Maintaining awareness of bleeding without becoming niddah
20 March, 2005
I have never had spotting problems but twice in the past few months I have had a situation around "mikveh day" when there has been some spotting (I am still nursing, my fourth, an 11-month old). I have read many times, "just don't look"–but this is very important information which must be brought up with my doctor. Can you explain the balance between "ignorance is bliss" for the sake of niddah, and assuring one's health?
Even with respect to hilchot niddah, there is generally an alternative to not looking.
In the case of stains on underwear, if you have already been to mikveh you would wear light-colored underwear, on which you could identify a stain but could not clearly discern its color. (Some authorities consider pastels too light; if your rabbi prefers stronger colors you could wear bright pink, purple, etc.) The leniency of a stain without hargashah on colored underwear would still apply.
In the case of stains on toilet paper, there is room for leniency if you wait fifteen seconds between urinating and wiping. Waiting alleviates the halachic concern that your urination masked a hargashah when the stain emerged.
If the staining is beginning before you get to mikveh, and is making it difficult to complete the clean days, please get back to us.
Please see our article on ketamim for more details and write back with any further questions.
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