Pregnancy Test Faint Lines and Evaporation Lines

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The Two Big Pregnancy Test Questions:
1) How Early Can I Test for Pregnancy?
2) What Does a Faint Line Mean on a Pregnancy Test?

> Back to Pregnancy Testing

How Early Can I Test for Pregnancy?
One question women frequently ask when trying to conceive is: How long do I have to wait before I can take a pregnancy test? Though hCG is produced at different rates in different women, there are general timelines for deciding when to test. However, when testing on the early side, do not rely on one test for conclusive results - especially a negative result: the hCG threshold for displaying a positive result on a home pregnancy test may not yet have been reached.
Early Detection Pregnancy Tests
When a woman becomes pregnant, the amount of hCG in her system should be around 25 mIU at 10 dpo (days past ovulation), 50 mIU at 12 dpo, 100 mIU at around two weeks dpo (these are averages that may deviate among different women). Test sensitivity equates with early-detection - and the lower the number, the sooner a test can detect pregnancy. At 20 MIU test sensitivity, you can begin testing at 7-10 days post ovulation, though the earlier you begin testing, the higher chance you have of getting a false negative. carries early-detection pregnancy tests capable of detecting just 20 miu/ml hcg.
Here, implantation of the fertilized egg needs to take place before hCG is produced by the developing placenta, and that generally occurs at 6-10 dpo. If you decide to test early, make sure you perform a few follow-up tests every other day using first morning urine. Your hCG levels should rise exponentially, doubling every 2 days - which means that the follow up tests should eventually detect pregnancy if you are, in fact, pregnant.

For earliest detection of pregnancy, use first morning urine, as this urine sample contains the most concentrated amount of hCG. If using first morning urine is not feasible, avoiding urination for several hours before using a pregnancy test.
 Faint Line
A faint color band in the test area of a pregnancy test indicates, in most circumstances, a positive result for pregnancy.
However, a faint line appearing after the designated reaction time of the test may be an "evaporation line".
What Does a Faint Line Mean on a Pregnancy Test?
On a pregnancy test, a faint test line - or color band - is usually indicative of a positive result, as long as it's read within the time frame - or reaction time of the test (usually at 5-10 minutes). If you perform the pregnancy test properly and read results within the recommended time frame, then a faint or weak color band in the test area is very likely a positive pregnancy test.

Evaporation Lines
Evaporation lines, however, can confound results if tests are not interpreted within the clinically recommended time frame. An evaporation line develops when the urine on the test area begins to dry, leaving a faint, usually colorless line. Evaporation lines appear to show up (or not show up) as a result of the composition of the particular urine specimen - and they may appear on any test regardless of brand.

Explanations for Faint Positives
  • Testing Too Early: If you test too soon, hCG may not be at a sufficient level for test detection. See the section above on determining when to take a pregnancy test.

  • Low Test Sensitivity: Different tests detect hCG at different levels, from 20MIU to 100MIU or more. 20 MIU tests will display a faint line when when hCG levels are at 20 MIU, while less sensitive tests will display a negative result. At 50 MIU levels, a 20 MIU test will show a stronger color band while a 50 MIU test will show a very faint band.

  • Dilution of Urine Specimen: Urine specimens may be diluted due to frequent urination or consumption of liquids. First morning urine is recommended for pregnancy testing as it contains the most concentrated presence of hCG.

  • Chemical pregnancy: Sometimes an early pregnancy is detected - followed by negative test results. A chemical pregnancy means implantation takes place (hCG is produced for a short time) followed by a miscarriage (generally, before any other pregnancy symptoms are detected).

  • Evaporation Lines: Always read your test results within the test reaction time (usually 5 minutes) as evaporation lines can develop as the urine dries on the test area. Evaporation lines appear to show up (or not show up) as a result of the composition of the particular urine specimen - and they may appear on any test regardless of brand.
Remember, a pregnancy test does not function like "light switch" - and just turn on: different hCG levels will produce different gradients of color bands (from very light, faint lines early in pregnancy to dark, rich color lines later on as hCG develops).
Read More About Pregnancy Tests
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I went to the dollar store and got 2 of the dollar pregnancy test. I took one yesterday in the afternoon and It came out negative. I took the other test this morning at about 4:30am and it looked as though it was negative, but then I looked closer and I could see a very very very faint line, so faint that you have to concentrate and look at it for a moment. I am not due to start my period for another week I believe. Are my eyes playing tricks on me or am I really pregnant?

one side saids on the cirle light blue and an the other sid is dark blue in cirice and i dont know what kid it is it i think it got missed place can you help asap please. thank lori nicolas

I took a test last night, hadnt peed in a good few hours. got a faint line that got darker the longer we left it. after the 5 mins the pack said it was still lighter than the control line. confused!! should i jus go to my dr or do another test x

I just did a test this morning... period due this sunday aug.22. Also got a faint line. Had woke up at about 4am to go to the bathroom...did my test at 7:30am. Diluted urine??
Fingers crossed!!

Good luck to you all!!

I got my spotting period over 4 days, so i consulted a gynecologist. She advised me to do the pregnancy test, and if it is negative, asked to take some medicine. I did two check, got the dark upper line, but the second line, a faint line I got below the normal place, its on the edge of the sticker. What does it mean?

i did two 1st responce tests saturday as i was 3 days late off my period and there was a faint line, i was so happy but i went 2 the doctors monday and did another it was negative, but i was confused as why would a test lie, i started my period or what i thought was a period i was 5 days late , but did another test wednsday clear blu it was stil faint line whats going on and my period is so light it different than normal am i pregnant or just seeing things!!!

How can you tell if the hcg line is a evaporated line or a really really light positive. The two that I took were really really light blue. You could barely see them unless u squinted. So here's my question, " Am I pregnant"?

I took a pregnancy test this morning. 5 minutes passed, there was a vertical line in the conrtol window and a very faint horizontal in the other box. I looked more closely, their appeared to be a very, very faint hint of a plus sign. could I be pregnant or just hoping?

I miscarried six months ago, and my husband and I started trying again. We had sex once or twice a day for most of the days when I could have ovulated (except for the last two, because I got the stomach flu!) My period usually comes every thirty days, but I seemed to have started bleeding on the 27th day--very unusual for me. My husband and I were disappointed, but figured we'd have to keep trying. My period's been light since I went off the pill, but I seemed to just stop bleeding at all almost as soon as I started bleeding and I haven't bled at all in the last two days. Today is the day that I should've gotten my period, so I just took a pregnancy test, and to my surprise, there was a very faint line next to the dark control line. It wasn't a colorless line, so I don't think it could be from evaporation. The last time I was pregnant, I had extreme breast sensitivity, but this time, I don't. I'm clumsier and a little more emotional than usual, but that could just be PMS. I just don't feel pregnant! But I really want to be! I guess I'll just have to take a test in the morning, but I'm wondering, I've had this pregnancy test for 9 months at least. My sister-in-law, who works at a hospital, gave me a few free tests. There isn't an expiration date on it that I can find. Could an expired test give a false positive result?

i had a miscarrige 5 weeks ago started spotting brown so thought was having my period like last time.done a test today and got a faint line as i did last time i was pregnant,not sure what to think though.can anyone help?

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