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When does staining make you niddah?

8 July, 2015

Question:

I have some questions about staining issues that I've been having recently. (I would be interested in the most lenient approach.)

I went off of hormonal birth control a few months ago and am having some bleeding/staining as my body is normalizing. I am aware of a general vaginal flow sensation, a sensation which is not unique to bleeding as I often have such a sensation due to general moisture. At no time do I feel an actual start to a flow.

My general understanding is that if I don't see blood on a white garment, the stains do not render me a niddah.

1. Is my understanding correct? Or do I need to check based on the above?

2. At what point (length of time, amount, etc) is the bleeding no longer considered staining and would be considered a flow/period. I've never had a regular cycle, and they've been especially unpredictable in the last few years, so I have no expectation of when a flow would come. Also, because I'm not looking, I'm not quite sure how much blood is coming out and what its color is.

3. Am I allowed to closely inspect my black underwear to have a better idea of what's happening?

Thank you for your time and assistance.


Answer:

1. If you do not experience an actual flow, you may take precautions against becoming niddah from any staining by wearing colored underwear and waiting 15 seconds after urinating before wiping. This way you may disregard stains found on your underwear or on toilet paper. Should you find stains larger than a gris (the size of a US dime or Israeli shekel) on a white garment, or multiple stains that are cumulatively larger than a gris on your skin, you still may be rendered niddah. Additionally, if you see blood exit your body (while you are on the toilet or in the shower, etc.) you would be rendered niddah. Please see our article on stains for more details.

You should not perform any bedikot unless it is required (i.e., on an onah day).

2. It can be difficult to distinguish between staining and a flow. There are no set limits for length of staining or specific amounts that would render you niddah. Bleeding that is comparable to a period would be considered a flow. Less than that would be considered staining. If you need to use a pad or a tampon to contain the bleeding, you can assume you are experiencing a flow.

On your onah days (haflagah, yom hachodesh, and onah beinonit based on your last period), you are required to perform a bedikah, which may render you niddah.

3. You may inspect your black underwear to see what is going on with your body. Additionally, if you wait 15 seconds after urinating before wiping, you may examine the toilet paper.

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

B'Hatzlacha!


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