So you peed on the pregnancy test, and it came up ambiguous: you’ve got one regular line and one very faint line.

What does a faint line on a pregnancy test mean? Below is everything you need to know.

First Response Pregnancy Test

First Response is a worldwide leader in pregnancy and ovulation testing kits. A large number of women all over the globe rely on their results every day. Their earliest available test can detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your next period is expected.

This product claims to be over 99% accurate and will give you results in 3 minutes.

But when you’re trying to conceive and you pee on the stick so hopefully, only to find it comes up with one clear line and then a second very faint line, what would you do?

Wait longer? Pee on it again? Every ounce of your being wants to be excited but should you get excited yet by that very faint line?

Pregnancy Test Faint Line: Am I Pregnant?

First of all, let’s look at what a pregnancy test does. You pee on the test, ideally first thing in the morning because your urine is most concentrated at this time. The test is looking for the presence of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, in the urine.

The first, darker line indicates that the test is working properly. The second line shows whether you are pregnant or not. It is very very common for women to have pregnancy tests come with different strengths of lines.

Second Faint Line Pregnancy Test

In fact, any amount of the second line, even a very faint one, is almost the indication of a positive pregnancy. If you can see a line at all, most likely you are pregnant. Break out the non-alcoholic champagne and congratulate yourself and your partner on the big news.

However, there are two important things you need to know though that may contradict the general rule:

False Positive Pregnancy Test

You may have what is called a false positive pregnancy test, in which the test has indicated that hCG is showing up in your urine, but this indication is for some other reason than that you are pregnant.

HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HCG, which is generally known as the pregnancy hormone, is usually a sign of the development of the egg in a woman’s ovary, and that the placenta is also developing which will protect the fertilized egg.

Causes of a False Positive Pregnancy Test

A false pregnancy test could be a sign of other things, includes:

  • A medical condition or illness which has resulted in hCG or blood or protein in the urine. This can include kidney disease and bladder infections, as well as ovarian cysts, menopause or some very rare tumors.
  • Certain injections for fertility can be for hCG and may cause it to show up in your wee. Be aware that other fertility therapies should not affect your results.
  • ​This can also be caused by several medications such as Phenothiazine, tranquilizers, anti-convulsants, anti-Parkinson’s medications, diuretics, Promethazine, and hypnotics.
  • ​If you were recently pregnant or miscarried, the hCG may still show up in your body.
  • The test may be faulty in some way.

What Would Make a Pregnancy Test Wrong?

You may be looking at the test after the recommended wait time detailed on the packaging. If the second line showed up much later than the wait time, you might not be pregnant. The second line is just an evaporation line from your urine on the strip.

Also, you can have done the test wrong, or not followed the manufacturer’s instructions correctly. It is essential that you carefully read and follow these.

You can contaminate the tests with other products such as soap or detergent if you wash your hands, the test or the cup which the urine is collected in and leave residue on something. Remember, the test is already sterile before you open it so you don’t need to wash it before use.

Additionally, the test may be expired and therefore not working properly. Always check the expiration date on your pregnancy test and never use an expired one.

However, false positive pregnancy tests are extremely rare. But because they can happen, pregnancy tests are reported as being 99% accurate, and manufacturers recommend that you take at least two tests to confirm your results.

Some Tips to Avoid a False Positive Pregnancy Test

Some Tips to Avoid a False Positive Pregnancy Test

  • Wait until your menstrual period is due before taking the test.
  • Take the test first thing in the morning.
  • ​Read all of the instructions carefully and follow them to the letter.
  • Check the expiry of your test, and do not use it if this date has passed.
  • Wash your hands and remove all soap and residues of anything else. Do not wash the test or cup provided as this is not necessary.
  • Wait the exact amount of time recommended by the test. Do not consider results that may appear after the wait time recommended.
  • Take another test 2-3 days later to confirm.
  • If your test is positive, no matter how faint the second line, you are very likely pregnant.

If you follow these steps, you will have taken every opportunity to ensure you have no false positive pregnancy test. Therefore, you can certainly rely on your home pregnancy tests being a positive sign of your pregnancy.

Low HCG Levels

The second reason that you may have a very faint line is that you are pregnant, but with low hCG, which could result in chemical pregnancy. It’s an unviable pregnancy or early miscarriage.

