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Difference Between Spotting and Period

womenhealth_bookSpotting vs Period

When it comes to understanding your body’s own natural rhythm, knowing the difference between spotting and a period flow is important. For most women, spotting is limited to a phenomenon that happens during early pregnancy. However, with the different types of birth control that are now on the market, it’s also likely to experience spotting with the use of these new products.

Spotting can happen in a wide range of degrees. Often the light pink spotting that women experience is really nothing more than a hormonal rebalancing, during the first trimester, or during the adjustment period of a new birth control pill. Light spotting doesn’t usually require containment beyond a panty-liner. However, heavier spotting can fool you into believing that you’re having your period. It can show up with the same intensity that you receive from the first day of your normal monthly period, requiring the containment of a pad or tampon, and it may last for more than a day.

Heavy spotting can be tricky for women who are not yet aware of the fact that they are pregnant. It can fool them into thinking that they have just started their period. Heavy spotting like this during pregnancy should be immediately evaluated by a physician. It can be an indication of problems during the earliest stages of pregnancy, or it can indicate the separating of the placenta from the uterine wall during the second and third trimesters.

A period is a more regular event in a woman’s life. It is the finalization of the life cycle of the unfertilized egg. The uterine walls build up every month in anticipation of the potential for a fertilized egg to need a place to be protected, safely divide cells, and start the growing process of the fetus. Many women can feel the onset of their period before the first signs of blood, especially as they get past the age of 25. Tender breasts, early cramps, headaches, bloating, and irritability can be the first obvious signs that the monthly cycle is concluding. Spotting is generally not anticipated by the body in such a way, and therefore, can show up quite unexpectedly.

The regular monthly period does not require medical attention, unless it has symptoms so severe that normal function is no longer viable. Spotting, on the other hand, should always be brought to a physician’s immediate attention, unless it is an expected function when starting a new birth control prescription.


1. A period is a regular and natural occurrence.

2. Spotting can indicate problems in pregnancy.

3. Spotting can be short, light, and then disappear.

4. Periods can be detected in most cases before the onset of bleeding.

5. Spotting can mimic the first stages of a period.

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