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

Faint line pregnancy test


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

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

Ultimately, the answer is yes, if you see a faint colored line on the pregnancy test, you are pregnant.


Types of Home Pregnancy Tests

There are three different formats of home pregnancy tests – midstream, pregnancy test strip and cassette.

All formats of test work well and are accurate. The only differences are the method of wetting the test with your urine and the cost of the tests.

Midstream tests require that urinate directly on them. Test strips and cassette tests require that you collect your urine in a clean dry container and then either dip the test or use a dropper to transfer the urine into the test.

When Should I Take a Pregnancy Test?

The best time of day to take a home pregnancy test is first thing in the morning as urine that has been collected overnight is concentrated with hCG. If you want to take the test later in the day, be sure to limit the liquids you drink so your hCG is as concentrated as possible.

Ultimately, the best time, during your cycle, to take a pregnancy test is when you have actually missed your period. Having said that, most women don’t want to wait. You can typically begin using a pregnancy test about 4 days before your period is due.

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.

If you are testing before your period is due, and you are getting negative results, it does not mean that you aren’t pregnant. It could just mean you are testing too early.

Positive Pregnancy Test Results

A positive result will typically show up between three and five minutes. However, the overall reaction time of most tests is five to ten minutes. You need to read the instructions that came with your pregnancy test to determine the actual time frame for reading it. Reading after the specified time in the instructions can lead to inaccurate results.

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

Reasons for Faint Lines on Pregnancy Tests

Even though there are a number of different home pregnancy tests, they all operate on the same testing principle. As long as the instructions for taking the home pregnancy test are followed properly the test should 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 colored line will indicate pregnancy. If you are seeing a colorless line, you can’t interpret that as a positive result. It could be that you are seeing an evaporation line on your pregnancy test.

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?

  • Michelle

    Hi all

    My period was due on 26 December and nothing yet. I took two test and came out with faded line. I’m confused. Am I pregnant. Boobs tender and now and again I have cramping feeling as if period going to start but nothing yet. I had an ectopic 2 years ago in right tubr and really praying for a healthy pregnancy to bring to full turn. But don’t want to shatter my hopes.

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

    Well the one on the 31st definitely looks darker so I’d say you are pregnant! You should schedule a doctor’s appointment due to your past history. Congratulations!

  • michelle

    Hi Vickie

    Thanks for the reply. Well I have an update. After taking those tests I waited until Saturday and went to baby clinic and nurse there said that she doesn’t like the tests I took as they a midsteam ones from dischem and she said that I must get one of the clearblue ones.

    My partner bought me the digital one which is a two in one test and took it around 12 that day and to my surprise it first came up saying PREGNANT then came up saying 1-2. So one the test it means I conceived 1-2 weeks ago but test said that doctor will take it from when last period was which was about 4-5 weeks ago.

    I’m still feeling on odd occasions slight pains as if period is going to start but then goes away. But from what I have researched its normal.

    The big question is when can I go for my first scan as from what I have researched is that u wont see anything in early weeks. But with my history I’m just worried that if I go for a scan to late and I have an ectopic how will they know if I don’t go for scan?

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

    Pregnancy is calculated from when you ovulated and conceived. Ovulation typically happens about 2 weeks before your period is due, which matches what the test said. As for the scan, you will really need to talk to your doctor. You are right, if you scan too early, you won’t be able to tell anything. Being in close contact with your doctor can help alleviate some of your concerns until you are able to get the scan and see what is going on.

  • courtney

    i got a pregnancy test 1 week ago it was a clear blue one it came up negative the a week later i took a didnt test and it came back one dark line and one faint line could i still be pregnant

  • Acape

    Is there such a thing as testing at home too late in pregnancy? I grew concerned in December that I might be pregnant, with last intercourse being in early October or late September. That test came back very clearly negative. I have still had all the same symptoms that previously led me to be certain I must be pregnant so, a few days ago I used the second test, clear blue, and it showed the control line, but rather than the horizontal negative line it showed only a vertical line. I waited up to 10 minutes, and no change. What does the vertical line without the horizontal (minus) mean? Should I be worried still? That would leave me 3 months pregnant without having had any prenatal care, and already telling ex I was in the clear. So scared and confused.

