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

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Irregular spotting on pill

8 November, 2015

Question:

Hi, I hate to be a bother, but I need some clarification and hope you can help me.

I am on hormonal contraception which used to work very well in controlling my periods, I had regular ones, and only when on the inactive pills. Ever since going back on them, I have been having completely random bleeding while on active pills, and sometimes very little bleeding when on inactive pills. I know that I am not supposed to "look" when using the bathroom, but since I am trying to find a pill that works for me, I must know what is going on with my body and can not do this. Here is my problem: Most of the time, I would not even know that I was bleeding if I didn't look while in the bathroom, because it rarely reaches my underwear. This means that if I wasn't looking, I would not be rendered nidah. When I do look, I always wait at least 15 seconds (which I learned about on your site, thank you). My questions are as follows:

1) How much can I "ignore" on toilet paper or in toilet water? If I am bleeding for a few days or if it is a lot but nothing reaches my underwear, do I still ignore it because it is not a "flow" based on not needing a pad?

2) My husband and I act in a "limbo" manner during this time, waiting to make sure it is not becoming a flow. The times that it does become a flow, it is usually not until day 4 or 5, and then it's over a day or 2 later. Since we have already abstained do I still only start counting day one as the 4th or 5th day? Since I know it had started a few days earlier and we already abstained just in case, can I start counting when the bleeding stops (usually day 7 or 8)?

I am sorry for the long email, and thank you so much for always being so kind and willing to help.


Answer:

We are happy to offer this service. Your questions are not a bother at all, and are always welcome.

1) Even if it seems like you have a lot of blood, if it does not reach your underwear, it is unlikely that it is a flow. Therefore, even stains larger than a gris (the size of a US dime or Israeli shekel) may be disregarded and do not render you niddah. Sometimes a very small amount of blood found in the toilet bowl tints the entire bowl pinkish. This does not mean that you experienced a significant amount of bleeding comparable to a flow. Any blood found in the toilet may be disregarded (unless you actually saw it exit your body).

2) The 5 day minimum begins from when you actually consider yourself niddah. Unfortunately, this means you may not count the 5 days from when you are acting in limbo out of doubt. If you are sure that you will be rendered niddah at some point, you may perform a bedikah and purposely render yourself niddah in order to start your 5 day minimum. However, if there is a chance that the staining will not make you niddah at all, we do not recommend doing this.

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

B'Hatzlacha!


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