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

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Staining with IUD

16 August, 2004

Question:

I recently had an IUD inserted for birth control purposes. A common side effect of having an IUD is some staining. I understand the concept of colored underwear and colored toilet paper, also of not looking at the toilet paper. All of this is to help us retain our tahor status and not put too much strain on a marital relationship. Otherwise an IUD would be 100% effective because we'd be niddah most of the time!

I'm also just 4 months postpartum. I recently saw some staining on toilet paper and clarified the status as NOT making me a niddah. The next day I saw considerable staining and may or may not have had a hargasha. I decided that I had gotten my period.and acted accordingly, even though this is somewhat early for me to start menstruating (usually my babies are older). On the 7th day of the 7 clean days I saw staining on the morning bedikah. I took it to a posek who pronounced it OK. Whew!

I'm finding this situation stressful. Intellectually I know I'm behaving properly. I have no desire to be either too strict or too lenient, especially in this area, but I am not comfortable.

My question is, at what point do I stop ignoring any staining I see and assume it's my period rather than staining? Does sufficient staining render me a niddah even on colored underwear/toilet paper and even without a hargasha?

And if I have a hargasha do I have to do a bedika even with colored underwear/toilet paper? Or can I continue to ignore the staining?

Clarification would be greatly appreciated.


Answer:

When you have a stain that does not in itself render you niddah, it is a good idea to wait about 24 hours before having relations just to see what is happening. If something gets started, you've avoided getting into a situation of having relations while niddah. If nothing starts, then you can continue acting tehorah.

Once you have persistent staining, especially if it is heavy enough to leak through cloth, you should be concerned that you are niddah even on colored underwear or toilet paper and without hargashah. A specific question should be asked if you are not sure.

When a stain is accompanied by hargashah, the caveats of ketamim (size, surface on which it was found) do not apply and you are niddah. There is no need to do a bedikah to prove this. If you are not completely sure that you had  hargashah, a question should be asked.


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