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

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Bright red staining six weeks postpartum

3 September, 2017


I am 6 weeks post partum and went to the mikvah last Sunday night.
Today (Wednesday) I noticed bright red staining on the toilet paper just when wiping, no other noticeable discharge or feeling of discharge. No other stains aside from when wiping.
How would I know if this was uterine or from a wound?
Am I definitely a niddah?
Thank you so much for this amazing service.


Mazal tov on the birth of your baby!

Post-partum bleeding tends to come and go in waves, so renewed uterine bleeding is a real possibility.  However, especially given the bright red color, bleeding from a wound (like an episiotomy, or tearing, or hemorrhoids) is also a real possibility.

Even when there is no wound, a woman is not always considered niddah after she finds blood on toilet paper.  For example, if you follow sephardic halachic rulings, or if an interval of at least a few seconds passed between urinating and wiping, you are not considered niddah.  (For this reason, we recommend that women deliberately wait, ideally about fifteen seconds, between urinating and wiping.)  For a discussion of the factors involved, please see our site’s article “Toilet Paper.

Additionally, blood from a wound, dam makkah, does not make a woman niddah. To determine if your blood can be attributed to a wound, you can try looking in the mirror to see if you can identify any irritation or lesion that looks like it might bleed. Or you can see a niddah nurse or bodeket taharah, or your physician, for an examination.  If you or they can identify a non-uterine source of the bleeding, we can consider what you found on the toilet paper to have been dam makkah.

If you determine that you are in niddah, the usual rules of becoming tehorah apply, even though you immersed just a few days ago.  Keep in mind that this is likely a short-term issue.  Once post-partum bleeding ceases, many women experience months without a period.

Please write back with any follow up questions.

This response has been updated to reflect the rulings of our current Rabbinic Supervisor, Rav Kenneth Auman, regarding waiting before wiping.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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