Daytime staining discovered at night
14 December, 2015
I have been wondering this for a long time and now my circumstances have given me an opportunity to ask: What happens when the bleeding actually starts towards the end of one onah, and the woman discovers it at the beginning of the next?
For example: after shkiah, I discovered some stains (on colored sheets) on the bed where I had napped a few hours earlier (long before shkiah). I was puzzled, as I hadn't noticed any stains on my skirt or on other places I had sat during the last few hours, but when I checked I had indeed gotten my period (which I had been expecting). So was I niddah b'd'iavad, or does the status of niddah only take hold once the woman has noticed and declared herself niddah? Can I count yesterday as day 1 of my five days of bleeding and today as 2, or do I start from this evening? When calculating my vesatot for next month, do I use the day onah, or the night onah?
And out of curiosity: in this case it is clear that the bleeding started during the day. What about a case where it is not clear, for example if a woman discovers she has started bleeding shortly after dawn, when it could very well have been that she had started bleeding before?
In the situation you describe, even though the staining you found was definitely from the earlier onah, it did not make you niddah because it was on colored sheets. Your five day minimum and vesatot are both calculated from the later onah.
Even if the staining were larger than a gris and found on a white garment (which would make you niddah), the five day minimum would be counted from the later onah because you did not consider yourself niddah during the earlier onah.
Onot perishah are not calculated from staining, only from the onset of actual menstrual bleeding. Therefore, earlier staining – whenever it is discovered, and whether or not it makes you niddah – will not affect your veset calculations.
In a situation where a woman discovers bleeding and is unsure whether it began during that onah or the previous onah, she counts day 1 of her period (both for vesatot and for the five day minimum) from the onah in which she discovered the bleeding. This is true for veset calculations because she definitely was bleeding during the later onah, but there is doubt about whether she experienced bleeding during the previous onah. It is true for the five day minimum because that is counted from the point at which she considers herself niddah.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
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