Skip to content

Free Carbon Neutral Shipping on all orders above $35

Previous article
Now Reading:
What’s The Difference Between Periods And Spotting?

What’s The Difference Between Periods And Spotting?

You head to the bathroom to pee and you see it...a red or brown spot right on your favorite underwear. You wonder to yourself. Isnt my period not due for another 2 weeks?  

This scenario happens to many menstruating humans, leaving them feeling utterly confused.  Whats happening?  Well, youre spotting! While you might want to book the soonest appointment with your gynecologist and demand to know exactly what is happening, most of the time, its really no reason for concern.  

Spotting is normal and is often not something to be too concerned about. But if you still want peace of mind, knowing the difference between your period vs spotting will be useful. 


While a period is the start of your menstrual cycle each month and releases about 2 tablespoons of blood (if you dont have menorrhagia), it will last longer than spotting. Spotting can happen at any time during your menstrual cycle. Another way to tell the difference is by the color of the blood. While your period blood can range in colors, spotting usually releases light brown blood.  

While this may cause alarm bells to go off in your head,  spotting is actually fairly common. It can occur between periods, during pregnancy, after sex, or after a gynecological exam. 


– Menstruation  - Ok, we said that spotting is different from your period, and it is, but at the start of your menses, you may find that you have some spotting. This is totally normal. We promise! 

– Ovulation  - A likely culprit of spotting, ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovaries to await fertilization. This process can cause spotting. Alternatively, spotting can happen due to an increase in estrogen that happens when the egg does not become fertilized. 

– Implantation - Implantation bleeding is spotting that happens when the embryo implants into the uterus, and it can be hard to distinguish -  is it your period coming or are you pregnant? Well, it could be either. A good way to tell is to check for other signs of pregnancy, like nausea, fatigue, or sore breasts. 

– Abnormal pregnancy  - Miscarriages, premature labor, and ectopic pregnancies are all cause for concern. Spotting can be present with all of them so if you are concerned about it, check with your doctor right away. 

– Labor  - Another pregnancy-related cause of spotting is going into labor. This usually occurs around 37 weeks when your body passes the mucus plug. 

– Infections or disease  -  STIs, reproductive issues, and other infections like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) could all be causes of spotting. If the above causes dont seem to be the issue, check with your doctor. Most infections are treatable but can become even more serious if ignored. 


While you should feel free to call your doctor anytime you have a health-related question or concern, its helpful to know when spotting is a cause for real concern. Here are some circumstances when itd be smart to call your doctor: 

– If you are pregnant or think you may be 
– If you have consistent spotting 
– If you have had unprotected sex and start spotting 
– If you have any pain or cramping around the time of spotting 
– If you are on any kind of medication that you think could be causing spotting 


If you feel like youre spotting more than usual, then its completely safe to put in your menstrual cup! Check out our menstrual cups and period products at Lunette. 

63 comments on What’s The Difference Between Periods And Spotting?

  • Lunette Cup
    Lunette CupDecember 29, 2022

    Hi Jennifer,
    Please keep in mind and please understand that we are not medical professionals and therefore cannot make a remote diagnosis. Only a medical professional can make the necessary examinations and tell you why your period was shorter and/or if you are pregnant. Taking a pregnancy test may also be useful when you are worried about pregnancy. Thank you for your understanding!
    Best regards,
    Team Lunette

  • Jennifer Feliu
    Jennifer FeliuDecember 29, 2022

    On September 24th I had unprotected sex, I really don’t pay attention on how many days goes between my periods but I do use the period apps to know when my period it’s coming I was supposed to get my period oct 5th but I ended up getting for November 19th, I use a period cup, but this time I decided to use the pad first which got a lot of blood, later at night I used my period cup and the next day when I removed it it’s was full, next day after I removed it again it was only full and on the third day I was spottting some light pink on the 4th day it was gone I’ve never had period this short so I was wondering if you think I might be pregnant? a couple of weeks prior to getting my period I took at home pregnancy test and it came back negative, I’m still feeling nauseous after what I this it was my period

    Thank you.

  • Rita
    RitaMarch 02, 2022

    Looking into whether very light, pink discharge counts as a period. I am 53 years old, haven’t had a period for about 4 months, then this past week had about 3 days of very light spotting. Certain this is related to perimenopause, but wondering if I start the count of days over again.

  • Kay

    Hey, I have had some blood in my underwear twice in these past 5 months but have never gotten my period before! What does that mean?

  • Gemi Anderson
    Gemi Anderson April 14, 2021

    My last period started March 13 lasted for about a week normal flow had protected (condom sex) on March 23rd during sex he didn’t cum in the condom he didn’t even cum at all and during Roleplay there was no pre cum in sight my period usually starts around the 13th I started spotting on the April 10th which was brown April 11-13 (13th being today) I see small blood in my pad but see more when I wipe or just got done wiping. I definitely do not think I am pregnant bc there was no cum in me or even in sight. What could be going on? I’m 21 yrs old.

  • 1 2 3 13 Next »

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..

Cart Close

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping
Select options Close