6 Most Commonly Asked Questions about Pregnancy Test Evaporation Lines

A common concern for women who take home pregnancy tests is the possibility of an evaporation line. This is a faint line that can appear on the test after the designated time for reading the results has passed. While it is normal for this line to appear, it can be confusing and even lead to mistaken results.

Read on to find the answers to the 6 most commonly asked questions about pregnancy test evaporation lines.

evaporation line on pregnancy test

1: What are pregnancy test evaporation lines?

An evaporation line is a line that appears on the pregnancy test strip due to the drying of your urine on the strip. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on the result you are hoping for) it is not caused by the presence of hCG and therefore does not indicate pregnancy.

2: How long does an evaporation line last?        

Most pregnancy tests instruct the user to read the results within a certain number of minutes after taking the test. This time frame is typically within 5-10 minutes after taking the test. If the test is read outside of this time frame, the evaporation line may appear and cause confusion.

3: Does an evaporation line have colour?

Most of the time, an evaporation line appears as a colourless streak, almost like an indentation. It is also often thinner than the control line. On a pink dye pregnancy test, it looks like a faded grey, while on a blue dye pregnancy test, it looks like a lighter shade of blue.

4: How common is a pregnancy test evaporation line?

An evaporation line is a common occurrence on a pregnancy test, but it doesn’t appear every time you test.  Best to read your result within the recommended time to avoid any confusion.

5: What is the difference between a faint pink line and the evaporation line?

Basically, the main difference between a faint pink line and the evaporation line is the colour. A faint positive line is more of like a pinkish line while an evaporation line is almost colourless. Another distinguishing difference between the two involves timing. If the line shows up within ten minutes, it’s most definitely a faint positive line, but if the line shows up much later, then it is an evaporation line.

evaporation line vs faint positive

6: How can I avoid getting an evaporation line?

The best way to avoid confusion from an evaporation line is to read the test within the recommended time frame. It is important to read the instructions carefully and follow them exactly to get the most accurate results.

If you are unsure of the results of your pregnancy test, it is best to wait 1-2 days and take another test or book an appointment with your doctor for a more definitive answer.

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