Whether you’re dreaming of adding another member to your family or worrying about an unexpected, unplanned pregnancy, a blank pregnancy test might be a cause for concern. What are you supposed to do when you’re faced with a test that doesn’t say anything? What does a blank pregnancy test mean?
When you take a pregnancy test, you go through a rollercoaster of emotions for a million reasons.
Maybe you’re thrilled because you’ve been working on getting pregnant and keeping track of symptoms that might be pointing toward a positive test. Perhaps you’re sitting at the edge of your seat, rooting for a negative test, terrified because you’re not ready to be a mom (one more time).
Whatever the case might be, the few minutes you need to wait before you can check the results are guaranteed to make you sweat. When you peep at the test and notice that there’s nothing on the little window, that there are no lines, pluses, minuses, or words, you might be perplexed. What does a blank pregnancy test mean?!
Blank pregnancy tests aren’t negative or positive, they’re faulty. Before you freak out that there’s something wrong with you, we’re bringing you everything you need to know about defective pregnancy tests. Read more down below!
How does a pregnancy test work?
Everyone knows how to take a pregnancy test – you buy the kit, pee on the stick, and you’re done, right? Whether you’ve seen a woman taking a pregnancy test on your favorite TV show or you’ve taken a pregnancy test beforehand, chances are you already know what you’re doing.
Why did you get a blank pregnancy test, then?
Now, there’s a right and a wrong way to take a pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests can confirm whether or not you’re pregnant by checking your urine for human chorionic gonadotropin or the pregnancy hormone (referred to as HCG, too).
When the test determines the presence of HCG within your urine, you get a positive pregnancy test.
While there’s a chance you can get a negative test even when you’re pregnant (because you did the test before you missed your period or your body didn’t produce enough hormones for the test to detect), you can’t get a positive test when you’re not pregnant.
At the end of the day, a pregnancy test should be able to detect the HCG hormone from the moment you miss your period. And, when you follow the steps to a tee, there’s no reason why you should end up with no result at all.
What does a blank pregnancy test mean?
More often than not, a blank pregnancy test means that there’s something wrong with the test and not you. Maybe you purchased a pregnancy test that’s faulty or expired. Perhaps your body didn’t produce enough hormones yet for the test to detect or you didn’t fully follow the instructions.
Whatever the problem might be, a blank pregnancy test doesn’t mean that you’re not pregnant (you’d be surprised at the number of women who think that!).
What are you supposed to do when you get a blank pregnancy test, then? First off, observe your pregnancy test and make sure you understand what each line, symbol, and word means.
For example, some pregnancy tests reveal the results with one line which means you’re not pregnant, or two lines which means you’re pregnant. Furthermore, some tests feature a control line that tells you whether or not you did the test the right way.
Either way, there needs to be some sort of a message on your pregnancy test. Even though we understand how frustrating that must be, a blank pregnancy test means that something didn’t work. With that out of the way, here’s what might have gone wrong.
1. A faulty pregnancy test
When you’re wondering what a blank pregnancy test might mean, your mind tends to go straight to “There’s something wrong with me!” or “I’m not pregnant!”
But, that’s not what an empty window on your pregnancy test means. Before you make your partner come home from work earlier, remember that a blank pregnancy test most likely means that something’s wrong with the test.
When they’re not stored or transported the right way, pregnancy tests can get destroyed and malfunction. Digital tests, such as Clear Blue, tend to encounter these problems more often than analog tests. While these things don’t happen often, there’s always a chance that’s the reason why you couldn’t get a positive or negative read from your test.
2. An expired pregnancy test
Pregnancy tests aren’t strangers to expiration dates. When a pregnancy test goes bad, there’s a chance you aren’t going to be able to read the results because the lines are vague, the words are unintelligible, or the screen’s completely empty.
We suggest always checking the expiration date before purchasing a pregnancy test and especially before putting one to use. When you’ve got pregnancy tests sitting around, waiting for you to use them, don’t forget to check whether they’ve gone bad.
An expiration date’s there for a reason – you might not get a tummy ache from doing an expired pregnancy test, but you aren’t going to get the right result, either.
3. Low HCG levels
Pregnancy tests confirm whether or not you’re pregnant based on the presence of HCG.
Most manufacturers advise you to do the pregnancy test the moment you wake up because your morning urine contains more HCG hormones (your afternoon urine, for example, gets watered down). Also, your urine might not contain enough HCG hormones before you notice the absence of your period.
Consequently, when you take the pregnancy test after you’ve drank your eight glasses of water or before you’ve officially missed your period, your HCG levels might not be high enough to show up on the test. Because of that, you might get a negative or a blank pregnancy test.
4. Failure to follow the instructions to a tee
Breathe, a blank pregnancy test doesn’t mean you’re going to have to hide your pregnancy bump for 9 months! These tests have to provide you with a positive or a negative outcome, whether they’re doing that with lines, symbols, or words.
Blanks don’t count, and blank pregnancy tests mean that someone or something failed to perform. Before you go off the deep end because you don’t understand what’s going on, check the back of your test (or the little paper within the box) to make sure you followed the step-by-step guide.
When you drop the test, submerge the tip of the test for too long, wait too long to read the results, or pretty much do anything that wasn’t mentioned on the back of the box, there’s a possibility you might not get the results at all.
What do multiple blank pregnancy tests mean?
When you take a pregnancy test that comes back blank, you’re probably going to take another one because you didn’t get the answer to your “Am I pregnant?” question. What do you do, though, when you take one, two, or even three more tests that come back blank? What do multiple blank tests mean?
Multiple blank tests might mean that you’ve stumbled upon a bad batch of tests that weren’t stored and transported the right way. Or, they might have been bad the entire time.
Whatever the case might be, multiple blank pregnancy tests mean that you need to buy them from a different brand or even a different store altogether.
Can you reuse a blank pregnancy test?
No, you can’t reuse a blank pregnancy test. We understand where that question’s coming from, though. When you check the screen for results and notice there’s nothing there, you might want to try more than once to ensure you’ve done everything you needed to do – but, that’s not how pregnancy tests work.
When the tip of your pregnancy test touches your urine, your urine triggers a reaction that’s supposed to detect the HCG hormones.
Once that reaction’s over, you’re supposed to check the test and read the result. Even when you’re presented with a blank space, you’re not supposed to take the same test more than once. And, you’re not even supposed to read the results once ten minutes have passed because the reaction might change over time.
How to prevent a blank pregnancy test?
Now that you know what a blank pregnancy test means, you might be wondering how to prevent it from happening or how to take a pregnancy test at home without messing up the steps. First off, purchase two tests from different brands to ensure you don’t end up with a broken test that doesn’t work.
Other than that, make sure to use your morning urine to prevent the pregnancy hormones from “going undercover.”
Don’t forget to read the step-by-step guide before you open the test to counter contamination and prevent the test from malfunctioning. Follow the steps and be patient, don’t pick up the test too soon. Furthermore, don’t read the results once the appropriate time frame has passed.
At the end of the day, some tests are going to go wrong no matter what you do. Remember to be patient, and that more often than not, you simply need to get a new one and try again.