What does it mean that the HPT line is faint positive?
Q: I did a pregnancy test this morning and there was a very faint positive second line after 3 minutes. What does a faint line mean? Am I pregnant?
A: You either see a second line or you don't. Even a faint line is a positive line, as long as it's read within the suggested time frame. If you do the pregnancy test properly and read it within the recommended time, then a faint and weak line is very likely a positive pregnancy test. There could be several reasons that the line is faint and not darker:
- You tested too early and the hCG level in your body may still be too low for a full positive result.
- Implantation may have happened later then the average nine days after ovulation, and hCG hasn't yet sufficiently increased. hCG levels are directly related to when implantation happens, and if implantation happened later then expected, then it can take longer for a darker positive test.
- The pregnancy test you are using may not be sensitive enough to pick up your hCG levels. You may want to read how sensitive your pregnancy test is. A general rule of thumb is that more sensitive tests are usually more expensive.
- The urine is too diluted to show a stronger second line. Test again with first morning urine.
- You may have tested a little earlier then you thought you were and ovulation happened later than you calculated.
- You may be much later then you thought. The hCG level normally decreases after 9-10 weeks.
- Pregnancies with complications and miscarriages have lower-then-expected hCG levels. If your faint test becomes negative several days later, then you possibly had a chemical pregnancy. It's estimated that up to 40% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is only since pregnancy tests became so sensitive that people have realized how often early miscarriages can happen. In the past, these very early losses might not have been noticed at all, and the woman would never have known she had been pregnant.
If you have a faint line, we suggest that you repeat the test in a couple of days. At that time the answer will be clearer. One caveat: Reading a home pregnancy test after the suggested time will confuse you because it can give unpredictable results.
Read about FALSE POSITIVE PREGNANCY TESTS HERE