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

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Spotting, abstaining, and minimum days

3 September, 2017


Hi, thank you so much for your amazing service.

It's been a while, and I've forgotten what to do in this case. I have the mirena IUD and usually spot very briefly and was told by Yoatzot that in my case I can ignore it, but that it's best to wait a day or so and see if the spotting progresses or not. This time the spotting started on Monday, and I decided to not have sex to make sure. Tuesday the spotting continued but it was very little and I assumed I could ignore it. Tuesday night (after sunset) it got to the point that I could no longer ignore, and I told my husband I'm a niddah. Of course an hour later, it was completely gone, but that's how it is. Just wondering if my 5 days starts on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Thank you.


The five days start when a woman becomes niddah (or acts as though she is niddah, harchakot and all, because she is not sure about her niddah status).  Abstention beforehand, even driven by halachic concerns, does not count toward the five days.

If we understand you correctly, your staining became a flow only on Tuesday after sunset, and at that point you told your husband that you were in niddah.  In that case, your five days began on Tuesday-night/Wednesday, the halachic day on which you became niddah.  

If a flow did not begin on Tuesday night, but you just had heavier staining on a colored undergarment, then it is possible that you never became niddah.  When a woman tells her husband she is niddah out of a misunderstanding of the halacha, that can sometimes be reversible.  If you are in doubt about what your status was on Tuesday night, please get back to us here (or, for a more immediate response, at our hotline) with details about what you saw.

Please write back with any further questions.

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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