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

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Stripping membranes

16 May, 2005

Question:

I am overdue to deliver a baby. If my doctor was able to insert two fingers into my cervix (i.e. I am two centimeters dilated) to strip the membranes, does that make me a nida? I did see a smidgen of blood when wiping after urinating a few hours later. It seemed like dam maka and consistently came from one place.

Thank you for your reply


Answer:

Thank you for reaching out to us.

We agree that blood directly following the procedure would be classified as dam makkah until active labor.

However, we follow the view that significant dilation of the uterus (petichat hamakor) with an instrument or finger can cause a woman to become niddah, even if no bleeding is detected, and that the act of stripping the membranes usually constitutes a petichat hamakor. Thus, stripping generally makes a woman niddah, even if she is somewhat dilated to begin with, because the procedure further opens the internal os (internal opening of the cervix into the uterus).

In some cases, a physician may be able to state with confidence that the procedure did not open or widen the internal os to 19 mm or more. We follow the view that stripping in such a case would not make a woman niddah. This might happen, for example, when only one finger is used for a more limited procedure, when the procedure does not widen the opening beyond its dilation beforehand, or when the procedure does not succeed in reaching into the uterus.

Please confirm the details of your procedure with your physician, and please be in touch with us with any further questions.

BeSha’ah Tovah!

This response was updated on 5 September, 2023.


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