Faint Line On Pregnancy Test: Am I Pregnant?

by Aug 27, 2019

When you’re trying to get pregnant, you may feel eager, excited, and anxious when taking pregnancy tests. You want to see an easy-to-read result, so faint lines on pregnancy tests can be confusing.



It’s common to have trouble interpreting pregnancy test results. Faint lines can make things more difficult, and there are many causes for them. Instead of worrying, read this post to learn everything you need to know about faint lines on pregnancy tests.


How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

Home pregnancy tests detect a pregnancy through human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. hCG is a pregnancy hormone that’s produced during implantation. This occurs when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus.

Every home pregnancy test uses a minimum hCG threshold to show positive or negative results. The exact minimum amount usually varies from 15 mIU/ml to 100 mIU/ml. There are also highly sensitive tests can detect 6.5 mIU/ml to 10 mIU/ml.

You take a home pregnancy test using a small urine sample. Results appear within a few minutes. Positive pregnancy tests that use line symbols look like the image above. Some tests also use a plus sign next to the control line.


Reasons For Faint Line On A Pregnancy Test

There are a few causes for a faint line on pregnancy tests. Determining the cause can help you determine what to do next. Read on to see four reasons why faint lines occur on pregnancy tests.


Early Pregnancy

A faint line on a pregnancy test may simply be due to early pregnancy. The line is light in appearance due to the low concentration of hCG in your body.

In the weeks following your last menstrual period (LMP), hCG levels may not be detected by the average home pregnancy test.

  • 3 weeks since LMP – 5 – 50 mIU/mL
  • 4 weeks since LMP –  5 – 426 mIU/mL
  • 5 weeks since LMP –  18 – 7,340 mIU/mL

If you get a faint positive pregnancy test during this time, continue taking tests to see if the line becomes darker. This is a strong indication of pregnancy.

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When you know your unique ovulation cycle, you can know when you’re more likely to get a strong positive result. This can help avoid confusing faint lines from home pregnancy tests.

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Evaporation Line

An evaporation line is a common cause for faint lines on pregnancy tests. The small and colorless line appears where positive results also appear.

These lines don’t produce blue or pink dye, unlike faint positive results. Evaporation lines happen when:

  • test results are after the allotted time
  • a test is taken incorrectly
  • a test accidentally gets wet

If you’re unsure about the results, repeat the test, and closely follow the instructions. This reduces the chances of evaporation lines appearing.


Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy is the medical term for an early miscarriage. This loss usually happens during the few weeks following your last menstrual period.

The female body begins producing hCG quickly, so the levels that were produced cause faint positives. Hormone levels decrease once a chemical pregnancy occurs. This usually results in negative test results.

Most women don’t need medical treatment for chemical pregnancies, but a doctor’s appointment may still be scheduled. This is usually done to confirm early pregnancy loss.


Certain Medical Conditions

Medical conditions are the unfortunate causes of faint lines on pregnancy tests. They can also cause strong positive results. Some medical problems that may result in a faint line include:

  • ovarian cysts
  • multiple types of cancer
  • pituitary gland tumors
  • ectopic pregnancy (a life-threatening condition where an egg implants outside of the uterus)
  • blood or urine in your protein

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to tell if a health issue caused test errors. Medical exams and testing are the only way to diagnose these conditions.


What To Do After You Get A Faint Line On A Pregnancy Test

In most cases, there’s nothing you need to do after you get a faint line on a pregnancy test. If you’re feeling anxious, there are a few steps you can take to ease your worries.

Doing one or all of these things may give you a clear answer or some relief. If you detected an early pregnancy, you’ll get a strong positive result in time.


How To Avoid Getting A Faint Line On A Pregnancy Test

It’s possible to avoid getting a faint line on home pregnancy tests. Follow these practical tips to reduce the chances of confusing test results:

  • Take a test the day after your missed period for up to 99% accuracy. Testing too early decreases accuracy.
  • Take a test using your first morning urine to get the highest concentration of hCG.
  • Read the instructions prior to taking the test and follow them closely.
  • Try using tests that use a different color dye. Some women find blue lines easier to see, and others notice clearer results with pink lines.

If you’re still concerned about home pregnancy test results, schedule an appointment with your doctor. You may be able to have blood tests done to see if your hCG levels rise. Hopefully, you’ll get the exciting answer you’re looking for.

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