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

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Cannot get seven clean days

11 November, 2015

Question:

I am 57 years old. I have been having a rough year with my periods. Over a year ago, I began having bleeding that persisted for weeks at a time. I received medication to slow the bleeding. It happened a few times over the year. I went for tests and biopsies. Aside from a polyp and a thickening of the uterus, there was nothing wrong.

For about the past 6 months, I have not gotten to a point that I can count 7 clean days. I seem to just keep spotting. Around 6 weeks ago, I did go in for a scraping and had the Mirena inserted. I have been spotting ever since. I have had 1 batch of 5 clean days. That was it. I'm hoping that I am starting another batch of clean days. What can I do? Do I have to count all the clean days? It is getting a little much for me AND my husband.

In the earlier months, even when I was able to count 7 clean days, I usually resumed bleeding after another 2 or 3 days.

I have not bothered to ask anyone since I assume if I see blood, then I am a niddah.

Please help.


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your situation.

Unfortunately, it is common to experience irregular staining both at your age and during the first 3-6 months on the Mirena as your body adjusts to it. However, not all staining will render you niddah nor invalidate the clean days.

You need to perform a hefsek taharah before starting the clean days. The hefsek (as well as subsequent bedikot) need not be completely clear. Stains that are yellow or light brown (the color of coffee with milk) with no reddish hue are acceptable and do not invalidate the clean days. Other shades of brown should be brought to a rabbi for evaluation.

We recommend reducing the number of bedikot required to the hefsek, and one each on days 1, 7, and one additional intermediate clean day. You should also change your white underwear more frequently to prevent any staining from accumulating to a gris (the size of a US dime or Israeli shekel). This way stains smaller than a gris on your underwear may be disregarded. If you find any questionable stain be sure to bring it to a rabbi for evaluation, explaining the difficulty you are having completing the clean days.

Once you are able to immerse you should take precautions against becoming niddah from further staining by wearing colored underwear and waiting 15 seconds after urinating before wiping. See our article on stains for more details. As long as you do not experience an actual flow of blood (comparable to a period), you may avail yourself of the leniencies of stains. You should not assume that any blood you find renders you niddah.

We hope these suggestions help you successfully count the clean days and immerse. If you continue experiencing difficulty please get back to us for further guidance.

Medically, the Mirena does reduce uterine bleeding for many women. We hope this will be the case for you as well. If there are still problems despite the use of the leniencies for stains outlined above, do discuss other possible options with your physician, such as ablation therapy.

B'Hatzlacha!


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