When you take a pregnancy test and you have to wait for a few minutes for the result, tension and anxiety reach a whole new level. In those moments, the happiness, anxiousness, and anticipation that you feel cannot be put into words.
Imagine enduring the eternity of those few minutes, only to get a blank pregnancy test! We completely understand the feelings of frustration, disappointment, and even anger. You went through that agony to be met by a blank test, and that can be disappointing. The truth is that this happens more often than you think.
Many women anxiously take the test to see either the ‘+’ sign or the word “pregnant.” Others are happy to see the ‘-‘ sign and the words “not pregnant,” realizing they might have dodged a bullet there.
Then why would a pregnancy test give a blank result? What does it mean? Is it the same as a negative pregnancy test? We are discussing all of these questions and more here.
When You Take A Pregnancy Test and Nothing Shows Up?
Did you take a pregnancy test and get a blank result? That can make any woman lose her mind. However, the good thing is that a blank pregnancy test simply means there has been an error!
A lot of people believe that when a pregnancy test and nothing shows up, it’s the same as a negative test. However, that is wrong. A blank pregnancy test can result due to multiple reasons.
So, before you go ahead and jump the gun and either celebrate, get disappointed, or become confused by that blank result, take a minute to read and find out what it means and the possible reasons for your inconclusive result.
Why Do Pregnancy Tests Go Blank?
Now that we have told you that a blank pregnancy test does not necessarily mean that you’re not pregnant, let’s find out why pregnancy tests go blank.
The traditional pregnancy test kit reveals the pregnancy results using lines. When two lines appear, it means you are pregnant and when just one line appears, it means you’re not.
The first line appears even if you are not pregnant, and it means that the test kit was properly dipped in urine. This first line is known as the control line and the appearance of this line is an indicator to show you that your test is working correctly.
Some newer types of home pregnancy tests use an image or even words on the control window to indicate the results. Make sure you read the instructions and the symbols used by the test kit you have bought before using it.
What is the reason that your pregnancy test gave you a blank result? There are multiple reasons why this could have happened.
- Bad Test Kit
The simplest reason behind blank pregnancy tests can be manufacturing defects. It’s possible that you, unfortunately, picked up a faulty test kit or one that was made incorrectly.
There are a few reasons that a test kit can become defective. When the testing kit is not stored properly or handled properly during transportation, it can get damaged and lead to a blank result. This is more common in digital tests because the digital parts tend to be delicate and get damaged easily when not stored properly.
Also, a lot of these home pregnancy tests aren’t always as accurate as they claim. Make sure you always buy FDA-approved pregnancy test kits.
- Pregnancy Test Kit is Expired
Another very common cause of defect is that the pregnancy test kit is expired. Always make sure that you check the date of manufacture and expiration before you buy a kit.
An expired pregnancy test will give you incorrect results or a blank result. If you have stored some extra pregnancy test kits at home, they can also go bad. Double-check the expiration date of the box against the kit inside.
- Low hCG Levels
Pregnancy tests are only accurate when your hCG (pregnancy-indicating hormone) levels are high enough to be detected. The pregnancy test is only able to detect a pregnancy if hCG levels are high enough in your system. It’s possible that you are pregnant, but you still have low hCG levels.
This happens during early pregnancy, as it is still in the early stage. Usually, once the home pregnancy test comes positive, doctors advise taking a blood test or submitting your blood sample to check the hCG levels and confirm how far along are you in the pregnancy with accurate results.
- You Did Not Follow Instructions
When you take a pregnancy test, it is possible that in all the excitement or anxiousness, you didn’t follow the directions carefully enough.
It is important to carefully read the instructions given on the test kit and follow them correctly.
Even if you have taken a test before, make sure you read the instructions again because different brands have different symbols and different testing time frames, and sometimes manufacturers make changes to designs as well. Make sure you don’t take the test in a hurry.
How Long Does It Take For a Pregnancy Test Line To Appear?
Most pregnancy test kits take a while to show results and this time frame varies from brand to brand and design to design.
This time frame is also one of the major causes of blank pregnancy test results. The urine sample takes a while to reach the result window and that’s the time frame that you need to wait to see a positive or negative indicator. Sometimes the urine does not reach the result window or the urine sample used in the kit is not enough; this can also lead to a blank test result.
While digital pregnancy tests are slightly faster, most home pregnancy tests take around two minutes to display results.
The test kits that don’t use symbols take slightly longer to confirm the results. However, always remember that any pregnancy test only remains viable for ten minutes. Any result that occurs after that time frame is not reliable.
What Does it Mean When a Pregnancy Test is Blank?
A blank pregnancy test means the test kit has failed, or the person taking the test did not take the test properly. Your pregnancy result can only be either positive or negative, and there is no condition that can give you a blank result.
The only thing a blank pregnancy test indicates is that you need to take the test again.
The Answer is “No,” a Blank Pregnancy Test is Not a Negative Pregnancy Test
Your pregnancy test result can either be positive or negative. Simply put, a blank pregnancy test does not mean you are not pregnant.
If you get a blank pregnancy result, then consider changing the kit or the manufacturer and then try again. The second time around, make sure you follow all the instructions carefully.
Remember, that you cannot reuse a pregnancy kit just because the result was blank. Always use a new testing kit to take the pregnancy test again. Pregnancy test kits are designed to work only once, and the moment you pee on them, the kit is valid only for the timeframe mentioned on the packaging. That’s because once urine comes in contact with the kit, it leads to chemical reactions that give us the result.
There have been cases of multiple blank pregnancy tests, as well. If you keep getting blank pregnancy tests, then it simply means you got a bad batch or the store that you bought the kits from did not handle them correctly.
Here are a few things you can do once you get a blank pregnancy test result:
- If you have a spare pregnancy test kit available at home, then use that or else go and get a new home pregnancy test, preferably from another manufacturer.
- Start drinking water and once your bladder is full, collect your urine sample. Once you collect the urine, take the pregnancy test immediately.
- If you have followed all the instructions mentioned on the packaging, you should ideally get a control line.
- If you are 3 to 4 weeks pregnant, you will also get a test line.
Before you rush to the doctor after seeing the blank pregnancy test result, take a second test before you reach out to him or her.
As we said before, a blank pregnancy test result does not definitively show that you are not pregnant. It simply means you need to take the test again.
Sometimes the kits are faulty, hCG hormone levels are low (early pregnancy), or in the rush to see a positive result, you simply did not follow the instructions carefully. Whether you wish to see a positive result or it is an unwanted pregnancy and you just want to confirm it before you make decisions, a blank pregnancy test result can really put you off! But it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road; you just need to take the test again.
You can always take another pregnancy test or go to the doctor for a blood pregnancy test if you want to be completely sure and want accurate results.