Getting a faintly positive line on a home pregnancy kit can be confusing. This article discusses some reasons that can help you determine the reasons behind the occurrence of such faint line.
With the introduction of home pregnancy kits, it has become easier as well as convenient for women to confirm whether they are pregnant. A woman is said to be pregnant when the fertilized egg is attached to the uterine lining. When this happens, the placenta starts releasing a glycoprotein hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The concentration of hCG in the body increases as the woman progresses in her pregnancy. This also helps determine whether a woman is pregnant as the test looks for the presence of hCG in the urine. One has to either dip the pregnancy test strip in the urine or hold it against the stream of urine to test whether one is pregnant. If the test shows just one pink line, the woman is not pregnant whereas two adjacent pink lines indicate that the woman is expecting. However, though this is very simple, sometimes, women may only see a faint pink line during the test. Though the appearance of the pink line, however faint, does indicate a positive result, it can cause a lot of confusion. Hence, it is important to know the reasons behind it.
The reason for pregnancy test with a faint positive outcome cannot be attributed to just one factor. Rather, there are several reasons that can give rise to such a thing. So, if you see a faint line on your home pregnancy test, you ought to know the reason which caused it. Following are some of the causes:
After the implantation, it actually takes some time for the hCG level to rise in the body. Hence, if you conduct the test very early, i.e., before you even missed your period, you may notice a faint line because of insufficient level of hormone hCG. Sometimes, when the test is done soon after ovulation, the chances of getting a faint positive test result is higher. The home pregnancy test should be done ten days after ovulation to get accurate results.
The instructions for the home test say that the test should be conducted early in the morning as soon as one gets up. This is because the urine in the morning is more concentrated, and hence can give accurate results. However, as the day progresses, the urine gets diluted and chances are that the tests done later in the day show a negative or may be a faint line. This happens usually when the test is taken during early pregnancy.
Though all pregnancy tests are effective in determining whether a woman is pregnant, these tests differ in sensitivity which may affect the result. The pregnancy test sensitivity can range from 20 MIU/L to 100 MIU/L (milliInternational Units per Liter). A test which has 20 or 30 MUI/L is more sensitive than those tests which have more than 50 MUI/L. Higher the sensitivity of the kit, the more accurate it is to determine pregnancy during the early stages. For instance, the tests which have 20 MIU can determine conception even with 20 hCG level. On the other hand, a test which has 50 MIU sensitivity may show a negative result or a faint line with such low hCG level. Hence, it is always better to invest on a test kit which has high sensitivity.
Every pregnancy test specifies a time limit after urine exposure, within which the test result should be read. Any result after this specified time is considered to be false. For instance, the appearance of a faint line after 10 minutes does not indicate a positive result. Rather such a thing is called evaporation line. Here, the urine evaporates from a pregnancy test, sometimes leaving a faint mark on it.
Sometimes, if you experience a faint positive test and then negative test after a few days, this can be an indication of chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage. Experts are of the opinion that almost 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, even before the onset of the symptoms. In other words, the fertilized egg gets attached itself to the uterine lining, but does not develop any further, thereby leading to miscarriage. In such case, you may see a faint line on your test, but on rechecking you may get a negative result. This can also be the case, if you get a faintly positive test and bleeding after a few days.
Apart from the aforementioned reasons, there are several other factors that can lead to faint positive result. Sometimes, if the test is performed using a kit which has passed its expiry date, the chance of getting a faint line is higher. Other than that, conducting the test in an improper manner, i.e., not following the instructions written on the pack properly can also cause the appearance of a faint line on the test. So, if you get such a result, one thing you can do is to perforem the test again after a few days. If you are pregnant, you will see a dark line on the test. Nevertheless, consulting a trusted gynecologist will be advisable.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.