What’s The Difference Between Periods and Spotting?

Difference Between Periods and Spotting

Most women start bleeding in their reproductive years and menstruation is a normal physiological phenomenon. When you are not having a period, you may occasionally notice spots of vaginal bleeding. This spotting is typically nothing to be concerned about. Numerous things, including pregnancy and changing birth control techniques, might cause it. Any sudden vaginal bleeding should always be checked out by a doctor, especially if you’re unsure of the source.

Most women don’t have any idea about what is spotting, but we can’t blame them because there are many women who still don’t know about what a menstrual cup is or how menstrual cups work. Unsure about the difference between spotting and periods? Here’s a guide to help you out!

Difference Between Period and Spotting

If you don’t have menorrhagia, a period, you will discharge about 2 tablespoons of blood, during your periods and period last longer than spotting. At any point throughout your menstrual cycle, spotting may occur. Blood colour can also be used to distinguish between two situations. While the blood from your period varies from light to dark blood red, spotting typically produces light brown blood. While this could make you think something is wrong, spotting is actually rather typical. After intercourse, after a gynaecological exam, or between periods spotting can happen.

Why Does Spotting Occur?

There are several reasons why women might see spotting before their periods. These include the following:

  • Pregnancy. It’s quite common to experience spotting during pregnancy and most women see spotting during their first trimester. The bleeding is often light and not a concern but if you see any sort of heavy bleeding, ensure to reach out to your newest doctor as soon as possible.
  • Ovulation. Around 5% women witness spotting when they are ovulating. This typically occurs before your real menstrual cycle and the bleeding is light. Also, note that other signs and symptoms of ovulation might include increase in cervical mucus, bloating, dull ache on the side of the abdomen, tender breasts, etc.
  • Birth Control. In some women, spotting also occurs when they are on birth control. If you are using pills, patches, implants, injections or rings for birth control, you might notice some light spotting. This is normal but talk with your doctor if the symptoms don’t reduce and worsen over time.
  • Perimenopause. Before their transition to menopause, some women might also experience spotting during their perimenopause. When periods become irregular, some women might also see perimenopausal bleeding or spotting which is typically light.

Another reasons are cancer or implantation bleeding. But before you draw any conclusions ensure to check with your physician.


Most women confuse the symptoms of spotting with period and those who know what’s spotting, start overthinking about the causes and consequences about consulting a doctor. If you have queries like what is spotting, what is a menstrual cup or how a menstrual cup works it’s better to consult the experts instead of beating behind the bush on your own.

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