Why Photoshopping Your Pregnancy Test Is a Wacky (But Brilliant) New Trend

pregnancy testMany women have experienced the heart-pounding minutes you have while waiting for a pregnancy test to develop. Whether you're hoping to see a positive or a negative on your pregnancy test, waiting out the calendar until you're even able to take a test can feel like an eternity. But move over, First Response -- a new unusual technique may yield pregnancy results sooner than ever before: Photoshop


Even though home pregnancy tests continue to let you test earlier and earlier in your cycle, some women just can't wait until the recommended time frame to find out if they're pregnant. Instead, they're turning to a process known as "tweaking" to try to get a result even sooner. There are dedicated forums on popular parenting websites where you can post a photo of your seemingly negative pregnancy test. A photo tweaker will try to alter the image by messing with the contrast and brightness to see if they can spot a light that's too faint to see otherwise. There's even an app!

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If you're a fertile Myrtle who got pregnant the moment she set her mind to the task, then tweaking may seem a bit extreme to you, but there are several circumstances where it would make sense to want to know if you're pregnant as soon as possible.

For woman who don't want to have a child or who take medications that aren't safe during pregnancy, it makes sense to want to know as soon as possible. And if you're one of the many women who struggles with infertility, when you think there's a chance you could finally be pregnant, any day you have to wait to take a test feels like an eternity.

I was one of these women who battled infertility, and I would have been all over tweaking had it been a thing when I was trying to get pregnant. Instead, I spent month after month taking tests when my period failed to appear. And even though there wasn't the slightest hint of pink anywhere, after a while I could spot the textured mark where a second line would appear had I been pregnant, and part of me wondered if what I was seeing was a super faint line telling me good news (it wasn't). It would have been a comfort to me to have other eyes look at my tests and tell me there was nothing there, so I could stop spending a small fortune each month in the family-planning section of Target.

There's been some criticism of the process. It's possible for a tweaked test to reveal a positive when in fact the woman is experiencing a chemical pregnancy. In those cases, had the woman waited until the recommended window to test, she may not have have gotten her hopes up at all. But if you're trying to get pregnant, each month that you don't is heartbreaking anyhow, so there's no harm in trying the tweaking process. The forums are careful to note that the results could be wrong and encourage women to follow up with their doctors.

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There's no suggestion that the test tweakers are charging for their services, and they aren't creating images of positive tests to use as part of an evil prank against a boyfriend or husband. As long as the women having their tests tweaked know to temper their expectations and follow up with a doctor, there's no harm in it.

Women have been obsessing over pee-coated sticks since they were invented; at least with tweaking we can do it together.

Would you ever try "tweaking" a pregnancy test to get an earlier result?

Image via © MarsBar/iStock

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