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

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16 days without hefsek

25 December, 2006

Question:

I am 49 yrs. old. Have never experienced this challenge before. My last period lasted longer than usual, eight days. I have not been able to complete a hefsek tahara. The cloth will be clean in the afternoon, then fresh blood on the a.m. cloth. Then there will be no spot on my underwear or pad and then the bedika will come out bloody again. I'm on day 16 already. After a number of days, the moch was coming out no good. The rov told me not to use the moch. It has not solved the problem. Sometimes brown strings appear on the (pink) toilet tissue but I stopped looking. Again, the bedika cloths are bloody yet there is no spotting.

1. Is this normal for women my age? If so, what can the source of the problem be?
2. Is there any natural way you're aware of which can help?
3. Is there any way of knowing if the blood is coming from my cervix area or somewhere in the vaginal canal & does it make any difference halachicly?

Kol Hakavod for your work & thank you for your help


Answer:

1. It is certainly possible that you are experiencing the beginning of the menopausal process. Many women experience unusual staining or unusually long periods during this process. Your age is a good indication that this is probably the source of the problem. However, you should consult with your physician to assure that nothing else is amiss.  

2. Halachically it is important to be sure the bleeding you are experiencing is indeed problematic. From your description of "bloody bedikot" it sounds like you are seeing bright red blood on bedikot. If this is not the case, and you are finding brown, yellow, or light pink stains, you might benefit from showing them to a rabbi, as not all colors found on a bedikah cloth are problematic.

Due to the length of time you have waited, and since there is no way of knowing how much longer this staining will last, there are a number of leniencies which apply on a one time basis to help get you through the seven clean days. First, you should omit the moch altogether after getting a clean hefsek for this cycle. You must perform at least one bedikah on the first of the clean days, and at least one on the seventh day, but on the days in between avoid doing bedikot at a time that you sense you might be staining. It is a good idea to do a bedikah on at least one other day between days one and seven. This ensures that, even if you miss day seven and check on day eight, you would not have to restart your clean days. Make sure not to let more than five days elapse without a bedikah.

Once you have gone to the mikveh, be sure to wear colored underwear at all times, and to avoid looking at toilet paper to avoid problems with staining. We strongly suggest you read our article on ketamim for further information on avoiding becoming niddah from staining.

3. Unless you have real reason to suspect the blood is coming from a wound or lesion, this option is probably not worth exploring. The amounts of blood and length of bleeding you describe are unlikely to be the result of a cut or dryness. However, when you go to your physician, ask if s/he can see any source of bleeding other than the uterus. If so, please get back to us so we can further advise.

We hope you get through this period quickly and as painlessly as possible. Please feel free to get back to us for any clarifications or further information which might reflect on this answer.


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