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

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Extended niddah, horrible timing

10 January, 2018

Question:

I really have a difficult situation and I don’t know what to do. I became a niddah about two months ago during a difficult emotional time. Not that my husband and I were fighting, but we just really needed each other’s support. I spotted for over three weeks and when I finally got to mikveh, I had to fly overseas leaving my husband behind. On the way home I became a niddah and if I am lucky I will have to wait another 12 days (but I doubt that since I have been spotting on and off).

The emotional and physical pressure is absolutely horrible. We are both miserable and really need each other. We just can’t do this in this way. With the timing being absolutely the worst, the extra long periods, and the very difficult time we are both going through, this really is just impossible. We have been married for years and have kept taharas hamishpacha, but the combination of all of these things is horrible. What can we do?


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of this difficult situation and of the pressure that you are experiencing related to niddah.

We hope that you and your husband can discuss ways in which you can support each other at this challenging time, while continuing to honor your commitment to halacha. If there is some aspect of this with which we might be able to help, please write back to explain more.

The minimum wait and shivah neki’im (seven clean days) cannot be shortened.

However, there are steps to take to help ensure that you can reach the mikveh as soon as possible. First, it is worthwhile to attempt a hefsek taharah even if you suspect that you are spotting. We recommend that you thoroughly wash the area beforehand, possibly even soaking in a bath. You can begin trying to get an acceptable bedikah from the morning (after sunrise), and make a few attempts if necessary. Once you have an acceptable hefsek taharah, you do not need to repeat the procedure. (Learn more about the hefsek tahara here.) You may omit the moch dachuk for this month.

If you feel dry or irritated, you may dampen the cloth slightly or apply lubricant to the vagina to reduce friction when performing the hefsek taharah or bedikot.

For this cycle, you may reduce the number of bedikot during the shivah neki’im. In addition to the hefsek taharah, you should do one bedikah on day one, one on day seven, and one on an intermediate day. Bring any questionable bedikot to be examined by a rav or yoetzet, to prevent any unnecessary stringencies.

If you are concerned about stains on white underwear during the clean days, you may wear disposable pantiliners and disregard any stains that you find.

We recommend you review our articles “Stains” and “Toilet Paper” to ensure that you are taking all the relevant precautions to avoid invalidating the clean days, or becoming niddah again, due to spotting.

If you have experienced recent changes in your menstrual pattern, it may be worthwhile to explore medical reasons for the spotting, and possible ways to reduce spotting. If you are already using combined hormonal contraception, you can discuss with your physician the possibility of extending your cycle to reduce the time you are niddah.

Please get back to us here or at our telephone hotline for additional assistance.

We wish you and your husband strength getting through this time.

This response was updated on 29 May, 2022.


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