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

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Spotting in ninth month

19 December, 2004

Question:

I am now in my ninth month of pregnancy and have some questions regarding spotting. My assumption is that spotting that occurs on toilet paper or colored cloth will not make me niddah, as is usually the case. What happens, however, if blood is seen on something that is placed inside the vaginal canal, such as my doctor’s glove after an examination, my hand or other equipment after a birth-preparatory stretching exercise or my husband’s body after marital relations? Given that this blood is most likely cervical, will this make me niddah? if the answer varies depending on the situation, please address each situation mentioned.

Thank you so much for your help!!!


Answer:

B’sha’ah tovah!

The rules of spotting in pregnancy are the same as the rules at any other time, although the pregnancy should be mentioned when posing a halachic question. We follow the halachic position that spotting on toilet paper would make a woman a niddah only if she wiped immediately after urinating. Please see our page on toilet paper for more information.

Blood on a doctor’s glove from a vaginal exam, on birth preparatory equipment that enters the vaginal canal, or on the male member after relations, makes a woman a niddah unless a non-uterine source for the bleeding (e.g., from the outside of the cervix) can be established. Learn more here.

It is permitted — and recommended if feasible — to rinse off your hands and equipment without looking at them following birth-preparatory exercises.

You and your husband should not look for blood after relations. Use colored sheets, and wipe yourselves afterwards with dark towels or with tissues that you discard without looking at. See our page on stains for a list of precautions. Please see here for  a detailed discussion of blood found after relations, including on the husband’s body.

If a doctor sees blood on a glove, you should ask him or her to check for lesions on the cervix or vaginal lining that are bleeding, or that could bleed. You may find the form Information to Provide After a Gynecological Examination/Procedure, available in the section of our website for health care professionals, Jewish Women’s Health.

This response was updated on 18 February, 2024.


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