Faint Line on my Home Pregnancy Test: Am I Pregnant?

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

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Taking a home pregnancy test can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience. Whether you really hope to be pregnant, or really hope not to be, those moments of taking that test can be extremely anxious ones. So, what does it mean if you have a faint line on your home pregnancy test? Are you pregnant or not?

1. How Pregnancy Tests Work

It is important to understand how home pregnancy tests work in order to know what a faint line means. Home pregnancy tests use a small sample of urine to test for hCG in the body. HCG is “the pregnancy hormone”, which begins to be produced by the body once the placenta begins to grow. HCG begins to be produced shortly after a woman becomes pregnant, and continues to rise throughout the first few weeks.

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This is why testing for hCG is such a great indicator of a pregnancy. Home pregnancy tests require you to place a test stick in your midstream urine, or, alternatively, place the test stick into a cup of urine. After a few moments, you will be able to read the results. However, each test has different instructions that will need to be followed precisely and carefully to make sure that inaccurate results are not given.

2. Faint Line: Positive Or Negative?

If all of the instructions on a home pregnancy test have been followed completely and carefully, you can usually expect that a very faint line on a home pregnancy test will indicate a positive result. Since the only time that a line should show up on a pregnancy test is when hCG is present in the body, any sort of line on a pregnancy test usually indicates a pregnancy. If you do get a very faint line on your home pregnancy test, it is a good idea to wait a day or two and then test again to be sure.

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3. What Does A Faint Line Mean?

So, if you do see a faint line on your home pregnancy test, what does that mean? Usually, it means that you have tested too early. If the hCG in the body hasn’t had time to build up to high enough levels, it may not be able to show up very well on a home pregnancy test. This is why it’s a good idea to wait a few days and then test again. Another common reason for getting a very faint line on a home pregnancy test is that the urine used for the test was diluted.

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For this reason, it’s a good idea to use the first morning urine for a home pregnancy test for the best result. You can also get a faint line on a pregnancy test if you wait too long to read the test results. This is why it is so important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely before taking a home pregnancy test. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about your pregnancy test results.

Regina Ledoux, RN, CNM

Ms. Ledoux began her career as an ObGyn nurse practitioner prior to becoming a practicing midwife in the Santa Cruz community. Working together with ObGyn physicians in her own practice, she has over 20 years experience in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth.