Weak second strip in pregnancy test

All existing pregnancy tests are designed the same way. A reagent is applied to the surface, which becomes reddish when interacting with the hCG hormone. This hormone can only be produced in a pregnant woman.

The number and percentage of hCG is growing every 2-3 days twice from the moment of attachment of the ovum to the uterus. At the maximum level, he is in the third month of pregnancy.

A pregnancy test is an effective way to find out if you are in a position without medical attention. But what if he also gives vague answers? We will tell you what the weak second line in the test says and how to interpret this data.

Note! HCG persists in urine for some time after giving birth. So, if a woman who gives birth makes a pregnancy test, he will give a false positive diagnosis. And so on until the third week.

What are the tests?

Some tests do not show a strip at all. On some, “+” or “-” is displayed, while others generally say “Yes” or “No” in plain text. In addition, instructions and methods of application vary. The most common of them are:

Strip tests Tablet tests Inkjet
The most common and inexpensive way to determine pregnancy. This is a regular cardboard box with a reagent strip and a control strip next to it. In order for the sample to produce a result, you should lower the test into morning urine, and then leave it for 20 seconds. After lay on a flat surface parallel to the floor and wait 1-3 minutes. Almost no different from the classic. The only difference is that the cardboard with the reagent is placed in a plastic form. Using a pipette, you need to place urine in the hole created for this. Otherwise, no differences. They have better sensitivity and do not require the girl to collect urine in a separate container. It is enough to substitute the test under the current stream to find out a reliable diagnosis. This category also includes electronic tests with a sampler. They analyze material in three minutes.

Buying electronic tests, you are not familiar with the weak strip dilemma. They do not force to look closely at the reagent, but immediately give the result. For example, “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. They are, of course, the most expensive.

Is a faded strip a sample error?

If a dull second strip on the test is observed, there is hCG in urine. In some cases, this does not mean pregnancy. Samples can sometimes show a false negative diagnosis, but with a probability of 95 to 99% (depending on brand) they will show the correct one. False positive test is a rarer phenomenon. Moreover, it often indicates diseases that scare a lot more than an unexpected pregnancy.

Tumors of the ovaries, brain, stomach, and mammary gland, for example, can produce hCG. In particular, this concerns chorionepithelioma, a malignant tumor of trophoblast. The test will also give a false positive diagnosis after a recent abortion. For example, spontaneous miscarriage or abortion.

Should the bar repeat the control so that the result is considered positive?

The vast majority of samples have a control strip next to the applied reagent on the test. Compare with her the result. If the second strip that appears is distinguished by blurry lines and has a pale shade that is very different from the control, the test can not be called positive. It may just be a leaked reagent.

If the result has clear lines (and even less intensity) – the test is positive. So, often the reagent is painted in a dull pink or bluish tint with a red or blue control sample.

What does the dull strip on a pregnancy test mean?

The biggest myth regarding tests is that they supposedly can reflect not only the fact of pregnancy, but also its duration. Of course, this is not so. A distinct, but faded second strip on the pregnancy test means a low content of chorionic gonadotropin in urine. Hormone is not enough to make the reagent clear.

This happens for the following reasons:

  • Short term. The vast majority of sensitivity tests are up to 25 mIU / ml. They are able to fix pregnancy, starting from the 1st day of delay. If you do the test 5 days after the moment of possible fertilization, there will be no result at all or a fuzzy bar will appear). Wait for the first day of delay, but not earlier than 7 days from the probable conception.
  • Hormone-producing malignancies and other diseases. Tumors increase the level of hCG in the urine, but not enough to make the strip distinct. Go through a complete diagnosis if the pregnancy is not confirmed during the medical examination.
  • Ectopic pregnancy. It’s worth worrying if the intensity of the strip does not increase when you do it with an interval of 5-10 days. It may also indicate a frozen pregnancy.
  • Postponed miscarriage. Miscarriages in the early stages are common. It occurs in 20% of pregnancies (and these are only recorded cases). Often, girls confuse him with premature and meager menstruation. In the event that you had a miscarriage, the test may show a faint streak.
  • Too much liquid was drunk the day before. A large amount of fluid dilutes the urine, while hormones are no longer produced. This may be the cause of an under-expressed reaction.

