Before discussing a faint positive pregnancy test and how to read the results of a home pregnancy test, let’s understand precisely how a home test works. Pregnancy tests work by detecting the pregnancy hormone in your urine. The pregnancy hormone is called human chorionic gonadotropin, which is abbreviated as hCG. This hormone only appears in your urine if you are pregnant. It takes approximately a week after conception before your body begins to produce this hormone, and several days after this before your hormone levels are high enough to detect on a home pregnancy test.
The reason it takes so long to test is simple. Once your egg is fertilized, it has a trip to take. This is not a short trip by any means. The fertilized egg must first travel through your fallopian tubes. From there, it enters your uterus. Once in your uterus, it begins to work hard to implant into the wall of the uterus, making your pregnancy official. Your body doesn’t start producing hCG until that fertilized egg implants.
Once implanted, your hCG level varies. Women who are not pregnant have an hCG level of 4 mIU/ml or less. It takes approximately two to three days for your level of hCG to double. Since every woman is created differently, you won’t know which category you are in; a woman whose levels rise very quickly or one whose levels rise very slowly. This is why doctors recommended waiting to take a pregnancy test until you miss your period. If your hCG level is 3 mIU/ml to start with and you take a pregnancy test designed to detect hCG levels of 25 mIU/ml or higher, it could take anywhere from 8 to 12 days from the date of implantation to the date your levels are high enough to detect with a home pregnancy test. This is the reason so many women experience a false negative result when they test early.
All pregnancy tests are used pretty much the same way. You will either hold the absorbent tip of the test in your urine for a few seconds or you will urinate in a cup and hold the tip of the test in your urine for a few seconds. You then wait a few minutes and read the results. The amount of time you wait depends on the test. For this reason, ensure that you carefully read and follow the instructions that come with each pregnancy test prior to taking the test. This is the only way to ensure that your results are accurate.
Unless you use a digital pregnancy test, results can be difficult to read for many women. They often wonder whether or not a faint positive pregnancy test means they are pregnant, or if a faint positive pregnancy test means that they are not pregnant. Some women actually wonder whether or not their even seeing a faint positive pregnancy test result or if they are just so hopeful that it’s their imagination running wild.
Digital tests make this simple; the test says, “Pregnant” or, “Not Pregnant,” once the results appear. Tests that indicate pregnancy with the presences of two colored lines, however, can be difficult to read. The good news is this; no matter how faint a faint positive pregnancy test result actually is, it is positive. There is no way a test can show a faint positive pregnancy test result if you are not pregnant.
However, keep in mind that if you see a faint second line hours after you take the test, this could be an evaporation line, which does not indicate pregnancy. An evaporation line is a line that appears as your urine begins to dry in the test. It often confuses many women because it does appear, it just takes a while. This is why pregnancy test instructions specifically require that you do not read the results of any pregnancy test more than 10 minutes after taking the test.
Few things in life are as frustrating for a woman hoping to get pregnant than a faint positive line on a pregnancy test. Even knowing that this indicates pregnancy, many women still question the result. One of the most common reasons is that the line is so faint she might wonder if she actually sees the line or if it is just a figment of her imagination. If you find yourself doubting a faint positive pregnancy test, call your doctor and schedule a blood test or go out and purchase a digital test, which makes reading the results that much simpler.
Keep in mind, however, that you should not take a secondary test to test for pregnancy unless you still have the urine you used first thing in the morning. Urine from later in the day is too diluted and might not have enough hCG to detect pregnancy. If you discarded your urine, wait to test again until first thing in the morning.