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

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Long periods & short cycles

12 August, 2009

Question:

Has there been any discussion with Poskim regarding shortening of the Shiva Nekiim for various physical or psychological issues? Are these days D'oraita or D'rabanan.

I've gone from a normal cycle to one that lasts 10 days. Adding 7 days for counting leaves not a whole lot of time with my husband. Sometimes it is a 24 to 26 day interval.


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your difficult situation.

While the requirement for keeping the seven clean days for a niddah is d'rabbanan, this enactment originated in the times of the Talmud and has the status of a "halacha p'suka" – an established law that may not be dismissed under any circumstance. Unfortunately, even in your situation, the seven clean days may not be reduced.

The first thing to check is whether you are delaying immersion due to extended staining. Once the bleeding is no longer bright red you should attempt to perform a hefsek taharah and bring it to a rabbi for evaluation. There are many shades of brown that will not invalidate the clean days and will allow you to begin counting the clean days sooner than 10 days into your cycle.  

You should also discuss with your physician your lengthy periods and short cycles. Hormonal manipulation can help lengthen your cycle and shorten the bleeding. It is important to explain to your physician why the extended bleeding has a significant impact on your life. You can refer your physician to our sister-site for medical professionals, www.jewishwomenshealth.org, for a physician-friendly explanation of the laws of niddah.

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


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