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Missing period. Faint line seen on pregnancy test kit. Am I pregnant?

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OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 79 Questions
Hello Doctor,

I was married on 16-Dec-2012. My Last Menstraul Period was 19-Dec-2012. I did not get any period on 19-Jan-2013 and later on. Did a Urine Pregnancy Test on 25-Jan-2013 and it showed faint pink color in the test line. Also did another test next day (26-Jan-2013) and it also showed a faint pink color in the test line but was better visible compared to previous day. Can we take the test result as positive? If positive what would be the due date?
Posted Mon, 4 Mar 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 7 hours later
Urine Pregnancy Test (UPT) is very, very sensitive for picking up an early pregnancy. The kits currently available in the market would easily detect a pregnancy by 2 days of missed period. Having said this, lets look at it further.
Even though UPT can tell that there is a pregnancy, what it cannot do is say WHERE is this pregnancy - is it in the uterus, where it should be, or is it in an abnormal place like the tube (known as Tubal pregnancy or Ectopic pregnancy).
Secondly, even if the pregnancy is in the uterus, it cannot tell whether that pregnancy IS OK ? or is there something wrong with it.

For both these conditions a Transvaginal Ultrasound is required.
Now lets analyse the 'light pink colour' on UPT. Counting from 19th Dec as Day 1, you were Day 38 on 25th XXXXXXX A normal pregnancy should have been bright pink. Then what could be the reasons for the light pink? A delay in the release of the egg will result in a later pregnancy. Hence UPT may not show up strongly. A delay of egg release could be because of excitement/stress because you married in that month. Or there may be history of delayed periods in the past. The other possible reason for the light pink colour could be that the pregnancy is not ok - either it's growing in the tube or the foetus is not developing properly in the uterus.

Today, 10th Feb, you are Day 54 (7 weeks + 5days). I would suggest you do a Transvaginal Ultrasound as soon as possible. What to look for - 1) confirmation of pregnancy; 2) check that the pregnancy is inside uterus; 3) rule a pregnancy in an Ectopic location; 4) if in uterus, check that its a normally growing pregnancy 5) check that the fetus is living by looking for heart activity and 6) date the pregnancy for duration.

If the pregnancy is Ectopic, you will need to get Quantitative UPT and Serum B- HCG blood tests from the laboratory and INFORM your doctor immediately as an Ectopic pregnancy is an emergency.

My detailed post here is not to alarm you. My only concern is that anyone who asks a query should be more informed and wiser on reading the reply. After all its good to learn to live intelligently with a basic knowledge of the science of medicine.
My wishes with you. Take care.
Dr Nirja Chawla
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Missing period. Faint line seen on pregnancy test kit. Am I pregnant? 48 hours later
Hello XXXXXXX Madam,

I went for doctor visit yesterday. She did Per-Abdominal Ultrasound. I uploaded the report. Please verify and advise. I was confused "doctor yesterday told that my baby's growth was slow and resembles 6 wk 5 days whereas it should be somemore big in size as you are 8 wk 1 day". Now, the question is Am I "8 wk 1 day" or "6 wk 2 day". She counted from LMP which was 19-Dec-2012. I counted from 5-Jan-2013 which is 14 days before the next due period (i.e. 19-Jan-2013) which is the actual conceive date (right?). Going with my calculation the ultrasound scan which says 6Wk and 5 days is correct right? She also gave me HCG5000 injection yesterday as a preventive measure against miscarriage. She told that 2 more such injections have to be given for another 2 weeks. Are there any side-effects with this injection? Should I consult another doctor? Please advise.
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 1 hour later
Yesterday, 11th Feb, you were 7 weeks and 6 days by LMP and on Ultrasound you showed a pregnancy of 6 weeks and 5 days.
Normally, in early pregnancy, on ultrasound, there is an acceptable error of +/- 1 week. If the heart activity is there, there is not much to worry at this moment except that you should repeat your ultrasound 1 week from now. This could simply be a delayed yet normal pregnancy rather an abnormally slow growing pregnancy. Serial ultrasound will be able to tell.

Pregnancy duration is, by international acceptance, calculated from the first day of the Last Menstrual Period (LMP).

Your doctor is supporting this pregnancy with HCG hormone injections which makes your body produce natural progesterone required for maintaining a pregnancy. I totally agree with her. There are no expected major side effects. I don't see the need for you to consult another doctor, but you have to follow your inner voice on this issue and it should be totally your call.

Please wait and watch how your body is taking to this new pregnancy and whether it grows well over next few days or not. No further intervention is justified at this stage, based on a single ultrasound report.
All the best. Take Care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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