Pregnancy test – what the stripes mean
Every woman at least once in her life did a pregnancy test and was looking forward to the cherished seconds to see what kind of verdict we passed the test.
It’s good to see the result clearly and clearly, but sometimes it’s not clear how to interpret it. When preparing the material for writing the article, she herself was surprised that only women do not see on their test.
Let’s try to figure out what can be seen on our tests and how to correctly guess what this means. So, look at the picture and read:
Two strips on the pregnancy test are both clear – it means that you are pregnant.
Two strips, one clear, the second dim – also means a positive result, only the duration of your pregnancy is very small, so the concentration of hormones is still very small. You can make sure that you didn’t see the second strip very simply – in 3-4 days do another test.
One strip on the pregnancy test – the result is negative, alas, you are not pregnant.
If there are no strips on the test – this is not the correct test, its result cannot be considered negative, you need to repeat your research.
I also read about this result, the second strip on the test is a white red outline or a strip appears after 20-30 minutes, all this of course does not mean that you are pregnant. Since the correct result for the test cannot be seen if more than 10 minutes have passed since the test. After the dough has dried, so called "evaporation strips"which are very often mistaken for the desired second strip.
To make the test result as accurate as possible, you should follow these rules:
– the test will not show any result immediately the next day after conception, you need to wait at least a week;
– do not do the test immediately on the first day of the delay of menstruation, wait five days.
You are not pregnant, and the test shows two strips? This means that the pregnancy test is false positive. Is it dangerous and what to do in this case, to maintain their health?
With the advent of pregnancy tests, women had an excellent opportunity to find out if their absence was related to pregnancy in the very first days of menstruation, and to take appropriate measures. But are the pregnancy test results always reliable?
What does the test strip respond to?
First, the home pregnancy test does not examine pregnancy, per se, or the presence of an embryo in the uterus. The test determines whether the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that appears in the blood in the first days after conception, is increased in the urine. However, hCG is not an absolutely specific substance, that is, its presence in the blood (and, accordingly, its excretion with urine) is not an absolute sign of pregnancy, but may indicate the presence of some other source producing this hormone.
Secondly, the test strip is not so sensitive indicator to detect the minimum amount of the hormone, so women who do not know when to do a pregnancy test or simply “burn with impatience” and therefore conduct it too early, often receive false-negative tests.
Thirdly, the test strip is a rather “gentle” device, which requires precise execution of the instruction. Otherwise, the result can “disappoint”, giving the woman false hopes or, on the contrary, unhappily frustrating her. In addition, let’s not forget about pseudo-producers, who, in pursuit of cheapness, do not shun low-grade reagents, which results in the absolute insolvency of their products, the result of which cannot be guided in any way.
What else affects the result of the study?
Like everything connected with a person, the test strip and the results associated with it often “become victims” of subjective moments, that is, all that is connected with the human factor. There are many variants of such errors, but we will try to divide them into groups.
Failure to follow the instructions, which can occur as a result of inattention, as well as due to a misunderstanding of what was written. For example, a woman, due to the peculiarities of her personality, may find irrelevant certain instructions for use, for example, the requirement for a clean urine container.
Violation of storage conditions, which may occur both before and after purchase. For example, during transportation or in a warehouse in a supermarket, something may spill on a box with tests.
Psychological nuances in which, perhaps, it is impossible to say that a pregnancy test can be wrong: the reason for the error here is not in the test, but in a person. For example, an extremely suggestible woman, having convinced herself indirectly about the presence of pregnancy, can see the second strip “from scratch”; or the white line at the site of the application of the reagent is perceived as the second strip and on the basis of this, wrong conclusions are drawn.
So, we found out that a pregnancy test can be mistaken for reasons related to the quality of the test strip, and for reasons related exclusively to a person. Moreover, errors can occur in one way or the other. If the existing pregnancy is not determined, then they talk about a false-negative test; if the test shows the presence of pregnancy, but in reality it is not, then they say about a false positive test. In the latter case, we dwell in more detail.
Causes of a false positive pregnancy test
False positive results of the pregnancy test are far less common than false-negative ones and this is quite understandable: to obtain a positive test in the absence of pregnancy, a high concentration of chorionic gonadotropin is required in the urine, and this is not so often. However, one should not forget that it is natural for a person to make mistakes, and these errors may be relevant both at the stages of production, storage and transportation, and during the research and evaluation of the results obtained.
If you received a false-positive pregnancy test during a home study, which is confirmed by a medical examination and an ultrasound examination, the reason for this may be:
Conditions not related to pregnancy, but characterized by an increase in hCG:
tumors that produce hCG (vesicular skid, uterine chorion-epithelioma, etc.);
recently terminated pregnancy (condition after miscarriage, abortion or removal of ectopic pregnancy);
administration of chorionic gonadotropin containing drugs.
