Evaporation Line on Pregnancy Test: What Is It?

Reading the results of home pregnancy tests can often become a tricky task. Sometimes, the thing you see on a test stick is so contradictory that you don’t know the way to interpret them correctly. For this reason, mistakes are quite common. Evaporation lines are often confused with faint lines making people believe they have positive results.

What is an evaporation line? And why do people confuse it with a positive pregnancy test? We are here to tell you everything.

Evaporation Line. What Is It and Why Does It Appear?

Evap lines show on pregnancy tests sometime after you are supposed to read them. They are the result of the urine drying out. They are never a sign of pregnancy. On the contrary, such lines on pregnancy tests mean you are not pregnant.

So why do women often confuse an evaporation line with a positive answer to their question? In most cases, they don’t read the instruction on the test kit carefully enough to understand they’ve taken the result wrongly. Some women, especially those struggling to conceive, read this line as positive because they refuse to believe they tested negative again.
To avoid such situations you should know the difference between a faint line on a pregnancy test and an evaporation line.

How to Distinguish Between a Faint Positive and an Evap Lines?

There are several evaluation criteria that can help you understand what kind of line you are looking at.

  • Time. A positive faint line shows within 3 to 5 minutes after doing the test, while the evaporation one becomes visible more than 10 minutes later.
  • Control line. If the control line hasn’t colored after you’ve used the test, the line in the result field is definitely an evaporation line.
  • Color. While faint colored streak shows you are expecting a baby, colorless streaks are nothing else than evap lines.

Guidelines for Using the Test Correctly

Taking the test according to instructions is essential for avoiding false positives or false negatives. You should look through the recommendations on the test kit use carefully and follow them accurately to avoid any misinterpretation.

Among the essential things to keep track of is time. To read the results you’ll have a ten-minute test window. Most manufacturers recommend evaluating the result after 3 – 5 minutes of waiting. If the test showed negative results within the aforementioned timeframe, there’s no need to go back to it. Otherwise, you may be misled by an evap line that may appear on the stick.

Also, if choosing between putting the test into the urine stream and dipping it into the collected sample, you’d better opt for the latter. This will help you control how the liquid gets on the test stick and prevent its splashing onto the parts of the test that should stay dry.

Check the expiration date on the test as those expired cannot provide accurate results.

Are the Test Results Reliable?

Tests for home use can detect pregnancy in 99% of cases if you do them the first day your mensesare late. This time is perfect for your hCG levels to reach the point where a regular test kit can find it. But if you can’t wait for that long and want to find out your results sooner the estimated menses date, you can use specially designed kits for early detection of pregnancy.

They are believed to be able to show a trustworthy result six days before your menstruation is supposed to begin. Still, the percentage error may reach 30 – 40%. The fewer days before the new menstrual cycle you do the test, the more precise results you can receive.

The possibility of receiving a false negative exists if a woman tests too early in the pregnancy. To confirm or deny it, they should repeat the testing after a couple of days. The hCG amounts are supposed to increase by almost 50% within this period. Due to this, it’ll be easier to interpret the result you see on a test stick.

A Faint Line on the Test

An indistinct colored line on the stick makes some women hesitate about being pregnant. In some cases, they take it as an evaporation line and just ignore it. However, a colored second strip on the test always tells about pregnancy, even if it is faint.

Why is the line faint? There can be several reasons:

  • your term is very small;
  • you have an ectopic pregnancy;
  • you’ve had a recent miscarriage, and your test is a false positive.

Any of these, however, should be confirmed by a doctor. But while waiting for an appointment, you can repeat the test. If the streak is brighter, you probably have a healthy pregnancy.

Evaporation Line on Pregnancy Test – Final Words

Interpreting pregnancy tests can be confusing. But don’t let them trick you.Stick to the instructions and perform the testing once the best time comes. Good luck!

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