  • wanga zulu

    if the line appears after 10 minutes then the results may be invalid

  • wanga zulu

    hai im in zambia and im a nurse but cant figure out the physiology

  • wanga zulu

    my dear the best is to do a scan so tha you confirm the diagnosis

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

    When is your period supposed to arrive? If you are late, try testing with your first morning urine with a clear blue. If you have two lines, no matter how light the test line is, it means the test is picking up hcg, the pregnancy hormone.

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

    Well, if the results are not showing up the way they should, you may have had a faulty test and you should test again. At this point, you should go to the doctor and have them check you out. If your normally regular periods have stopped then something is going on.

  • help

    My friend had test two days she came same result one is dark line second is faint line what is mean

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

    Any line showing up that has color to it, even if it is very light, means that hcg is detected in the urine and that your friend is pregnant.

  • Brittney Long

    Hey everyone i took a pregnancy test today and the test had a plus and a line but five mins. Later it only showed one line the other lines was gone am i pregnant or should i test again im confused help plz

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

    What brand of test is that? I would suggest that you test again, if you haven’t already, with your first morning urine.

  • brittney

    It was a cheap test im not sure the name

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

    Have you taken another test since that one? What is a positive result supposed to look like with the test you used?

  • pks123

    Hi, I am 1 day late in my period. Today morning i took out a test at home. It showed me a very faint positive line, which grew a little darker after 5 minutes. Does this mean I am pregnant? please check out the image. Its very hard to figure out in image thought. But with my bare eyes line seemed darker.

  • Magz

    Hi I am due for my period today and I took a test and after 5 mins showed up positive but very faint am I pregnant confused?

  • janu

    hai i get a faint line after 1 hr of the test in 3 different days , my period was delayed 13 days from now i have some singes like feeling week am i pregnent ?

  • ilovemyhubby12

    Hi Vicki I’m due to ovulate tomorrow so should I have sex tonight I’ve had sex on the 15th plz let Me know

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

    It looks positive to me. Taking another test the next morning should show a darker line.

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

    It really depends on what the test instructions say. If you are reading it after the time they say to in the instructions, you can’t take it as a positive. Test again the next morning and if you are pregnant, the line should show up darker.

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

    Are you testing with first morning urine? Also after an hour can’t be taken as a valid result. If you are concerned, go and see your doctor.

  • Tjopper

    I took a test. but instead of it showing 2 vertical lines or no line in the test window, it shows a horizontal line. What does it mean?

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

    Not knowing what brand test you are using, I can’t say. Ultimately, you should call the manufacturer and see what they say. You can usually find the telephone number on the instructions.

  • christine

    my daughter took 3 test and the one came up posititive and the other two was not the first morning urine

  • Sarah

    Hi I had a mc boxing day, I should of came on today or yesterday still nothing…. I kno it early days but I took a test it came up with 2 lines and one get faint….. I then went and brought one from lloyds pharmacist which then told me I am not pregnant I am abit confused and thinking that my hormone levels must be to low to read can anyone tell me there opinion please. Sarah xx

  • Lee-Ann Venter

    hey I got this yesterday and dont know what to think, my husband says its only showing cause i want it so bad but i dont care how much i want it my brain cant make hcg only a feotus can am i going mad or is this positive, i have used the same brand 6 times and never gotten an evap line as a matter of fact there was a stark absense of a line on all the others

  • Lee-Ann Venter

    hi it could just be the different brands having different sensitivities did that line show in the time frame if so you are prego. this is mine that hubby says is just in my head, or caused by my longing

  • Lee-Ann Venter

    if thats faint mine is invisible see

  • Lee-Ann Venter

    hi vickie could you tell me if you see this?

