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

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Postpartum checkup

5 January, 2003

Question:

I gave birth just over six weeks ago and hope to go to the mikvah in a few days.  Today I had my six week follow-up checkup.  Do I need to worry that it might have caused niddah bleeding and that I need to start the seven clean days again?


Answer:

A standard well-woman checkup involves a speculum exam to help the doctor visualize the cervix and a manual exam in which s/he inserts 1-2 fingers into the vagina to examine the state of the reproductive organs. Neither of these procedures involves opening the cervix and therefore they do not cause niddah status. Sometimes the speculum (or a pap smear, if performed) can cause minor bleeding due to abrasions. When the physician looks at the cervix during the speculum exam, s/he can see that no bleeding is coming from the uterus. If the physician can verify the absence of uterine bleeding, then blood found after the examination could be attributed to abrasions and would not cause niddah status. 

Since you expect to go to the mikveh in a few days, you must be in your shivah neki'im. At this time you are trying to establish that all bleeding from the uterus has ceased. Therefore, we are more stringent about stains during the seven clean days than during other times of the month. However, if it is clear that the bleeding IS NOT from the uterus, as it is when the physician has just examined the cervix, and there is another cause such as abrasion to which we can attribute the stain, then the process of the shivah neki'im can continue and you can immerse in the mikveh at the originally scheduled time. In the event that your doctor informed you that there may be some bleeding due to abrasion, consult a rabbi directly or through a yoetzet about the possibility of reducing the number of bedikot you perform during the rest of the seven clean days. 

 


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