What is the difference between spotting and bleeding?
Spotting: Spotting is often seen at the beginning or end of a period. You may notice a small amount of brown, pink or red blood, mixed in with cervical fluid or on its own. This can be seen on your underwear or on the toilet tissue when you wipe yourself. Because the amount is so little, a pad or tampon is not usually required. Instead a panty liner can be used to protect your underwear.
Bleeding: In contrast, bleeding requires you to wear a pad or tampon. Bleeding describes actual blood flow, which can be light, medium or heavy. A new menstrual cycle begins on the first day that you experience actual blood flow, not just spotting. This is designated as Day 1 of the cycle.