  • Sarah

    Hi I did do a post put its not on here I had a mc boxing day it’s 27th no period took a pound test had a faint line took a lloyds test said negative confused

  • bre

    I have came on my cycle it only last four days my cycle normally last seven and the test i took it only supposed to be lines two lines for pregnant and one line for not pregnant but you see my test had a plus sign and a line

  • Sarah


    I do believe brands are diff my friend had faint lines and she now has twins my other friend had faint lines and she now has a girl I think after my miscarriage Im Ega to have another baby,… I brought 5 more at the pound shop and it says if the colour doesn’t match like my pic it’s negative but other brands class that as positive I don’t kno!….. I’m kind of hoping for my period now take me out my miseary,.. I wish you all the best xx and sorry I carnt answer think we’re in the same boat lol good luck xxxx

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

    Hmmm… ovulation tests are the tests that require the color match. For pregnancy tests, any line means hcg is present. Are you sure you got the right type of test?

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

    It could be that she took the tests very early in the pregnancy. Testing again in the following days with first morning urine should get you more accurate results.

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

    Unfortunately, the picture isn’t too clear so I can’t say for sure, but there may be a second line there. Testing tomorrow should show up a darker line if it is positive.

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

    That looks like it might be positive to me. If you tested again later in the day with the lloyds test, it could be that your urine wasn’t as concentrated the second time. It could be a very early positive and should get darker as the days go on. Testing again with first morning would be your best on seeing a more distinct positive result.

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

    Okay, so these tests are not what you want. These are ovulation tests and not pregnancy tests. I can see by the instructions.

  • Sarah

    So does that mean I’m not pregnant ?

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

    You need to use a pregnancy test and not an ovulation test to find out. Take a pregnancy test and you will get accurate results.

  • annynjl

    hi there i got a faint positive on monday with a test brand that i have used about 15 times before and have never had evaporation lines even a week after recieving a negative, test also doesnt state its sensitivity at all it also does not state a time after which the test cannot be read. I am now so confused as I desperately want another child but am on the pill as we currently do not have the finances and in december and early January i did not take it correctly( I missed pills as hubby was illband had to stay at a faimily member with transport), so my hubby and i dont trust mynsymptoms as i have an ovarian cyst and we believe alot is due to my desperation for another baby. I just dont want to get my hopes up and break my own heart. please tell me what you think. attached is a picture.

  • Heather

    I’m pretty sure this is positive! 21 dpo…hpt taken tonight!! What do you think?

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

    I’m not seeing a picture Heather? Did you mean to upload one?

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

    This picture was posted on another person’s question below. As this doesn’t appear to be your picture, I can not offer an evaluation of the test.

  • Heather

    I thought I did! Opps I’ll try again

  • Heather

    They’re a little hard to see in the pics but I’ve had 4 + tests with a faint line. It looks like I’m about 4 weeks 2-4 days..so still early

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

    Unfortunately, it didn’t come through again!

  • annynjl

    hi vicki it was mine was commenting every where trying to figure out how to create my own comment thread, turns out it was positive but has lead only to a chemical pregnancy

  • Quinntina

    Would you say positive or negative I keep getting super faint positives my last cycle was January 1st I also have irregular periods

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

    As I don’t see a picture, there is no way for me to guess.

  • darkravyness

    I’m 12 days late for my period. I took this hpt about a week ago and since then I have had negative hpt results. I tested with that one in the morning and I did make the mistake of taking other tests later in the day. If I am actually pregnant I believe I would be 5 weeks along? My last period was 1/6/15. On the day my period was due I only had one instance where I wiped and had a dark spot of blood on tp. Sorry for the tmi. I have had slight cramps that come and go since my period was due. No morning sickness or anything. I have had some headaches and feel tired. The only problem is that when I took this test I remember the window that gives you a positive or negative result stayed blue and I didn’t wait the whole time for it to finish because I had things to do. So I looked at it a few hours later and it had a distinct blue line in both windows. I have never been this late for a period before and I made an appt to see a doctor on the 25th. Oh and the other tests were a different brand (cheap tests) the ones that showed negative results and the positive one was a cvs brand test. Could I be pregnant?

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

    It looks like a positive result but since you didn’t read it in the correct timeframe, you can’t take it as a positive. You need to test again to confirm the result.

  • darkravyness

    16 days late now. I’m assuming it must have been a positive because I still haven’t had a period. Instead of wasting more time and money on hpt I’m going to wait it out and see the doctor on the 25th for confirmation. :) I’m pretty sure at this point it’s positive.