The causes of the false-positive pregnancy test are numbered conditionally: the first point does not mean that the conditions listed in this group are the most common. According to various studies, the maximum number of false-positive results is due to psychological factors.
What to do when receiving a false positive test?
Obtaining the second strip on the test in the absence of pregnancy requires the mandatory intervention of a doctor, who will determine further tactics. As a rule, it is recommended to repeat the study with the use of test strips from another manufacturer, to assess the results with the help of a third person (girlfriend, mother, doctor). Laboratory determination of the concentration of hCG in the urine will give the final result, which will either reveal an error or give rise to further examination.
How often are mistakes when using test strips?
From the above, one may get the impression that it is absolutely impossible to rely on test strips, however, cases of errors are quite rare. The reliability of such a study is different for different specialists and researchers estimate differently, but in any case, its index varies between 97-99%, which is grounds for considering this study to be quite sensitive and accurate.
Are pregnancy tests wrong? Of course, they are mistaken, and this must be taken into account when conducting research, but in most cases, if you strictly follow the instructions, you have every chance to get a reliable result.
Pregnancy test: photo of positive results
Oh, girls, today I was sorting things out in the closet and found something interesting there. I found my pregnancy test there, a photo of which I will definitely show you! What pleasant memories flooded over me. I remember this day when the pregnancy test showed a second strip like yesterday, how much joy my husband and I had then!
Actually, we planned our daughter not for long. I already saw a positive pregnancy test (photo attached) in the second month of our planning. In the first month of planning, by the way, I also had a delay of 10 days, a weak strip on the pregnancy test was also there, but on day 11 I realized that I was not pregnant, I was very upset and cried for a long time.
But she pulled herself together and with new forces we began to wait for our daughter. Month so long stretched. I could not stand to wait until the day when I had to start critical days, and did the first pregnancy test 2 days before the expected menstruation. The result was a weak strip on the pregnancy test. But, remembering the previous month, I did not rejoice in advance. And in vain! After the delay, I made two more pregnancy tests that were already very positive. A week later, I went to the doctor, who confirmed to me that the pregnancy test showed me the second strip correctly!
Well, since I have such a mood, then let’s see with you the positive pregnancy tests, the photos of which I found in the internet, and we will rejoice over their owners!
The first two pregnancy tests are the tests of my friends, with whom we became pregnant almost at the same time.
Well, actually, here it is, my pregnancy test, a photo of which I promised you!
And this is just a picture on this topic, which I really liked!
Girls, and maybe you will show us your pregnancy test (photos can be added to the comments)? I’d like to look at him!
Share with your friends!
Today, the most popular of the test systems are the test strips for pregnancy.
This choice is explained by the simplicity in the device and in use, the affordable price of these tests, which can be bought at any pharmacy and even in the supermarket.
Pregnancy test strips are a narrow plastic plate, with a paper strip glued to it, impregnated with a reagent sensitive to the hCG hormone, a particular human chorionic gonadotropin hormone whose concentration in the blood and then in the urine increases dramatically from the first days after conception and gradually reduced by the end of the first half of pregnancy.
The test procedure using pregnancy test strips is simple: the plate is lowered into the urine tank to the marked level for about 5-15 seconds (indicated in the test instructions), after which the plate must be placed horizontally on a clean, dry surface and the result will be evaluated in 3 5 minutes, but no later than 10 minutes from the start of testing.
Evaluation of test strips
If, after a specified period of time, one color line appears on the test area, the result of a negative pregnancy is most likely not. This line is a control line and its appearance indicates that the test was conducted correctly.
If two colored stripes appear, the test is considered positive, which indicates that the concentration of the hormone hCG is elevated and the pregnancy is most likely to be present.
A weak second line on pregnancy test strips is also considered a positive result.
It should be borne in mind that sometimes test results can be false positive and false negative. Therefore, if the test result is negative, but the woman feels unwell with a long delay of the menstrual cycle, or simply in the case of a positive result, she needs to consult a gynecologist to confirm the pregnancy or to detect possible pathologies in time.
Pregnancy test strips have pros and cons
Pluses of test strips for pregnancy consist in relative simplicity of their use and low price.
The main disadvantage of test strips is the need to pre-collect urine in a clean, dry container, which makes its use is not very convenient and not hygienic. In addition, if the basis for the reagent is a strip of paper, there is a high probability of an erroneous test result, to avoid which it is necessary to strictly follow the instructions for use, as if you immerse the plate in the urine below a specified level or withstand a time period greater than the specified one, if the urine level is below the specified mark or the test is removed too quickly, the reagent strip will not have time to soak in the urine, in these cases the test will show negative results even in the presence of pregnancy th result. In this case, if the basis for the reagent is not paper, but, for example, latex, the probability of an erroneous result decreases.
