I frequently have cramps before getting my period, but they may happen a few days before I actually see bleeding. Am I considered niddah when they start? If not, am I obligated to do bedikot to determine whether I have started bleeding or not?
Thank you for your question.
Cramping does not make you a niddah. If you consistently see a particular symptom prior to your period, then it may constitute a veset haguf (see article). During a veset day, you would do a bedikah. Intercourse would be forbidden but touching, hugging, and kissing, would be permitted. But if it is not a veset day, you are not obligated to constantly do bedikot due to the cramping and we would not recommend it.
It might be prudent to do a bedikah prior to deciding to have marital relations during this time period. If you find a spot on your bedikah cloth, it will make you a niddah. If you don't, then you are not a niddah. You can decide whether to avoid intercourse but still be allowed hugging and kissing and no harchakot, or to take the risk of doing a bedikah, knowing that if it is ok you can have relations, but if it's not ok you are niddah with all its restrictions.
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