It’s true that a brown “smudge” or brown spotting is blood and it is brown instead of bright red because it is flowing slowly. Blood is bright red when it is flowing faster. Some girls have brown discharge just before, during, or right after their periods. Most of the time it’s perfectly normal and not cause for concern unless the discharge has a bad odor and/or you have itching that lasts longer than a day or so. Girls may have light and irregular periods during the first couple of years of menstruating. The brown smudge on your underwear may be a sign that your first period is starting! It’s a good idea to use a calendar or app to keep track of your cycles. Be sure to check in with your health care provider if you don’t have a full period (with bright red blood that lasts a few days) in the next few months or any time you have any questions about your body.