Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Looking at toilet paper in pregnancy

18 June, 2017

Question:

Thank you for this forum to respectfully and privately ask questions. I am be"H 35 weeks pregnant and found blood on the toilet paper after using the bathroom. I went to the dr who examined and found cuts in my cervix due to bacterial and yeast infections which, if left untreated, could have put me into pre–term labor (consistent with the increase of contractions I felt in the last few days).

I know in general, I should have waited before wiping and not looked at the toilet paper but if I hadn't looked I would not have known anything was amiss (no staining on my underwear) and it could have led to a dangerous situation. Why would halacha prescribe this? Bleeding is usually a sign something is wrong (my cycle and pregnancies have been textbook cases so far b"H), so why wouldn't you look?


Answer:

B'Sha'ah tovah!

If your doctor confirmed that s/he saw a wound on the cervix, you may attribute the blood you saw on the toilet paper to dam makkah, and it did not render you niddah.

In general, we recommend that women avoid looking at toilet paper in order to prevent them from becoming niddah unnecessarily from stains found. Alternatively, for women who prefer to look at the toilet paper to be aware of what is happening with their body, we advise waiting 15 seconds after urinating before wiping. This way, any stains found on the toilet paper may be disregarded. (A woman should still be careful to avoid looking into the toilet, because if she sees blood or a problematic discharge exiting her body it may render her niddah.)

Further, our position regarding stains found on toilet paper is as follows: Stains of any size found on (even white) toilet paper may be disregarded as long as 15 seconds elapsed after urinating before wiping. In a situation of doubt (you may have waited 15 seconds but are unsure), you may disregard the stain found. If there is an alternative source for the stain (such as the presence of bleeding hemorrhoids, or a confirmed vaginal/cervical wound), the stain may be disregarded even if one did not wait 15 seconds. Please see our article on this topic for more details.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B'Hatzlacha!


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