These kinds of pregnancies happen a lot more often than people would like. If you take your test too early in your cycle, it may, unfortunately, show up a pregnancy which was never meant to be.

You need to treat yourself very gently at this time, and as best you can, be ready for the possible disappointing news.

What Has Happened to My Body at This Time?

An egg has implanted in your uterus, and the cells that will produce the placenta are starting to work, making the hCG. However, your body will not continue this process any further for whatever reasons, no gestational sac or placenta will develop.

It is very often the result of chromosomal abnormalities (either too many or too little) in the fertilized egg, that it was never meant to survive. You will then have a chemical pregnancy, resulting in bleeding and cramping much like a period.

Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy is unfortunately very common and is not an indication that something is wrong with you or your ability to conceive a baby. Quite the contrary, it could be seen as a sign that you can get pregnant.

If you take a test very early in your cycle and it shows up positive, then you still get your period anyway, this has most likely been a very early miscarriage.

Be aware that between 50-75% of all miscarriages end in chemical pregnancy, according to American Pregnancy Association.

Therefore, it is seen medically as more like a blip in a menstrual cycle than pregnancy and miscarriage. Also, you should know that your body is not to be viewed at as abnormal or not functioning because this has occurred.

However, many women can face additional risk factors for chemical pregnancies including if you’re 35 or older, and if you have certain medical conditions such as clotting problems and thyroid conditions.

It’s Not Your Fault!

Emotionally, the experience can certainly be like the loss of a much-wanted pregnancy, because that is what it is. You should grieve in whatever way you need to at this time.

The best thing you can do is be forgiving to yourself and your partner. Also, try not to worry too much about these things.

It can be a good idea to wait for one full menstrual cycle after a chemical pregnancy before trying again just to make sure that everything is working as it should be.

If you’ve had three chemical pregnancies in succession, speak to your doctor. It may mean you have a treatable medical condition that he or she could address which may make conceiving so much easier.

Furthermore, if you have had a positive pregnancy test result and then some light spotting or bleeding in your pregnancy, this is not necessarily a sign of chemical pregnancy or miscarriage, but you should speak to your doctor to ensure that everything is okay.

See Also: Depression during Pregnancy?

What Should You Do When the Faint Line Shows Up?

What Should You Do When the Faint Line Shows Up?

Remember, if you have a very faint line, the vast majority of times it is an indication that you are positively pregnant. You should wait a few extra days (which will seem like the longest days of your life) before taking the test again.

During these few days look after yourself as though you were made of crystal and follow these pregnancy rules:

  • Careful eating, avoid bad food such as soft cheeses, raw meat, lunch meat, etc.
  • Gentle exercise (you can follow BabyCentre’s advice)
  • Take your prenatal vitamins
  • Rest and take it easy
  • Keep your mind as active as possible to distract you from the fact that every minute drags like an hour

Also, avoid these things:

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

  • Drinking alcohol (if you find it hard to stop drinking, talk to your doctor)
  • Smoking weed or cigarettes (Also, don’t breathe the secondhand smoke as it could increase the risk of SIDS)
  • Taking over the counter medicines that are not recommended for pregnant women
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.)
  • Blindly following advice on the internet (if possible, consult with your doctor)

There are some great online forums on mom and bub websites that chat about this and will relate to how you’re feeling at this time. It could be that these women are the only people you can find who know what you’re feeling at this time.

After a few days, take the test again. Maybe for peace of mind, choose a different brand or model of the test. If you get two lines again, no matter how faint the second is, go to your doctor for confirmation. Your doctor may undertake another urine test or a blood test.

Be extremely kind to yourself at this time. Remember, if you are pregnant, you are growing a little person inside you. Your body needs every ounce of goodness it has to give to the baby.

You Are Pregnant!

If you are not pregnant, your doctor will then investigate what else may be going on with your body that made the pregnancy test show up positive and you can seek treatment if necessary.

You will naturally be emotional about this. Give yourself some compassion and ask for love and support from your partner and others around you.


When you made the decision to start trying to conceive you embarked on a tumultuous path that will pretty much never end.

Trying to get pregnant, being pregnant and being a mother are exhausted and drag at all of your emotions. The best you can do is be nice to yourself and your body because most likely there’s some magic and a lot of hard work going on.

If you have any questions or want to share your stories about this, feel free to comment below and I would be very happy to reply.

See Also: Heartburn during Pregnancy