I See A Faint Line On My Home Pregnancy Test, Am I Pregnant?

Faint line pregnancy test

Home pregnancy tests use a sample of a woman’s urine in order to detect the ‘pregnancy hormone’ – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) which is a glycoprotein hormone discharged by the growing placenta soon after a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterine lining. Since hCG manifests itself so early in a woman’s pregnancy, and continues to rise, it is one of the best detectors of pregnancy early on.

Types of home pregnancy tests

According to Wed MD, there are two types of home pregnancy tests. The most commonly used home pregnancy test is often referred to as a midstream test and is used by holding the test stick in your urine stream. The other type of home pregnancy test is a dip test and is used by filling a small, dry container with urine and holding the test stick in the urine for a few seconds. Regardless of the home pregnancy test you use, both are equally reliable with one end of the test strip or dipstick changing color if hCG is present, thereby confirming pregnancy.

The color change of a home pregnancy test will usually occur within three to five minutes. However, the overall reaction time of most tests is five to ten minutes. After ten minutes, any result should be disregarded, as some tests can develop an evaporation line.

All home pregnancy tests will have a control color line that indicates whether the test is working or not. A second color line will show up once hCG is detected. Even if there is a faint line on the test, it can still be read as a positive sign, although it is suggested that you re-take the test within the next day or two.

When To Take a Home Pregnancy Test?

The best time to take a home pregnancy test is first thing in the morning as urine that has been collected overnight is concentrated with hCG. It is however, important to remember that the accuracy of home pregnancy tests can vary between different women for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • The length of a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation can change from month to month.
  • The precise day that the fertilized egg was implanted may not always be known.
  • Every home pregnancy test will have a different hCG sensitivity level. If there are extremely low levels of hCG present then it is more likely to come across as positive first thing in the morning. Even though there are home pregnancy tests that are sensitive enough to detect pregnancy on the first day of a missed period, it is generally better to wait for about a week after a missed period before administering a home pregnancy test.

Faint Lines in Home Pregnancy Tests

Even though there are a number of different home pregnancy tests, they all operate on the same testing principle. Subsequently, as long as the instructions for taking the home pregnancy test are followed properly the test will be accurate.

However, there may be times when a home pregnancy test will show a faint line. As long as the instructions have been followed clearly, a faint line will indicate pregnancy.

There are multiple reasons for faint lines:

  • Taking the test less than eight to ten days after conception, can show a faint line as there may not be enough hCG in the body.
  • Each brand of home pregnancy tests have differing levels of sensitivity in detecting hCG.  If your test has a sensitivity level of 20 MIU, it may display a faint line when hCG levels are at 20 MIU, while less sensitive tests will actually present a negative result. If there is at least 50 MIU of hCG in your body, then a 20 MIU home pregnancy test will exhibit a darker color line, while a 50 MIU test will instead show a faint line.
  • A urine sample that has been diluted as a result of large liquid intake can also cause a faint line. This is another reason why it is better to test with first morning urine, or at least hold your urine for three to four hours before testing.
  • A chemical pregnancy can also create a faint line. In this situation, implantation has occurred and hCG has therefore been produced. Nevertheless, the pregnancy itself is not viable and will be followed by miscarriage.
  • Honey

    Is this a positive test

  • Honey

    I hav 2 lines and one in faint but almost clear and other is dark should i consider it a positive result

  • yuritzy

    If I have a dark line on the control and on the other has a line but its faint?
    Does it mean I’m pregnant?

  • Twix

    Hii. Were u able to find out if ur pg o nt? Im going thro the same situation as urs

  • brittany

    I took one and it showed a dark line and the second line was really faint but after 10 mins the faint line disappears what does that mean?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    It could mean you tested when your hcg level was very low. Test again tomorrow morning to see what it shows. Depending on the brand of test that you used, you could be seeing an evaporation line. This usually shows up on some of the test strips you can buy online.

  • Sclark12914

    I took a pregnancy test and waited and didnt see a second line. I therw it away and the next day was takin out the trash and thought to take a peek. So i saw a very faint line and now think im pregnant. Could the second line show up the next day even if im not pregnant?

  • Help

    So i look a pregnancy test at first it didnt show up. After a day a faint line showed up.. does this mean im pregnant??

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you left the test and looked at it a day later, you can’t assume that you are pregnant. You will need to test again and view the results in the time frame stated on the instructions.

  • Kay

    Hey I took three tests today both showing two lines, but the second line is very faint. Is this still a positive result?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    Wow! :D Those don’t look faint at all! If you see two lines, no matter how light, that is a positive result!

  • TeeJay Marinucci

    What does it mean when I took a test and at 3 minutes it had one dark line one fainted line but then at 4 minutes there was only 1 line>

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    What did the instructions say? Typically they say you have to read results in a certain time frame? It could be that you are testing early and you don’t have quite enough hcg in your urine for it to show up darkly. Testing again in a day or two, with first morning urine should show you a darker line if you are pregnant.

  • jamie

    I got 2 postive test results and both had a faint line and I have a little spotting and it’s pink and brownish and the at the end of November I had same thing and I’m always regular on my periods. October 23 was my last regular period. Could I be pregnant?

  • http://www.babyhopes.com/ Vickie B.

    If you have had two positive tests, I would say that you are pregnant. Have you been to the doctor about the positive tests yet?

Last modified: May 17, 2014

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