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

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Shortening neki’im during fertility treatment

5 April, 2005


I am undergoing fertility treatment, and due to the pills I had 4 days of menstruation (red stains) and 4 more days of brown stains. The doctor says that I shouldn’t wait for the seven blood-free days because I am going to lose the fertility days. What should I do?


We’re sorry to hear of your difficulty conceiving and of the additional challenges posed by observing the laws of niddah.

The precise nature of your fertility treatment and timing of the staining are unclear. It’s also unclear to us whether you could have performed an earlier hefsek taharah. Not all colors render a woman niddah, and some browns are acceptable on a hefsek taharah and subsequent bedikot. If at any point this cycle you performed an action that might be able to count after the fact as a hefsek taharah, please be in touch with details.

In the future, please contact a local halachic authority as soon as red staining stops to increase your chances of an earlier hefsek taharah. The number of bedikot required during the shivah neki’im can also be reduced. Make sure to mention the fertility treatment when asking halachic questions.

We also recommend reviewing the laws of stains. While a flow of red blood will render you niddah, it is often possible avoid becoming niddah from staining that does not become a flow.

That being said, it is prohibited to have relations during the clean days without counting the full seven and immersing first. For this cycle, if it can be arranged in time, you might pursue artificial insemination during the seven days, during your fertile window.

You may also find it helpful to consult a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service, details here.)

We wish you success with your treatment.

This response was updated on 13 December, 2020.

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