Staining, veset, and five days
27 January, 2004
Before my recent marriage, I somewhat regularly, but not always, stained (definately larger than a gris) a couple of days before really beginning my period. In the intervening days (usually 2-4 days) there was no staining. When I asked my Kallah teacher about this, she advised not to use a tampon, or look at toilet paper, if this happened, but to wait until I really needed protection, otherwise I would be niddah for longer than necessary. I took a few days of progesterone before the wedding to shift my period back and I think this altered my usual menstrual pattern. My first two periods since my marriage, I didn't have this premenstrual staining ( or at least I wasn't aware of it). So when I saw a stain on toilet paper on a day of perishah, before my third period, I assumed that I had started my period right on time, and inserted a tampon, before shkiah, so that we could count that day as day 1. However, this time, it seems that this initial staining was premenstrual, as the next two days were free of staining, and I didn't really begin menstruating until daytime of day 4 (halachically). We conducted ourselves assuming that I was niddah, as there was staining on the tampon from day 1.
I have two questions.
1) what do I count as day1 of menstruation for the purpose of counting next months veset? The day I became niddah because of seeing the pre menstrual staining, or the day I really started menstruating?
2) How do I differentiate between premenstrual staining and the beginning of menstruation, as the first day of my period now is not very different from the pre menstrual staining?
The day that you started menstruating is the day from which you calculate your veset. However, the day that you began staining and conducted yourself as in niddah is the first day for the calculation of the five day minimum. Please note that you do not have to insert a tampon to begin the five days; they start as soon as you consider yourself niddah.
The advice that your kallah teacher gave you was correct. Please see the article on ketamim for an explanation as to why. Once you have some spotting near your period, you should refrain from marital relations as you would on a day of perishah. (This is not a halachic requirement, but a recommendation.) On the day of your veset, you must perform a bedikah. Finding a stain on the bedikah cloth would render you niddah.
You do not have to distinguish for these purposes between premenstrual staining several days before your period, and light staining at the start of your period. The halachot outlined above apply to both situations.
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