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Understanding a Faint Line on a Pregnancy Test

Now that pregnancy tests you buy over the counter are so sensitive, they can detect the presence of a pregnancy before the missed period—sometimes as early as 6 days before a missed period. Unless you buy a digital test, you will have a pregnancy test that involves two lines. One line is considered the control line and is a way of knowing whether or not the test worked at all.

If you see 2 lines, it generally means you are pregnant. So what if you see an extremely faint line on the pregnancy test? It can mean that you are very early in the pregnancy—so early that a faint blue line is all that will show up for a few days. It can also mean you are not having healthy enough levels of HCG in the urine and that the pregnancy is not healthy. You may have to see the doctor in order to tell the difference. Blood tests for pregnancy can help determine the health of a pregnancy.

Now that pregnancy tests you buy over the counter are so sensitive, they can detect the presence of a pregnancy before the missed period—sometimes as early as 6 days before a missed period. Unless you buy a digital test, you will have a pregnancy test that involves two lines. One line is considered the control line and is a way of knowing whether or not the test worked at all.

If you see 2 lines, it generally means you are pregnant. So what if you see an extremely faint line on the pregnancy test? It can mean that you are very early in the pregnancy—so early that a faint blue line is all that will show up for a few days. It can also mean you are not having healthy enough levels of HCG in the urine and that the pregnancy is not healthy. You may have to see the doctor in order to tell the difference. Blood tests for pregnancy can help determine the health of a pregnancy.

What to Do if You See a Very Faint Line on a Pregnancy Test?

If you see a faint second line on a First Response, Equate, CVS, Ept, One Step, Clear Blue Easy, New Choice, or other generic pregnancy test (in some cases, it can be a faint pink line), it generally means that you are very early in the pregnancy. If you repeat the test in a day or two, the line should be much more robust, indicating higher levels of HCG in your urine. Try a first morning specimen as this has the highest concentration of HCG in the urine. When you repeat the test, and see the results, a faint line may mean that the pregnancy isn’t progressing normally and you’ll want to see your doctor about that. Quantitative and serial HCG levels can determine what is really going on.

On Pregnancy Test, a Faint Line may not be a Bad Thing

If you are wondering, “What does a faint line on a pregnancy test mean?” there is no real clear answer to that. If you haven’t yet missed your period a super faint or really faint line can just mean the pregnancy is early. If you have already missed your period and you have a light line on a pregnancy test, it can mean the pregnancy is in trouble. Only further evaluation can say for sure if your pregnancy is healthy. Some tests will not show a blue line but will have a faint pink line instead. These are just as easy to read as blue lines. It all depends on the test kit you buy. If you are worried that you are testing too early, purchase a pregnancy test kit that has several kits in one package. That way, you can tell if the line is getting darker over time.
Remember that, if you leave the test out for more than a few minutes, evaporation can occur, leading to a faded line over time. Do not interpret this as a negative thing. The test should be interpreted within the time frame listed on the test’s directions and not later than that after evaporation has had a chance to take place.

What does a First Response Pregnancy Test Faint Line Mean?

The First Response Test is generally a very sensitive test so that you can detect pregnancy before a missed period. If you test shortly after implantation, which is about 6 days before a missed period, you may see a faint line indicating a very early pregnancy. This is not a cause for concern but rather means you should repeat the test in a couple of days. The test line will be much less faint after that period of time.
If you have just one line after repeating the test, you may ask yourself, what does one line mean on a pregnancy test when two days before there was a faint line? This may represent a missed miscarriage; it often means you will lose the products of conception at around the time you would have had your period and only the faint line on the test revealed that a pregnancy was there at all. This can be disheartening to see but it might indicate a luteal phase defect, which means that you aren’t making enough progesterone in the luteal phase of your cycle. The pregnancy must be supported by progesterone during the two weeks after ovulation or the pregnancy can be lost. Fortunately, if this is found to be the case, the doctor can prescribe progesterone suppositories that will support the pregnancy until the placenta can support itself.

What does Two Lines on a Pregnancy Test Mean?

The tests are designed to automatically show one line which is the reference line. As long as you did the test right and the test was not defective or expired, a single reference line is reassurance that the test is working. The second line will be pink or blue, depending on the pregnancy test you purchased. It will show up next to the first line. Any amount of a faint line or strong line is an indication that you are pregnant. The more HCG that is in your urine, the stronger the line will be. For example, if you test yourself after you have missed your period, you will almost always have a strong second line, especially if you purchased a sensitive urine pregnancy test.
If you have missed your period and see a faint line on the urine pregnancy test, you may wish to see your doctor to have serial quantitative HCG levels done. This is a series of blood tests that will tell you and the doctor the exact amount of HCG in the blood at any given point in time. The range is very large so the absolute value of the HCG is not as important as is the doubling of that HCG level within 48 hours of the first test. This means that two tests are required to see if the pregnancy is healthy or not.

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