What Do Faint & Evaporation Lines On Pregnancy Tests Mean ?
How do I know I am pregnant?
Pregnancy is a period of joy for many women. Some women may be trying to get pregnant while others may not even realize they are pregnant until they see the obvious signs. You become pregnant when a sperm fertilizes your egg. If you are one of those women who keeps track of their ovulation cycle then you would know when you have released an egg and when it may get fertilized.
Once the egg is fertilized, it travels down your fallopian tube up to the uterus and attaches itself to the innermost layer of the uterus called the endometrium. As soon as the fertilized egg has attached itself, you will be called pregnant and this attachment process is called implantation.
Now the symptoms of pregnancy may vary from woman to woman. If you were eagerly trying to get pregnant you will notice even the slightest changes that may be occurring in your body. On the other hand, if it is your unplanned pregnancy you may not be aware of the trivial changes occurring in you at the start of the pregnancy. But either you experience such symptoms or not, some indications are related to pregnancy, such as:
- Missed period. The most common symptom of pregnancy is that you have missed the date you usually get your periods on. This is only applicable when you know your period cycle is very regular. In cases of irregular periods, you may be just be worried that your periods are late again, and you may not be expecting pregnancy as much.
- Slight bleeding. This is another very common symptom and very easily mistaken for a regular period. This is because it occurs around the date of your next period, but this is not period blood. Instead, it is implantation blood, that happens when implantation has successfully occurred. This sort of bleeding is also, at times, accompanied by cramping in your pelvic region.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tender and swollen breasts
- Mood swings
- Headache and dizziness
- Food cravings
- Increased body temperature
Please note that not all women go through every symptom mentioned above to call themselves pregnant, they may feel pregnant or they may not be able to tell the difference at all.
How to confirm I am pregnant?
Despite all the bodily changes you may be experiencing, you still need to confirm your pregnancy with some definite pregnancy tests. The most common pregnancy tests include:
- Home pregnancy test. Most women find this test very convenient because it can be done in the comfort and the privacy of your house. All you have to is to get a pregnancy test kit which includes a strip which is very easy to use.
- The other method is a blood test that reads the level of the hormones in your blood. This is the most accurate of all the tests for pregnancy.
When do I take the pregnancy test?
A pregnancy test can be very daunting. Some women may be very curious to know their results because they have been trying to get pregnant or some women may not want to get pregnant. Either way, you need to allow yourself some time before taking this test.
Pregnancy test works on basis of only one hormone, which is the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone that is found both in the urine and the blood test, and there needs to be a specific amount of this hormone in your body for them to be detected in these tests. If you take the tests before the levels of this hormone increase up to the threshold level, then there are chances you may get a false negative result. If you are sure of your ovulation and fertilization dates, then keeping tracks of your pregnancy would become easier. You need to wait for at least 2 weeks after you had sex to let the hormone increase in your body after conception and become detectable in your pregnancy tests.
How does a home pregnancy test work?
Both tests work by detecting HCG. For the urine strip test, the recommended way is to do it in the morning because the first urine has the most concentration of HCG and can provide the best result. You can:
- Use a container to contain your urine and then dip the strip in the container
- Directly pee on the strip, particularly the midstream to get the best results.
If you are pregnant and you have the detectable amount of HCG in your urine then the strip will show 2 lines. And if you are not pregnant, the strip will remain unchanged.
On the other hand, a blood test is where HCG levels are detected in your blood. A blood pregnancy test is by far the most accurate test to label a woman pregnant.
What do faint lines on pregnancy tests mean?
Women may find themselves confused after seeing faint line on a pregnancy test and this can be nerve-wracking because a faint line can mean both, you can be pregnant or you can not be pregnant.
In one case, you may be pregnant, but perhaps you took the test so early that the strip was not able to detect the right amount of HCG in your urine, which is why it came out as a faint line. Even so, if you repeat this after a few days, then the chances are that the faint line will become darker as the levels of HCG increase in your urine day by day.
In other cases, if you have had a miscarriage and you take this test, then there are chances you would get a false positive because even the fetus is dead and is being expelled out, yet, the remaining hormone can cause the faint line to occur.
Even though the test was carried out correctly the strip may show faint line. Another reason for a faint line being displayed is that the test was not done according to the instructions mentioned on the strip kit.
What is an evaporation line?
In contrast, if you see a faint line it would not always indicate that you are pregnant. A misleading faint line may also appear which is known as the evaporation line. This line typically appears when a woman has waited much longer to check for the result than the recommended time of the strip and this happens as a result of the urine evaporating from the stick. To eliminate this chance, it is important that you read the instructions mentioned on the strip so there are zero chances of error. You can differentiate between a positive pregnancy line or an evaporation line by noting the time frame of the result. If a faint line appears within 5 minutes then you are most likely pregnant, but if a faint line is present even after 10 minutes have passed then it is an evaporation line and should not be mistaken for a positive pregnancy.
If you are still confused about the results, it is best for you to repeat the test after a few days so that the hormone levels have increased in case you are pregnant and also to eliminate the chances of evaporation line the next time.