  • sana

    I hve one line dark & 2nd hve faint pls ask me what is mean ?

  • Jane

    I took pregnancy test and the control line is faint then positive line is not visible.what does it mean?

  • zoe

    Hi I had this about 20 min ago am I pregnant or? As confused

  • rach ttc#4

    I think im pregnant but very early according to an online chart I would be 3 weeks and 3 days as I ovulated around the 17th feb. So I tested this morning with a cheap pregnancy test morning brand called suresign with a sensitivity of 15ml and got a very faint line when should I retest? Thank you

  • JHall

    Hey, I completely missed my cycle for the month of February and took two pregnancy test on the 25th and they were positive with faint lines, took one on the 27th and it was positive with faint lines…Now it’s March and still no period my breast and nipples get sore, I am completely tired, I had slight cramps like pulling or stretching that even goes down to my upper thigh area, gassy and noises from my stomach…Am I testing too early or what? I have had 2 miscarriages in the past with one being in this past August.

  • linda gannon

    Hi I took 4 pregnancy tests today 2 say 2 lines but faded and 2 has 1 line and I done the clear blue digital test it says pregnant 1-2 weeks help me please

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

    It could be that you were just testing too early and the level of hcg in your urine was still very low.

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

    Definitely looks like a positive pregnancy test to me. With pregnancy tests any line is a positive.

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

    I’d wait until 3 days before your period is due to test again. Good Luck (and possibly congratulations!)

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

    Actually, from what you are saying, the pregnancy tests keep coming back positive?? If so, you are pregnant. You should go and see your doctor and get a blood test done.

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

    Sounds like you are pregnant! :)

  • zoe

    Thank you for reply I did go out and get a clear blue one done it this morning and come up as pregnant 3+ so really happy just don’t know how far I am really as doctors won’t see me due to me moving in two weeks they say there is no point and to wait until I am at my new address so I am looking at like 3 weeks till I can actually see a doctor which is not really helpful x

  • Lynn

    Hi I have not missed my period however I got one positive pregnancy test and I feel pregnant but ever since I only get negative tests

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


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

    Have you continued getting negative tests? If so, it could be that you suffered an early miscarriage. :(

  • Marivie Escubil

    Hi, my supposed to be period is march 12, 2015, and I’m now 4 days late according to my period tracker. Before, before my period come I feel the PMS like sore breast and abdominal cramping. But now I didn’t feel anything just a little dizzy sometimes, feeling bloated, sometimes feeling nauseous and I once feel heartburn but I don’t have sore breast, abdominal cramping and even spotting. Should I try to take a home pregnancy test or not??

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

    Considering your period is late, you can take a pregnancy test now.

  • ashleigh 1

    Hi everyone I am knew to this .I took a clear blue + -test it only showed one line so I put it down thinking negative a hour later there was two lines . I took a first response two days later negative . I am now 5 days late I never go past a 32 day cycle. What are your thoughts pleas.

  • Ash

    hi. I just took this pregnancy test half an hr before. The test line is faint. Am I pregnant or not?

  • jessica

    Hi i really need to know im not paranoid here does this look positive to anybody?

  • jessica

    Here is another photo

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

    That test looks positive, but it could be that you just had really low levels of hcg in your system. As it showed up after the time frame showing in the instructions, you can’t consider it a true positive. Have you tested again with your first morning urine?

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

    I’d say pregnant. The darkness of the line doesn’t really matter. Any line means that pregnancy hormone was detected.

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

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is a second line there. Have you tested again since you posted this?

  • Louise Paterson

    Hi please help… I mc on 20/2/2015, my hormones went back to zero and we started ttc immediately after, I have taken 5 tests over four days and all have faint positives but don’t seem to be getting any darker! I feel pregnant again but not as much as I did in my last pregnancy but I think I was maybe about six weeks gone before I tested and mc within two days. Am I just imagining things with this line? Would anyone say this is positive? I genuinely think I’m only about two weeks (four in doctors terms) I don’t want to make a big deal if it just yet so need opinions especially with my recent mc in my mind

Last modified: January 24, 2015

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