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

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Can you avoid looking at pantiliners?

9 July, 2007

Question:

Thank you for taking my question and for your wonderful organization.

I have been experiencing all sorts of colors on my pantiliner since starting the NuvaRing – mainly pinkish hues, sometimes brown. Altogether, the ring has caused me to be more "discharge-y" than usual (before the ring).

Is it really "okay" not to look at your pantiliner or tissue so you "don't see," so long as, of course you don't feel a hargasha or are in a day of perisha? I feel so funny not looking, (I was advised that this is okay, since you are not required to look) but in the absence of black pantiliners or any other choice, I think this may be the only way to keep myself sane, and to keep my husband and I together.

Thoughts? Please advise.

Thanks so much.


Answer:

There is a halachic debate regarding the status of stains found on disposable pantiliners. We follow the opinion that disposable pantiliners are not susceptible to ritual impurity. Therefore, stains found on a disposable pantiliner, of any color, may be disregarded.

Even if you follow the stricter opinion, you are never required to wear white undergarments at times other than shivah neki'im.  You are therefore not required to look at your underwear or pantiliner when not in shivah nekiim.  Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid looking, in order to avoid halachic dilemmas regarding stains.  If you follow this opinion, it would be best to wear black pantiliners at this time. If you find they are unavailable, we recommend that you try to avoid looking at the pantiliner.

It is always permissible to avoid looking at tissue, even during shivah neki'im. For an extended discussion on this topic, please see our article on toilet paper.

Please remember that the leniencies we have regarding stains are due to the fact that the halachot of stains are of rabbinic origin.  We must trust the same halachic system that creates stringencies when it provides us with leniencies as well.


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