Avoiding niddah when checking cervical fluid
12 June, 2017
My husband and I have been trying to conceive for 6 months now. I’ve been having irregular and long cycles (from 28-40 days) so I don’t know when I am ovulating. I have also been using urine ovulation tests, which seem to be inconsistent for me.
I would like to start monitoring my cervical fluids to figure out my fertile periods. But I am concerned about potentially making myself Niddah by seeing colored discharge when I wouldn’t otherwise.
Do you have any advice on how I could check myself while avoiding a potential Niddah status?
In theory, it is possible to feel and assess the cervical fluids by touch, without looking at them. In practice, however, our site’s rabbinic supervisor maintains that a woman who inserts her fingers internally to check her cervical mucus during the seven clean days must examine them afterwards to look for any staining. This might lead to becoming niddah.
A less risky alternative is to check the cervical fluids at the vaginal opening without inserting the fingers internally, by wiping the area externally with a tissue. In that case, any staining that is found on your fingers or the tissue may be disregarded so long as the parts of the mucus of a niddah color are cumulatively the size of a gris or less (roughly the area of a US dime or Israeli shekel). This method is likely to be most effective after a bowel movement, which helps release vaginal fluids.
You do not mention your age. If you are under 35, then it is generally accepted to consult with your doctor after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over 35, then after six months is an accepted time to ask for help. Given the menstrual irregularity that you describe, it may be worthwhile to consult a bit sooner, even if you are under 35. You may also find it helpful to schedule a consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service. Details here.)
Please get back to us with any further questions.
Updated August 2020.
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