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

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Relations after Pap smear

5 November, 2009

Question:

My understanding is that bleeding after a pap smear would not cause you to become niddah. I always bleed lightly for about a day after my exam. My husband and I are trying to conceive so I have recently stopped taking oral contraceptives. Since then my cycles have been irregular. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor for a preconception evaluation not knowing at what point in my cycle I would be. The appointment is tomorrow and the past 2 days I have noted signs that I may ovulate soon, according to the FAM method. My question is, should we avoid intercourse while I am bleeding post–pap smear? Is there anything else I should know about how to avoid becoming niddah from this bleeding? Would it be better if I asked the doctor not to do the pap at this visit?

Thank you so much for your help:


Answer:

While you are correct that bleeding subsequent to a Pap smear would not render you niddah since it is caused by trauma to the cervix, it still is preferable to avoid intercourse until the staining subsides. You should wear colored underwear or pantiliners and avoid looking at toilet paper immediately after urinating as well. Please note that even if you did find a stain on white underwear or on your skin, you would not be rendered niddah since the blood may be attributed to trauma. However, it is preferable to avoid these situations by taking the precautions against stains mentioned above. You can read our article on stains for further details.

Thus, it would be preferable to reschedule the Pap smear for another time, but if that is not possible, as long as your doctor can confirm that any subsequent bleeding is due to trauma and not uterine, relations are technically permitted. You should be very careful after relations to wait a few minutes and then clean yourself and your husband with colored tissues or a towel and do not look for any staining since blood found after relations is halachically problematic.

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


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