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

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Periods after early menopause

15 January, 2003

Question:

About three years ago, I went through premature menopause (at age 43) during the course of chemotherapy to treat breast cancer. Recently I started bleeding (irregularly, for about six days every few months) and went to see my ob-gyn. He says that it appears that my system – in long hiatus because of the chemotherapy – is reawakening. That is, my ovaries appear to be producing estrogen, although not necessarily enough to make me ovulate without the addition of progresterone, which my ob-gyn wants to prescribe on at least a quarterly basis. So, where am I? Does this bleeding make me niddah? For Jewish law purposes, am I still considered in menopause or not?


Answer:

The Jewish laws of niddah apply to any uterine bleeding that is not caused by trauma. It does not matter if you stopped bleeding for a while and then resumed bleeding. In the situation you describe, the laws of niddah and mikveh use would apply to you.


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