Early Pregnancy Test – Decoding an Evaporation Line


The appearance of a faded and weak positive reading on an Early Pregnancy Test or EPT is still deemed as a positive interpretation. Yet, scores of women are baffled by the appearance of a very faded line. One could easily distinguish between a faded positive outcome and an evaporation line by gaining a little insightfulness and objectivity regarding this aspect.

The locally obtainable (OTC) pregnancy kits come in varying sizes and forms and employ diverse colour formats though they fundamentally function in analogous manner. A pregnancy kit would already have a coloured line present on it known as the ‘control’ band that is utilized in majority of the clinical testing as a means of comparison to observe what is being analysed evaluates up against something. The control band present in a pregnancy test helps the user in deciphering how a positive outcome might appear like. Hence, in case a woman is pregnant, then her outcome would match the control band.

Early pregnancy testThe OTC or mostly known as EPT (Early Pregnancy Test) starts to function on application of urine to it. Majority of the tests suggest the usage of the first morning sample of urine as it has the HCG hormone that is being evaluated to be in highest concentration in the urine when the urine has been present in the system for certain durations of time. Hence, the darker the colour of the urine, the higher is the concentration of the target hormone, HCG and conversely, the less light the urine due to repeated urination or due to consuming loads of clear fluids – the lesser is the concentration of the HCG hormone in the urine and hence less consistent the test outcome would be.

It is imperative to check the outer carton of the pregnancy kit for the sensitivity grade that seems to differ across brands. Kits that are low in test sensitivity – a number that would have the ‘MIU’ following it, would be better able at detecting even lower HCG concentrations in the urine and hence be able to spot a pregnancy early on as compared to other tests that have greater number test sensitivity.

Though dedicated hospital tests are able to spot pregnancy as soon as a week following ovulation, the OTC pregnancy tests are able to reliably detect pregnancy as early as ten to eleven days subsequent to ovulation. The more days after ovulation one does the test, the more accurate is the result.

The reliability of the tests might swing especially in the initial weeks following ovulation as the factors that are being applied in the tests do seem to vary though the test doesn’t alter in its functioning.

Negative EPT Reading

In case of a negative outcome, the strip appears as it was prior to being opened, i.e., there must no colour line on it. A negative outcome during the ten to twelfth day would not essentially translate to an absence of pregnancy, as the HCG levels are too less to be picked up by the test. Hence, one needs to repeat the test in every couple of days till amply past the amount of days mentioned on the packaging of the test kit.

Positive EPT Reading

In case of pregnancy, there would be an appearance of a second line that would be dark much alike the control band. Though, the levels of HCG that might be present at that time might make the line to appear weaker or lighter in colour as compared to the control band. All these signify that pregnancy has been spotted.

Evaporation line – ‘False Positives’

EPTs have a particular number of minutes in which the test outcome is deemed reliable. In case a line surfaces prior to the mentioned reaction time of usually five to ten minutes then it is still most probably a positive outcome. But, if the outcome is appearing subsequent to the upper boundary of the mentioned reaction time, then it is deemed dubious or inconsistent.

On some occasions some find it quite baffling to notice a second band appearing subsequent to the reaction time having elapsed. They observe a line in a place where it ought to be and consider it merely a very light positive outcome. Mostly, though this line is known as the evaporation line that might appear when urine has evaporated from the strip. This line is usually not a fainter tone of the control band colour. Mostly, it lacks colour, yet is viewable, much alike a wet white tissue paper appears. An evaporation line is normally thinner as compared to the width of a control band.

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