This is a common question when you are using ultra-early detection pregnancy test strips and one that can cause a lot of heartaches. The photograph below was supplied by a customer asking this very question. In fact, when we first looked at the photograph we could not see any line at all.
Our advice would be to ignore a line as faint as this and count it as a negative. Wait 48 hours and repeat the pregnancy test using a first-morning urine and see if the line is any stronger. Alternatively, you could try using a digital pregnancy test as this does not require the interpretation of lines.
We have recently heard about an online trend for digitally enhancing faint lines on pregnancy test strips to make them look more positive. This is not a good idea and will only lead to false hopes. The faint line that you are seeing me just be the test medium that is embedded into every test strip. If you digitally enhance this it may look like a positive, when it is, in fact, a negative. Some people mistakenly interpret these extremely faint lines as false positives when in fact they were negative.
What we are looking for is a BFP (Big Fat Positive ) and this should be obvious to the naked eye. You should be able to see it clearly and it should not require a magnifying glass or digitally enhancing. It should resemble the Control line that is very clearly visible on this test strip above. As the pregnancy progresses the test line will get stronger in colour as more pregnancy hormone is present in the urine.
With so many pregnancy test kits on the market how do I know which one to use ?
If you have missed your period and you are looking for a pregnancy test to confirm your pregnancy then any chemist pregnancy test will do the job really well, and should hopefully give you a positive result. All modern home & professional pregnancy tests are very sensitive & accurate and false positives are rare. False negatives usually occur when the test is done too early or at the wrong time of day, so there is insufficient of the pregnancy hormone hcg in the urine sample.
If you looking for the cheapest pregnancy tests you will probably need to go online to purchase them. Pregnancy test strips are far cheaper than the leading brands of home pregnancy tests as they contain far less packaging and the technology is far simpler. You will be required to look for two lines on the test strip to confirm a positive pregnancy. They can also be bought in a range of sensitivities and can be bulk bought, if you are doing repeat or early testing before the missed period.
If you are testing early i.e. before you have missed a period , you will need to use an early detection pregnancy test kit which detects a lower level of the pregnancy hormone hcg in your urine sample. False positive can sometimes occur when you are doing very early pregnancy testing before the missed period, when you get a BFP followed several days later by a negative result or a period. This is usually referred to as a chemical pregnancy and means that for some reason the pregnancy did not continue.
This is a query we received recently, and we thought it was worth sharing the answer with our fertility blog readers.
”Last month I used one of the ultra early HCG tests on the day I expected my period, it came up positive. The following day it was negative and my period started the following day.”
Here is our answer:
Ultra early pregnancy tests can result in this finding, as they detect chemical pregnancies.One issue with ultra early tests is that be that they detect very low levels of hcg ( usually 10mIU ), and can detect what are termed ‘chemical pregnancies’. ie were implantation starts but does not proceed to a viable pregnancy.
It is estimated that this happens quite frequently, but that we are normally
unaware of this as the period may be a only a day late or not late at all.
ie the pregnancy ends very early before we even know we are pregnant. This is one of the drawbacks of ultra sensitive early pregnancy tests.