I See A Second Line!
Home pregnancy tests use a sample of a woman's urine to detect the 'pregnancy hormone' – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). The growing placenta produces the hCG hormone 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. If you are testing before your period is late, you may end up with a very faint second line on your test.
Ultimately, the answer is yes, if you see a faint colored line on the pregnancy test, you are pregnant.
On a pregnancy test, what if one line is very light and the other is very dark? Reasons for Faint Lines on Pregnancy Tests
Even though there are many different home pregnancy tests, they all operate on the same testing principle. Your home pregnancy test results should be accurate, as long as you have followed the directions.
There may be times when a home pregnancy test will show a faint line. As long as you followed the test instructions, a faint colored line will indicate pregnancy. If you see a colorless line, you can't interpret that as a positive result. It could be that you see an evaporation line on your pregnancy test.
There are many reasons for faint lines:
- Taking a pregnancy test too early can result in a very weak positive result. You will likely not have enough hCG in your urine if you test earlier than nine or ten days after ovulation.
- The sensitivity level of a pregnancy test varies by the brand of pregnancy test you use. The more sensitive the pregnancy test is, the earlier you will see a positive result.
- Drinking large amounts of liquid can create a dilute urine sample and result in a faint test result line. Testing with first-morning urine avoids this issue. If you plan on testing later in the day, try and avoid potty breaks for three to four hours before testing.
- A chemical pregnancy can also create a faint line. In this situation, implantation has occurred, and hCG is present. Nevertheless, the pregnancy itself is not viable and followed by an early miscarriage.
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 you urinate on them. Test strips and cassette tests require that you collect your urine in a clean, dry container. You 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. The hCG in your urine will be more concentrated at that time. If you want to take the test later in the day, be sure to limit the liquids you drink before you use the pregnancy test. The pregnancy hormone will be more concentrated at this point.
If you are drinking a lot of liquids, you may dilute the level of hCG so it will not show up as a positive result.
Ultimately, the best time, during your cycle, to take a pregnancy test is when you have missed your period. However, most women don't want to wait. You can begin using a pregnancy test about four days before your period is due.
Remember that the accuracy of home pregnancy tests can vary between women for several reasons.
- The length of a woman's menstrual cycle and ovulation can change from month to month.
- The day that the fertilized egg implanted may have been later than expected. The hCG levels will be lower than expected when you test.
- Every home pregnancy test will have a different hCG sensitivity level. If you use a test that isn't very sensitive, testing before your period can result in a false negative result.
If you get a negative pregnancy test result before your period is late, it does not mean that you aren't pregnant. It could mean you are testing too early.
Positive Pregnancy Test Results
A positive result will typically show up between three and five minutes. Yet, the 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. Interpreting your results 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 when hCG is detected. If the second line on your pregnancy test is very faintly colored, it can still be read as a positive sign, although we recommend you retake the test within the next day or two.
Tags: About Pregnancy Tests
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