image001 Some women take early home pregnancy tests, only to find a faint line, which may put doubt on whether they are really pregnant or not. The rules say that any line that appears on a pregnancy test, even if it is just a faint line, is considered a positive result. This can be confusing to some who have also experienced taking an ovulation test, which indicates positive results only when the color intensity of the line is similar to or even darker than a control line. A fain line on a pregnancy test can mean you are or are not pregnant. Read on to learn what you should know and do.

Why Is There a Faint Line on Pregnancy Test?

There are many possible reasons why only a faint line appears on a pregnancy test:

Possible Causes


Testing too early

This is one common reason why women get inaccurate results from home pregnancy tests, which detects Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) levels in the urine. This hormone increases during the early weeks of pregnancy and is detected in the urine. However, taking the test too early can make a difference in how much hormone is present in the urine. A home pregnancy test should not be done earlier than 10 days after you ovulate; it is ideally taken after missing your period.

Miscalculating your expected period

Many women miscalculate when their period is due and take a pregnancy test too soon. Charting your basal body temperature (BBT) and recording your menstrual cycle dates may help avoid any confusion.

Urine is diluted

Although most home pregnancy tests may be used any time, it is ideal to take it at early morning, when you first urinate, because urine is more concentrated and there is a better chance that a larger amount of hCG hormone is present.

Sensitivity of pregnancy test

Home pregnancy tests may differ in sensitivity, with some tests being able to detect low hCG levels (20 mIU), while other tests requiring 100 mIU hCG to indicate pregnancy.

Pregnancy test is expired

Check if expiration date of your home pregnancy test is not due and if the kit has been stored properly. Expired or improperly stored test kits may not give accurate results.

Evaporation lines

Urine can evaporate from your pregnancy test and produce a faint line that may resemble a positive result. Evaporation lines, however, do not have color and look more like shadows.

Test results read after recommended time

A manufacturer usually recommends the time when results may be read accurately. A faint line may appear if the pregnancy test is read after the recommended time because urine continues to react with the test, which may produce false positive results.

Chemical reaction

A chemical reaction due to the presence of hCG in the body, but does not consist of normal pregnancy, sometimes occurs. “Chemical pregnancy” is sometimes used to describe early miscarriage.

Some medications

Certain medicines, including hCG-containing fertility medications and thorazine may give a false positive result that appears as a faint line on your pregnancy test.

Notes: If a faint line appears on your pregnancy test, do the test again and try different brand with higher sensitivity levels. It is recommended that you consult a doctor when you are in doubt of your pregnancy test results, especially if you have missed your period.

Another option to confirm the result is to have a blood test taken in a laboratory upon your doctor's recommendation.

Does a Faint Line on Pregnancy Test Indicate Pregnancy?

Home pregnancy tests give positive results when hCG hormone levels in the urine are elevated. However, the sensitivity of different brands of pregnancy tests may differ, with the more sensitive tests being able to detect even low levels of urine hCG in the early weeks of pregnancy.

If you get a faint line on pregnancy test, check the box to see the test's level of sensitivity. Generally, more expensive test kits are likely to be more sensitive at 20 IU/L hCG, while less sensitive tests may only detect hCG levels of 50 IU/L. You can also take another pregnancy test after two to three days to get more accurate results.

If you get a faint line on pregnancy test, which turns out to be completely negative after a few days, you may have an early miscarriage. This is common, occurring in up to 30% of pregnancies.

Experience of one mom:

“I used the First Response pregnancy test four days before my expected period and got a faint line. So I repeated the test on the day I was expecting to have my period, but I still got a faint result. I went to my doctor a few weeks later, who confirmed my pregnancy. I was informed that it is more likely to have a false negative result than a false positive test, since the test picks up the hormone in your body. I recommend consulting a doctor if you are in doubt of your pregnancy test result.”

                                                                                                             posted 10/14/2013 by Elsa507