nicu (pour_vrai) wrote in vaginapagina,

so what, specifically, *is* spotting?

What is the general consensus as to the definition of "spotting"? My understanding is that it's light bleeding, usually toward the end of a period. But does anyone actually experience it literally as little spots of blood on the pad/underwear? As though your flow is like that of a faucet, and ends with a few little droplets when the faucet is shut off? Or maybe if you have a very light, short period that consists of a tiny amount of actual blood...

Typically I use the term to refer to that lovely brownish stuff that actual menstrual bleeding tapers off to. I've always assumed it's just whatever tissue/blood is left in the uterus combining with normal discharge. I also say "spotting" in reference to any unscheduled (and unwelcome) traces of that sort of stuff during otherwise normal discharge.

Am I misusing the term, or is it misleading, just an easier and more pleasant way to say "that brownish junk after my period"?

EDIT: Part of this curiosity is me being a linguist. Part of it is that my uterus is responding in unusual-for-me ways to my new Mirena. What I'm currently experiencing seems to be a very light version of the brownish gunk, or maybe just a very slight amount of actual blood, which I figure would actually appear spotty if it weren't combined with regular discharge. (And for the love of god is there an actual medical term I can use instead of saying "brownish gunk"?!)
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