Pregnancy Test Strip Sensitivity
The sensitivity of test strips for pregnancy varies from 25 to 10 mIU / ml, the higher the number, the lower the threshold of sensitivity. Thus, pregnancy test strips with a sensitivity of 20-25 mIU / ml are recommended to be used from the first day of menstruation delay, when the concentration of the hormone hCG in the urine is high enough – about 10-14 days after fertilization, the concentration of hCG in the urine is 25-100 mIU / ml. Testing is recommended in the morning when urine has the highest concentration of hormone.
Pregnancy test strips with a sensitivity of 10-15 mIU / ml can be used as early as 3 days before the expected delay of the menstrual cycle and at any time of the day.
Weak second strip on pregnancy test
Although not all pregnancy tests are equally high-quality and sensitive, they are all based on the same principle: the test reagent reacts to the presence of the hormone gonadotropin in the urine, which indicates that the pregnancy has taken place.
In each test there is a control and test zone in which two strips are located: one of them is a control one, the manifestation of which indicates the suitability and informativeness of this test. The second strip appears only if there is hCG in the urine – it is covered with a reagent that reacts to gonadotropin.
In each test, the instructions indicate the time during or after which the test result should be evaluated – usually, it is 5-10 minutes. After this time, the test is no longer informative. Just now, for example, a weak second strip may appear, which is not a confirmation of pregnancy.
Also, the appearance of a white or gray second strip should not be regarded as a positive result – this is the so-called drying strip (that is, a trace from the reagent that did not appear) or the like happens if too much liquid gets on the test.
Read also Pregnancy is, and the test is negative
It should be noted that a positive result should take the manifestation of two clearly delineated, not blurred strips of the same size, which certainly are located in the control and test zone and are equal in color, brightness and intensity. It happens that a test carried out too early may already show the presence of hCG in the urine, but because of its very low level, the reagent appears weak, not expressed. But without retesting, you shouldn’t hope so. In the instructions for the tests they write that even a weakly pronounced second strip can be regarded as a positive result. However, practice shows that this is not always true. If the second strip is too pale and fuzzy – most likely, this indicates unsuitability to use this test (it is overdue or defective) or incorrect testing. Also, false-positive results can occur when conducting a test shortly after an abortion, against the background of taking medications for infertility, if there are tumors in a woman, if there are kidney dysfunctions or during the development of pathological pregnancy.
In general, a weak fuzzy second strip should be regarded as a false result, and to confirm your guesses, one or several more tests should be repeated. At the same time, keep in mind that usually tests do not show pregnancy before the first day of the expected, but not set menstruation, although there are exceptions.
There is an opinion that the weak second strip indicates ectopic pregnancy – this is not quite so. As we have said, it is likely that the onset of pregnancy develops with violations. But in general, all the tests determine the presence or absence of pregnancy in general, but where it develops, only ultrasound can determine.
Weak second strip on a pregnancy test: reviews
Two strips on a pregnancy test
Having seen two strips on a pregnancy test, one can make a seemingly quite logical conclusion about the presence of this very pregnancy. But is everything so simple: a delay, a pregnancy test, two stripes and you are a mother?
It just seems that everything is simple, there are a lot of questions and pitfalls. Let’s see how a pregnancy test works, two strips are good or bad, and what it means in different life situations. Why does the test show two bars?
Pregnancy tests respond to a hormone that is secreted by the embryo shell (chorion). This hormone is called chorionic gonadotropin. In a healthy body of a non-pregnant woman, it does not exist, it appears only when there is a living embryo, its concentration gradually increases in the blood, partly it enters the urine, and the definition of home pregnancy tests is based on its definition. Two strips on the test appear if the woman is pregnant, but if there is no pregnancy, only one strip appears. We have already written in detail what pregnancy tests are and how they work, and in this article we will touch on the questions when there should be no such result, but there is one.
What do the two stripes mean in a situation where you have not even had a delay? Let’s start with the fact that you probably didn’t just begin to do this test before the end of the cycle, something you probably suspect. Perhaps, the previous periods seemed unusual, they sweat in the morning, is there a weakness? Then this test is evidence of pregnancy, and the period can be quite decent, for example, if there is still a week ahead of menstruation, you may already have 7 obstetric weeks of pregnancy, if you become pregnant, and, as people say, the previous months have passed through the fetus. Need to consult a gynecologist.
You had an abortion, a few days passed, and the test showed two strips? Do not worry, it happens. This is due to the fact that it takes time to remove chorionic gonadotropin from the body. Do not forget only about the control examination of the gynecologist. The second strip should become less bright with repeated tests, if it does not change … Anything can happen. Abortion, especially at a very early period, is sometimes not complete.
If everything was as usual, why did you buy this test? Again, probably something seemed wrong. Or were your periods unusually scanty, short or long, do pains bother you? A positive result is evidence that you are likely to have a pregnancy, and it is not flowing normally, there is a threat of termination. Urgently need to see a gynecologist.
All such situations require attention, it is also worth worrying if you have a long delay, you see all the signs of pregnancy, and the test shows nothing. This happens during ectopic pregnancy, which is very, very dangerous.