How To Deal With Spotting Before, After, and In-Between Your Teen's Period

We break down what spotting is and why it's different than your teen's period.

Your teen's period isn’t set to arrive for at least another week or two, so they're wondering WHY is there a little bit of blood down there? What is HAPPENING? What is GOING ON? Keep calm and read on, they're just spotting!

What is Period Spotting? 🔎

Spotting? Never heard of it, you may say. Spotting usually refers to light bleeding that happens outside of their monthly period. You may sometimes hear it be called breakthrough bleeding, abnormal bleeding, or irregular bleeding.

When can you spot? Literally any time. Confusing, we know! It can happen a week before their period, or even a week after their period. It can happen a few days before their period starts too. Heck, light bleeding can happen when they least expect it! 

Spotting vs. Their Period 🔴

Periods are confusing enough, now there’s spotting? It can definitely be easy to mix them up. So what blood is what?

During your teen's period, their uterine lining sheds, which is why they experience menstrual bleeding. Menstrual blood typically looks anywhere from red to dark brown, and it usually lasts 5-7 days (but ranges, everybody is different!).

And of course, their period is accompanied by lots of other fun stuff: blood clots, cramps, fatigue, moodiness, breakouts, craving french fries 24/7, etc. 

Further reading: What is moisture wicking underwear?

Spotting on the other hand occurs when there is bleeding between periods. It doesn’t last as long and the bleeding is quite light. If your teen is noticing some spotting, it can last anywhere from a couple of hours to about 2 days. The blood isn’t as dark as period blood either. It’s usually a pale brown or pink color. They might not even be able to see it in their underwear, but they may spot their spotting on some toilet paper after wiping!

When spotting between periods, there shouldn’t be any cramps, clotting, or other symptoms associated with periods. If there is, you may likely be having a regular menstrual cycle.

Common Causes of Spotting 📋

There a few reasons why your tween or teen may be spotting. Let’s run through them: 

They're New to Periods

For the first couple of years, it can take your child's body a bit of time to get used to having a period. Their period is just trying to get itself on a cycle, and spotting comes with the territory. 


When one of their eggs drop, your teen's estrogen level increases. It’s super common for these hormonal changes to cause some light spotting. 


Being stressed can have some major effects on the body, including funking with a period! 

Medication Change

Different medications or contraceptives like hormonal birth control pills or IUDs can cause light spotting as well. This is usually due to changing hormone levels. 


During pregnancy, some people may experience something known as implantation bleeding, which is light bleeding that can occur when a fertilized egg has attached to the lining of the uterus.

Health Condition

Bleeding between periods can occur as a result of medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, sexually transmitted infections, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Is Spotting Bad? 🤢

Spotting is quite normal and happens to most menstruating people at least a few times! Although it's harmless, any kind of bleeding outside your period is typically considered abnormal vaginal bleeding.

If you're noticing that the spotting is happening super often for your teen, or that it's paired with a fever, abdominal pain or dizziness/weakness, we recommend paying a visit to a medical professional to make sure there is no abnormal uterine bleeding. It’s always better to get an opinion from a doctor or nurse, and it’ll definitely lessen any anxiety you and your child may have about it! 

If your teen is nervous about spotting at school, we've got them covered. Check out our leakproof period underwear. They’re absorbent and leakproof, so they’re perfect when you’re tackling some surprise spotting! 

Further reading: Learn more about how to use a tampon

Get our latests posts straight to your inbox.