That moment when you’re sitting on the toilet, whether a single line appears or two, is one of the many stressful moments and can turn into relief and happiness once you see the two lines. These pregnancy testing kits consist of dyes that are either blue or pink.
When you enter the drugstore and look through the options for pregnancy testing, you’re confused about whether to get the digital ones or the dye ones or among the dyes and whether you should get the blue dye pregnancy tests or pink dye. Many blogs and online forums are controversial about whether a blue dye pregnancy test is better or pink. Let’s dig into the details.
What is a Good Pregnancy Test?
Generally, a good pregnancy test should have the following characteristics:
- Accurate reading
- Easy to read
Accuracy is the most important factor of all, considering you wouldn’t want a negative test ready when it is supposed to be positive or positive when you don’t have any signs of pregnancy. To avoid such scenarios, do check the product box for the accuracy of the test. The good thing is that most brands these days have high accuracy.
Coming down to the sensitivity of the dye, a certain level of hCG is detected by a specific brand depending on the numeric value that it is supposed to detect. If your hCG level is that specific amount or above, the pregnancy test will result in being positive. Just like that, depending upon sensitivity, some tests may give positive results while others give negative.
Talking about the reading of the pregnancy test, let’s talk about the dyes. Usually, blue dyes are not used as they can cause confusion due to the evaporation lines. The evaporation lines are grayish, very similar to the positive blue line.
Pink Dye vs Blue Dye
There are many brands and various types of pregnancy tests, and it can get confusing for a first-timer to go through all of them. Apart from slight differences, all pregnancy tests work the same way, detecting hCG in urine. The ones that you get from the drugstore or pharmacy are of two types. They are either dye-based or digital pregnancy tests. While the digital tests give a clear reading of “pregnant” or “not-pregnant,” the dye-based tests indicate by the appearance of lines. Generally, pink dyes are considered best.
As mentioned previously, blue dye pregnancy tests are confusing due to the presence of evaporation lines. These can confuse you into thinking that you’re pregnant when you’re actually not. Pink dyes do not exhibit evaporation lines hence making the readings clear. You should look for information on the pregnancy test packaging for their sensitivity as higher sensitivity would detect a pregnancy earlier than the rest.
Pink dyes can vary in cost and could range from cheap to costly. In case you want to check every day or every other day, you can consider buying some inexpensive tests in bulk. If properly used, you can check the results by a pink dye pregnancy test after the first missed with an accurate reading. The ultimate conclusion is that if you want to avoid confusion and an accurate answer, you should stick to using a pink dye pregnancy test instead of a blue one.
How do these Pregnancy Tests Work?
About 6 – 8 days after the egg is fertilized and embedded in the uterine wall, hCG hormone is produced. The hormone amount is doubled every few days, so as long as you take the test, the result will be as much accurate. Though you may want to take the test as early as possible, you should wait till you miss your first period as it would be the ideal time to take the test. After missing the first period, the accuracy of the test is the maximum.
Dye consisting pregnancy tests come in various types. These can be:
- Dipping strips
- Sticks to directly pee on
- Cassettes and dropper
What does it mean when we say sensitivity of the test? Well, it means the dye’s sensitivity to the amount of hCG present. Although both pink and blue dye have the same sensitivity level, blue dyes just tend to cause confusion due to the evaporation lines. Overall, the hCG level detected in urine is about 25 – 50mIU/mL. the reason why digital tests are not preferred is that they require higher hCG levels for detection.
What are the Evaporation Lines?
To get the correct and accurate results, it is suggested that you use your pregnancy test as given in the instructions on the packaging. Results are more accurate when used according to the given instructions. The reading is shown in two lines, a control line which always appears whether you’re pregnant or not, and the second is test line which only appears in case of a positive pregnancy.
At times, a faint second line might appear in the test section due to the evaporation of the urine. This usually happens after about 3 – 5 minutes, the instructed waiting time. This faint line can cause confusion as it can deceive one into thinking that they may be pregnant when they’re not. A way to minimize the confusion is to avoid prolonging of the time duration. Extra time shouldn’t be taken; one better stick to the instructed time.
There is a possibility for the evaporation lines to appear even in the pink dye pregnancy test. However, the pink dye is not as visible compared to the blue one, which is much more prominent. Instead of pushing yourself into confusion by constantly staring at the two lines, it is smart to use pink ones to reduce the space for confusion. If you’re still confused, retake the test.
The False Positives
A pregnancy test detected as a positive when you’re not actually pregnant is called a false positive. These, however, are not as common as false negatives. If you have taken a test before you missed the first period, you can always retake the test as the hCG in urine might not be detected yet. The time when urine has the highest concentration of hCG is the morning; hence you are advised to take the test in the first-morning urine. Let’s go through the reasons for the false positives.
As a first-timer can make many mistakes, it is better to follow the given instruction and check the product’s expiration date. There’s always room for human error in any procedure.
We have already discussed the appearance of evaporation lines, but let’s sum it up. The appearance of a faint line in the test section due to the evaporation of urine is called the evaporation line. The best way to reduce this blunder is to follow the instructions correctly and in the given time.
A chemical pregnancy is common, but you might have your period before you suspect a possibility of pregnancy, so they go as undetected. When a fertilized egg cannot attach to the uterus and grow, the test can give a false pregnancy.
Some medicines can result in a false pregnancy; these include fertility drugs, anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, and antihistamines.
The fertilization of an egg outside the uterus is called an ectopic pregnancy. Although the embryo is not inside the uterus, it is still capable of producing hCG, which results in a false positive. An embryo is present in the body, but since it is outside the uterus, it can be a health risk and would not result in a healthy pregnancy. In such cases, one should seek medical attention.
If you have recently had a miscarriage or abortion, the hCG hormone can still be detected, resulting in a false positive.
In conclusion, all moms who expect a positive pregnancy should keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. When taking a pregnancy test, the instructions should be properly followed for an accurate result. If you’re still unsure, take the test twice or thrice and finally consult a doctor for confirmation and proper advice.
Pink dye-based pregnancy tests are considered better, but it’s up to you which one you would opt for. Just remember to use it correctly, and you’re good to go.