When Should Pregnancy Test Results Get Darker? Don't Panic About Those Faint Lines


By the time I became pregnant with my first daughter, I had been trying to conceive for over a year. Every month I replenished my supply of pregnancy tests and took one after the other, trying to decipher the faintness of the lines, and how they showed up. Once I got a faint positive, I tested every day, making sure the line was still there, and that I was actually pregnant. I assumed that the lines would get less faint as the pregnancy progressed, but my positive lines remained the same. So when should a pregnancy test get darker? Turns out, there's a science behind the lines.

Dr. Eva Martin, CEO of Elm Tree Medical, Inc., tells Romper, "The pregnancy test is looking for hCG, which will be found in your blood and urine when you are pregnant." HCG is a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), also known as the pregnancy hormone, and according to Martin, even a faint positive line indicates there is hCG present. So all that stressing over the darkness or faintness of lines? Not necessary.

The levels of hCG will also rise in your urine and blood and will double every 72 hours. When you reach eight to 11 weeks of pregnancy, it will decline and level off, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA).

So what do the line colors mean? Very Well noted that a pregnancy test line can get darker if you have a higher concentration of hCG in your urine. The amount of hCG, however, will fluctuate and change throughout the day, so if you test at different times, you may get darker or fainter lines. The website further noted that the more fluid you drink and the more you urinate, the lighter the lines will be due to the decreased concentration of hCG levels in your urine.

If you are concerned with the progress of your pregnancy, looking for darker or lighter lines will probably drive you nuts. It's best to call your doctor and have them evaluate you with more accurate testing, like blood tests and ultrasounds. So if you see a line, whether it's faint or dark, it means your body is producing hCG, and you are definitely still pregnant.