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

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Spotting and relations after onot

3 December, 2003

Question:

I kept the three onot in anticipation of my period, and when they passed with no appearance of blood, my husband and I resumed relations. Two days later I noticed a spot of blood on toilet paper, but because it was much smaller than a "gris" and I didn't see anything on my underpants, I assumed it was ok and we had relations that night. I wasn't entirely sure I was getting my period, as I've heard that 20% of women who conceive tend to bleed in the beginning of pregnancy, and I thought there was a good chance I was pregnant. I got my period two days later.
If this spot of blood occurs right around my period but it doesn't fit "ketamim" criteria, is it still ok to have relations, even if I think I'm right around my period? I have been married five and a half months.
Thank you for your response.


Answer:

From the time you immerse in the mikveh until you become niddah again, relations are permitted on days other than the onot perishah.

Technically, the spot that you saw did not render you a niddah, assuming there was no hargashah (please see articles on ketamim and toilet paper). It was thus permissible to have relations.  We do generally recommend abstention for twenty-four hours when there is staining, to see if a flow is beginning, but that is a recommendation and not a halachic requirement. 

When it is that close to your expected period, however, you might also consider performing a bedikah prior to relations (without your husband's being aware that you are doing this) just to be sure. This assures that you are not a niddah at the time of relations. It does, however, carry the risk that if you find something on the cloth you become niddah immediately even if the actual flow does not begin for another few days.


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