Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (2023)

If you're trying to conceive, you may feel anxious, excited, and anxious about pregnancy tests. You want to see a legible result. Unfortunately, the reality with pregnancy tests is that results can sometimes be difficult to interpret.

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (1)

Faint lines, evaporation lines, well lines, and more can spoil your pregnancy testing experience. Instead of being happy with the results, you might be confused or disappointed by a difficult-to-read result.

In this blog post, you'll learn how to understand confusing pregnancy test lines — including faint lines, evaporation lines, and well lines — so you can feel confident and able to interpret your test.

The different types of pregnancy tests and how they work

Home pregnancy tests use the levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG in your urine to determine if you are pregnant or not. They do this by comparing your hCG level to an average hCG threshold found in early pregnancy.

Most pregnancy tests show two lines: a control line and a test line. The control line shows you did the test correctly, while the test line only appears when the test determines you are pregnant. These lines are called "notches," where the ink builds up in a line or two to indicate whether you're pregnant or not.

You can usually choose from three types of home pregnancy tests: medium-flow tests, dropper tests, and dip tests.

  • intermediate examsretained in the stream of urine for a few seconds (after it has already begun).
  • Dropper-TestsUse a pipette to extract fresh urine from a beaker, which is then poured into the test well.
  • immersion testsUse test strips dipped directly into a cup of collected urine.

For each of these options, it is important to read the instructions and follow them carefully to get an accurate result. Often you have to wait a few minutes for the pregnancy test to show the result.

You should also take a pregnancy test.At the right moment– usually two weeks after you ovulate (read more about the applicationovulation test stripscorrect) - to ensure you don't get a false positive or false negative result.


After a few minutes, you can look at the test window to determine the result of your pregnancy test.

Some newer digital pregnancy tests use a plus or minus sign or words like "yes" or "pregnant" to make the results less confusing. However, most pregnancy tests use a test line and a control line. If the test line is faint or has evaporated, it can be difficult to determine if you are actually pregnant.

interpreting the results

Pregnancy tests try to make the testing process as easy as possible. Unfortunately, some confusion is inevitable when interpreting the results - especially when your test line comes back bright or faint. Here's what you need to know to understand the different types of lines that can appear on a pregnancy test result.

What should a positive test look like?

In a perfect world, all positive pregnancy tests would look the same and be easy to interpret. However, each manufacturer uses a different system to find out if you are pregnant or not. Some of the symbols that can be used to indicate a positive test result are:

  • The word "yes" or "pregnant"
  • a smiling face
  • a plus sign
  • Two dark lines, parallel or in the form of a plus sign

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (2)

Source: Grupo do Facebook Mira Fertility Club More information

When these symbols appear, you can be sure that you are probably pregnant as long as you took the test at the right time and followed the instructions. Your doctor may perform an hCG blood test to confirm the home pregnancy test result.

Evaporation Lines (Evap)

Pregnancy tests have a response time — a period of about three to five minutes after they are taken, when the urine used is still wet. The result appears after this three to five minute window. However, if you wait too long after the response time to interpret the result, the urine from the pregnancy test can dry up, causing an evaporation line.

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (3)

(Video) Faint Positive Vs. Evap Line First Response

Source: Grupo do Facebook Mira Fertility Club More information

Evaporation lines are considered false positives. Unlike a faint positive result, which results in a light pink or blue line, an evaporation line doesn't activate the dye in the pregnancy test, so it can appear as a colorless or translucent line. Not only can you wait too long to interpret the test, it can also happen if the test gets wet or is performed incorrectly.

Whenever you see a faint line and are unsure whether you are pregnant or not, it is best to repeat the pregnancy test with a new test strip.

thin lines

Occasionally, a faint line on a pregnancy test means you are pregnant. In other cases, it can indicate a false positive result. Usually, the cause of a faint line on a pregnancy test is testing too early.

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (4)

Source: Grupo do Facebook Mira Fertility Club More information

In early pregnancy, your hCG levels will gradually increase. A faint line could be the result of hCG levels rising but not much above the threshold to indicate you are pregnant. But it could also be the result of aChemical Pregnancy, a false-positive test result that comes from a pregnancy test taken too soon before the start of your next menstrual period.

