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

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Sanitary napkin on Shabbat

10 February, 2009

Question:

On Shabbos, can a women wear a sanitary napkin with an adhesive back to protect her clothing for staining when she is in reshus harabim?

Also, on shabbos, if a women's period stopped for a day but a lot of times comes back, can she wear a tampon in reshus harabim, in case it was to come back (and it would embarrass her)

What about yom tov?

Thanks so much.


Answer:

A woman may go out to reshut harabim (a public domain, where carrying is prohibited) on Shabbat wearing a sanitary napkin or tampon in order to prevent bodily discomfort and irritation, even if she is not sure there will be bleeding.

If the bleeding really does seem to have ceased, it is more difficult to permit this. 

If the sole purpose is to protect the woman's clothing, the sanitary napkin should not be worn.  But generally speaking, most women are also concerned about discomfort or irritation.  Embarrassment may be construed as a type of discomfort. 

On yom tov, there are more grounds to permit carrying, so this would not be an issue.


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