Painful bedikot, discomfort asking questions
31 December, 2017
I am a religious woman who has been following the laws of family purity since I got married five years ago.
Ever since the beginning, the bedikas have been painful and uncomfortable. I received a psak to do just the hefsek taharah and bedikot on the first and last day of the shiva neki'im. This is what I have done for quite a while now.
The problem is I am hating the bedikas more and more. They are painful and most months, I have to wash myself to the point that I feel like I am hurting myself and do a few checks before I can get a clean hefsek. On top of that, I often have to send in to a rabbi on day 6 or 7 when I still can't get a clean one. I am finding this embarrassing and unnecessary. I know I'm not having my period. Why can't I just be able to learn the stains myself and judge for myself? It does not feel dignified and no matter how many years I do it for, I do not feel like I am getting more comfortable with it. It's only getting harder. I am not a rebel. I do most of the mitzvot happily. But this whole process just feels like a violation of my privacy and my dignity and condescending towards my own common sense.
We are sorry to hear that the bedikot have been so painful and uncomfortable for you.
If you do not experience similar discomfort during relations or when using a tampon, then it is most likely that the bedikot could be done differently and less painfully. A woman should never wash herself to the point of hurting herself and certainly not do multiple checks in such an instance. It would be best to speak a yoetzet halacha about how and when bedikot are performed, so that more comfortable solutions can be found. If you'd like to share your phone number with us, we can arrange to speak with you. Alternatively, you can call our telephone hotline or check our list of yoatzot serving communities in the US, Canada, and the UK.
If you do experience similar discomfort during relations or using a tampon, then it is likely that you would benefit overall from seeing a physician or physiotherapist who specializes in vaginal pain.
As for sending cloths to your rabbi, if the colors you have sent have been consistent, then you should ask him if they are consistent enough for you to assess them yourself based on his prior responses. Additionally, it is worth noting that yellow or light brown on a bedikah with no hint of a reddish tint may be disregarded, and need not be asked about.
Please don't hesitate to get back to us to follow up. We would like to do whatever we can to help you observe these halachot in a way that respects your sense of dignity and privacy.
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