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

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Spotting five days after mikveh

15 September, 2009

Question:

Can you please help I am in despair…

I am 51, presumably starting menopause, and my cycle is getting complicated…I dont keep a calendar (onot etc), partly because I spot for a couple of days before bleeding and I wouldnt know where to start the counting. BUT i am careful to keep track of a roughly 4 week cycle and do bedikot when my period is due, so as not to transgress halacha. I use black pantiliners and have a heter to do bedikot only at the beginning and end of 7 nekiim (hefsek, day 1 and day 7) due to staining issues.

I was nidda for 21 days and went to the mikva last wednesday night. Last nite (monday, ie 5 days later), I had a feeling I should check, and there was spotting on the bedika, so my assumption is that I'm nidda again.

WHAT ON EARTH AM I EXPECTED TO DO???? Since my cycle is obviously getting weirder, when am I expected to check??? I DO NOT want to be any more machmir than I absolutely have to be, and I have a tendency to be obssessive and feel guilty about all this how on earth do I get it right without driving myself and my husband absolutely mad, chas vshalom?

Thank you for your time:)


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your distress.  We do not think you have cause to feel guilty.  You are doing your best. 

Generally, the calendar is kept based on the first day of flow and not based on spotting.  We do think keeping a calendar might help simplify your situation, since the calendar determines on which days a bedikah should be performed.  We do not recommend performing bedikot when not halachically required.

When you do have spotting on a bedikah, please see a rabbi, explaining your situation, prior to assuming that you are in niddah.  We urge you to bring your bedikah to a rabbi now.  So too, twenty-one days is a very long time to be in niddah.  It is possible that you are considering yourself niddah before you have to and making your hefsek taharah later than required.  We suggest you read the articles on staining under the "Becoming Niddah" section of our site to review leniencies that might be of help to you.  We also suggest that you bring any attempts at a hefsek taharah to a rabbi, since a hefsek taharah need not be totally clear.

Another measure that may be helpful would be to see your physician about your staining and changing cycle and to discuss different possibilities for addressing them. Your doctor should be aware that bleeding can significantly affect your quality of life even if it presents no medical problems. You may want to refer him or her to our physician-friendly explanations of the laws of Niddah at www.jewishwomenshealth.org.

We hope that you will not hesitate to be back in touch with us with follow up questions.


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