadotropins in the urine at levels between 20 and 35 miu ml, but some may be sensitive to lower levels. With current technology, the first time we can detect gonadotropin levels in the urine is one week after fertilization or about six days before the first day of delayed menstruation. If you are having a test at the time, you may be pregnant, but your at-home pregnancy test is not designed to detect a small amount of HCG and shows a clear line.
You had an abortion in the early stages
If you see a very faint line on the pregnancy test and then repeat the test a few days later, you will see one of two things: a darker line that indicates you are definitely pregnant, or a much fainter line, even paler than before. A line that gradually disappears can mean early termination of pregnancy or chemical pregnancy.
This is an ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy means you are pregnant, but the egg is fertilized outside the uterus. 90 percent of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube, and if they develop, the pregnancy can cause the fallopian tube to rupture, resulting in internal bleeding. Fortunately, this is very rare, and probably is not the reason for the faint line.
This is an evaporation line
The pregnancy test kits say when you should take the test. In this case, you will see a faint second line (or plus sign), but it is not related to pregnancy at all. The difference between the evaporation line and the positive line is your timing. If you look at your test results normally after the recommended time interval, you will usually notice the evaporation line. The ink stuck in the strip appears only after the urine dries.
Evaporation line or weak positive line, this is the problem!
Doubting between the evaporation line and the faint positive pregnancy test line is a common concern, so it is worth taking some precautions to avoid it. Strategy number one is to make sure that you only check the test result at the time specified on the package. Then throw it away and resist the temptation to look at it again. If you take it out of the trash again after 10 or 15 minutes, you will see the second line! It is best to try again in a few days.
The appearance of a faint line on a pregnancy test does not always indicate that the pregnancy status is not positive. In fact, the onset of this condition often indicates an early miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. So, if a woman notices a faint line on her home pregnancy test kit during a pregnancy test, she should not be confused, but can repeat the test after another two to three days to achieve more accuracy.