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

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Bedikot with placenta previa

16 June, 2004

Question:

I am currently 10 1/2 weeks pregnant. I began to have some spotting. An ultrasound revealed that I have a marginal placenta previa which may have become aggravated from intercourse and/or exercising, thus leading to spotting. My question is, am I to be considered a niddah or can this be considered a "makkah (wound)"?

If I am a niddah and would need to do a hefsek taharah and bedikot in order to go to the mikvah, what is the least invasive method of bedikah that I could do? My physician has instructed me not to have intercourse and not to insert a tampon, as this could aggravate the condition. Thus, I am concerned about inserting a bedikah cloth in the usual manner. Any advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated.


Answer:

In general, bleeding from the placenta is considered dam koshi, which makes you niddah, and not dam makkah. Therefore, your status depends on where you found the spotting. If blood was found internally (e.g., on a bedikah), or if it met the criteria for stains (on a white surface, and at least the size of a dime or a shekel coin – please see our article on stains for a detailed explanation), you are niddah. If the bleeding did not meet these criteria (e.g., you saw it only on colored underwear), you are not niddah.

The concern with intercourse and tampons is that they will reach the cervix and thus cause the placenta, which lies over the cervix inside the uterus, to bleed.  A bedikah can be done, under extenuating circumstances, less deeply than would touch the cervix. Gently insert your finger until the first knuckle, concentrating more on going circumferentially and less on going deeply. You should omit the moch dachuk, and reduce the number of bedikot to one per day. If you feel the number of bedikot needs to be reduced further, please get back to us.

Refuah shleimah and b'sha'ah tovah!


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