The best thing to do if you see a faint line on a pregnancy test is to wait and test again. Make sure you do the second pregnancy test no sooner than two weeks after you ovulate, as your hCG levels may not be high enough to give a definitive positive result if you do the test before then.

If you are pregnant, testing again in two weeks should result in a darker and lighter test line as your hCG levels will continue to rise. If the faint line is the result of a chemical pregnancy test, you may get a negative result when you take the test again.

(Video) Do Faint Lines on the Pregnancy Test Indicate Pregnancy?

Occasionally, faint lines on a pregnancy test can be caused by conditions such as an ectopic pregnancy, pituitary tumors, or ovarian cysts. If you continue to see faint lines when you take a pregnancy test again, see your doctor for an hCG blood test to determine if you are pregnant and to rule out a serious condition.

indent lines

The indent lines are the two lines — the control line and the test line — that fill with ink when you take a pregnancy test. They are so called because they are slightly recessed to keep the ink from spilling.

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (5)

Source: Grupo do Facebook Mira Fertility Club More information

If you are pregnant, both indentation lines will be filled in; if you are not pregnant, only the control line will be filled in. If no rows are filled, this is an indication that the pregnancy test was performed incorrectly or has errors and you should repeat the test.

As the ink moves across the test window, a small amount of ink is sometimes trapped on the second pit line (the test line). As the pregnancy test begins to dry, your urine begins to evaporate, pulling off the small amount of ink stuck to the top of the line. This can result in a bad evaporation line or a false positive result.

For this reason, it is especially important to read the instructions for your pregnancy test, especially when it comes to how long you should wait. Set a timer so you don't accidentally wait too long before interpreting the results, and be sure to hold the pregnancy test flat while it dries so the ink doesn't fill the pit line and give a false positive result.

colorless lines

Some faint lines on pregnancy tests are the same color as the control line: pink or blue. In other cases, the lines appear clear or colorless. As previously mentioned, this can happen when the test urine dries up and begins to evaporate.

Evaporation, Bleeding, and Faint Lines: Understanding Pregnancy Tests (6)

(Video) Faint Line on a Pregnancy Test: What Does it REALLY Mean?

Source: Grupo do Facebook Mira Fertility Club More information

This evaporation line appears as a clear or colorless line on the test stick. Although this may mislead you into thinking you are pregnant, it is important to know that evaporation lines are false positives.

You can always take the pregnancy test again if you're confused about an evaporation line - just follow the directions carefully and don't wait too long before interpreting your results lest you end up with a false positive second test.

Tips to avoid false positive or negative results

When taking a pregnancy test, it's important to follow the directions carefully to avoid a false positive or false negative result. Incorrectly performing a home pregnancy test is one of the most common causes of confusing results. To reduce the chances of false positives or false negatives, follow these handy tips in addition to the instructions for your specific pregnancy test:

don't test too early

Wait at least two weeks after ovulation day or one day after your expected period to increase accuracy. At this point, home pregnancy tests are up to done99% accurate🇧🇷 You can pinpoint your ovulation more accurately by using adigital fertility tracker like Mira.

Test more than once

Test more than once, especially if you're confused by your pregnancy test results. Having more than one positive pregnancy test result makes it more likely that you are actually pregnant than getting a false positive result.

test in the morning

Take a pregnancy test with your first morning urine. Your hCG concentration is highest first thing in the morning. So if you're pregnant, reduce the chance of a false-negative result by taking the test with your first urine of the day.

follow the instructions

Read the instructions before taking the test and follow them carefully. Set a timer for the exact wait time so you don't accidentally wait too long and see an evaporation line. Most pregnancy tests also advise you to hold the test strip flat while you wait for the results.

Know that not all tests are created equal

If you are confused by your pregnancy test results, try another home pregnancy test. Some people find pink or blue dyes easier to see. Others may prefer a digital pregnancy test that uses words like "yes" or "pregnant" to provide a definitive result.


Watch out for other signs of pregnancy

Watch out for other signs of pregnancy. Early symptoms of pregnancy include breast swelling or tenderness, nausea or vomiting (“morning sickness”), and missed periods. Combined with a faint positive line, these symptoms increase the likelihood that you are pregnant.

see your doctor

If you're still concerned about the results of your home pregnancy test, make an appointment with your doctor. You can have blood tests done to see if your hCG levels are increasing. Hope you get the exciting answer you are looking for.


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