Very faint line on pregnancy test: am I pregnant?

Yes, you almost certainly are pregnant. If you've done the test right. Here's all you need to know...

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“You’re very likely to be pregnant,” says midwife Anne Richley, “Even the faintest line in the results window means the test has found pregnancy hormones in your urine. A false positive result is very rare.”

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So how faint is very faint?

Obviously, everyone has a different idea of what a faint line looks like but we’re talking anything from not very obvious to proper put-your-specs-on-and-peer-at – as you can see from the picture of three different pregnancy test sticks here, taken by a BabyExpert mum.

For one mum, Katelaura, on our forum, the line was so light she wasn’t sure what was going on: ”I am also having faint lines.

“Took a 6 day early CB test 4 days ago in the evening, faint line, took another CB test the next morning, even fainter, then took a one step strip test this morning and no line at all.”

Why is the line so faint?

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect hCG in your wee – because hCG is an early marker of pregnancy. How much hCG there’ll be in your wee depends on how long you’ve been pregnant: the more days that have passed since sperm fertilised egg, the higher your hCG levels will be – and the stronger the line on your pregnancy test. So, a very faint line nearly always means you’re just a few days pregnant.

Can a faint line ever mean I’m not pregnant?

It’s very unlikely but is possible. ‘False positives’ generally only happen if you’ve done the test wrong, have used a test that’s past its expiry date, are ‘reading’ the result long after the wait time outlined on the packet or are taking certain medications.

You might also get a false positive if you’ve had an hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injection as part of infertility treatment or have particular medical conditions that mean you produce high levels levels of hCG.

But it’s very early days

It is worth knowing (and bracing yourself for the possibility) that this is a very early stage of your pregnancy, and sadly not all pregnancies will make it through the first weeks.

So should I do another test?

Yes. You’ll probably want to anyway, just for reassurance. And, if you wait a day or so (more, if you can bear the tension), your very faint line may well have become a nice, dark one.

However, occasionally these follow-up tests may come up negative. If this happens to you, it probably means you’ve had a ‘chemical pregnancy’ – or a very early miscarriage.

It’s actually quite common – happening in 50 to 60% of first pregnancies. There are all sorts of reasons for it, from poor egg or sperm quality to infection, but it really doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll happen to you again.

It’s probably wise to wait out at least one menstrual period till you try for a baby again, but there’s no need to see your GP unless you find you’re one of the unlucky few who seem to have repeated chemical pregnancies.

What other mums are saying about faint lines on their pregnancy test

“My first positive with DD1 was reealllyy faint but they just kept getting stronger so it’s probably just that you’re testing quite early.” Taflo1215

“It doesn’t have to be a thick strong line, I’ve never had one but a faint line is a line, and a line is a positive!” – Wishuponastar87

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