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

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Postpartum UTI

12 April, 2005

Question:

I gave birth four weeks ago and last week, my bleeding (finally!) stopped. On Sunday, my first attempt, I got a clean hefsek. This morning's bedikah was again clean.

However, in the meantime, I have noticed a light pinkish spotting (very pale & diluted with urine) on my underpants (at the front, nowhere near the vaginal area).

I have been having bladder discomfort since my pregnancy, so today, I finally went to my doctor, who found blood in my urine and suggested a probable urinary tract infection (UTI). She sent a sample for analysis; I will have definite results on Thursday and know whether it is actually a UTI.

One response at your site indicates that bleeding from a UTI does not render a woman niddah, but suggests that this may not be the case during the shivah nekiim. I assume one must be more stringent at this time, but I know my body very well and am 100% confident that this is not vaginal bleeding. Also, since it seems to sometimes make a difference, we are Ashkenazi.

My question, then, is — is there any point in my continuing to count while this urinary bleeding is still taking place?

I am currently still performing bedikahs and counting, and desperately hoping for a hug from my husband sometime soon. With the antibiotics I am now on, the bleeding may end anyway after a few days, however, even a few days is a long time to wait after a month of niddah. 🙂

I eagerly await your response.


Answer:

Bleeding from a urinary tract infection does not render a woman niddah. However, in your situation, since you are already niddah, you have to be able to determine with certainty that every spot you see on a bedikah is from the infection and not uterine blood, and that might not be possible.

If you have difficulty with bedikot – either with staining or discomfort – you should ask your rabbi (or get back to us) about whether and how the number of bedikot can be reduced. You should also show stained bedikot to a rabbi so that he can determine whether you may continue counting. Make sure that the rabbi is familiar with all relevant aspects of your situation.

If you are able to get clean bedikot, and the problem is with external staining, then you should try to not get into a situation where the stains render you niddah. Only a stain of a certain size (about a dime or a shekel) and color makes a woman niddah. We suggest you change your underwear frequently, and if you find spots show them to a rabbi.  If the test results confirm a UTI, you don't have to worry even about larger stains, as long as you get acceptable bedikot.

As always, you should avoid looking at toilet paper after urinating, in order to steer clear of other problems with staining.

You may want to read our article Mikveh After Childbirth for general information on getting to mikveh post partum.

We wish you a refuah shlemah, and mazal tov on the birth of your baby.  


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