- A faint line on a pregnancy test could mean that you’re pregnant.
- At-home pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), aka the “pregnancy hormone,” in your pee. Some at-home tests can pick up hCG in your pee sooner than others.
- You can avoid getting a faint positive pregnancy test by waiting until the first day of a missed period before taking a test and following all of the instructions in the box.
What does a faint line mean on a pregnancy test?
Taking a pregnancy test can be overwhelming, especially when you’re having a hard time deciphering the results. Seeing a faint line can make it tough to tell if the test is positive or negative, as the line may not be as clear as you expected.
If you see a faint line, it could mean that you’re very early on in your pregnancy, that your pee was too diluted to get an accurate result, or that you experienced a chemical pregnancy (a very early miscarriage before five weeks). Getting unclear results from a pregnancy test can be extremely frustrating and leave you with more questions than answers. So, here’s the lowdown on how you can avoid getting a faint line on a pregnancy test, along with what it might mean.
A faint positive vs. an evaporation line
You might have heard about the evaporation line on a pregnancy test and been curious if a faint line is the same thing. The short answer is it isn’t. An evaporation line can show up when the pee on the test area dries up. If you wait too long to check your pregnancy test results, you might mistake an evaporation line for a very faint positive pregnancy test, but they are two different things.
Can a faint line mean a negative result?
If you see any kind of second line, even if it’s very faint, there’s a good chance that you could be pregnant. That’s because the pregnancy test detects human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), dubbed the “pregnancy hormone,” in your pee. Your body starts to produce hCG after an embryo (fertilized egg) has implanted into the wall of your uterus and your placenta has started to develop. A barely visible line usually means that hCG has been detected and, therefore, you could be pregnant. You might mistake the evaporation line on a pregnancy test as a true second line, in which case, you might receive a false positive, but this is pretty rare.