Often a woman is so desirous or afraid of pregnancy that she can see a faint streak where she is not. Take a look at an unused test. The place where the reagent is applied is darker and stands out.

Note! If you have an abortion and decide to check the result of the procedure with a pregnancy test, it will give out a weak second strip. The amount of hormones in urine after an abortion does not fall immediately – this is absolutely normal.

There are no diseases, the conception happened a long time ago, but is the strip still weak?

It happens that a dull strip on a test means poor sample quality. The reagent is applied incorrectly or in insufficient quantities. In this case, it does not matter what week of pregnancy you pass the test, how the pregnancy develops, etc. The same applies to tests that have been improperly stored or simply expired. The problem is solved by purchasing several tests.

Another reason for a weak strip for a sufficient period is the delayed maturation of the egg. If fertilization occurred before menstruation, and not at the center of the menstrual cycle, then the level of hCG will rise longer. The second strip on the test will be dull for another week.

How to use a pregnancy test?

Most manufacturers recommend taking the test on the first day of the delay, but not earlier than 10 days from the date of the alleged fertilization. It is at this period that hCG begins to be produced by the placenta, which is also responsible for some symptoms of pregnancy. For example, breast tenderness or nausea. In case of a negative result, experts advise to take the test again every 5-10 days, if menstruation has not begun.

Some actions help improve accuracy:

  • Analysis of morning urine. If it is impossible to use morning urine, use one that has been in the bladder for at least 4 hours. This will make it easier to fix the presence of a hormone in the material.
  • Do not drink large amounts of liquid before the test. The liquid dilutes the urine and, accordingly, reduces the concentration of hCG. The strip on the test turns out to be weak, but at the early stage does not appear at all.
  • Follow the directions in the instructions. If you use a regular strip test as an inkjet, the reagent will not work. Strip tests are less sensitive.
  • Take some tests from several manufacturers. This method is common and often practiced. Remember only that at too early a time all tests will show a false negative result, regardless of firm.
  • For a while, give up taking drugs to increase fertility. Drugs recommended by pregnancy planning centers for fertility problems can increase the level of hCG on the test. The sample will give an unreliable result in the form of a faint pale strip.

If you are not sure about the results, take a blood test. This is the most accurate way to determine pregnancy, which can not only fix its presence, but also determine the period for which you are.

If a pregnancy test shows a weak second strip

If you see the second strip, the first thing it is recommended to pass a repeated rapid test with a product from another manufacturer. Then repeat it in a few days.

Do one of the following:

  • Get an ultrasound scan. Transvaginal ultrasound helps to find the egg inside the uterus within 7 days after the delay. Ultrasound through the abdominal wall is another matter. It can detect pregnancy only at the 6th week of conception.
  • Take a blood test. HCG in the blood can be detected much earlier than in urine. Such a test can be done at shorter time than home.
  • Go to the gynecologist. At 4 weeks of pregnancy, her fact can be confirmed literally on a gynecological chair. It is faster than a blood test, and more comfortable than an ultrasound diagnosis.

If the test gives a weak strip, but the doctors could not confirm the fact of pregnancy, the woman is sent for the diagnosis of hormone-producing neoplasms. They also review the list of fertility-enhancing drugs that lead to the detection of the hormone in the urine.


A false negative result in a pregnancy test occurs more often than a false positive. A weak strip on the test does not mean a short gestation period and does not even guarantee it. It only shows the presence of hCG in the urine in insufficient concentration. This substance is produced by the placenta of a pregnant woman and can not be found in the urine of a healthy girl who is not in position.

The place of application of the reagent is darkened in comparison with the rest of the strip test. Sometimes it is noticeable even on a sample that has not yet been used. If you are prone to self-hypnosis and want to increase the objectivity of the assessment, buy electronic options that give the result “Yes” or “No”.

If the pale strip on the test is distinct, but not so intense compared to the control, you are pregnant (at best). In addition, it may be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, tumor, etc.

Repeat the test after a couple of days or take a blood test for the amount of chorionic gonadotropin. This way you can find out for sure.

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