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

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Extended bleeding after miscarriage & surgery

2 April, 2006

Question:

I recently lost twins, a boy & a girl, at 19 weeks gestation. I tore badly while in labor and needed extensive surgery. My doctor tells me it will take months before I heal and I will continue bleeding lightly for a couple of months at least, possibly 4 or 5.

Could you tell me please what I should do – I realize we cannot be intimate until after I immerse, that could be months away, do we need to still observe the distancing laws until I do immerse?

We will be traveling by plane soon and it is extremely difficult maintaining the laws in small confined areas.

Many thanks for your help


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your miscarriage and wish you a refuah shleimah.

We recognize that keeping the harchakot for an extended period of time, especially after pregnancy loss, can be challenging. Emotionally, it demands actively seeking non-physical ways to offer each other support.

In order to keep the time of separation to a minimum, some key issues should be clarified. Only uterine bleeding renders a woman niddah. Bleeding that is non-uterine (e.g. from tearing), does not make a woman niddah or invalidate her clean days, so long as she can get a valid hefsek taharah. Additionally, over time, uterine bleeding might dwindle and stop and start in a way that would allow for a hefsek taharah and counting the clean days. We’d be happy to provide guidance moving forward. Please be in touch when you think you might be able to get a hefsek taharah, perhaps guided by a mirror so as to bypass a sensitive site of tearing.

Another possibility would be to explore with your physician whether a medication to stop the bleeding earlier would be appropriate.

In answer to your specific question about traveling by plane: You may sit next to each other, with the armrest between you, and take reasonable precautions to avoid accidentally touching. You may find it helpful to use the tray table as a surface on which to place any items you want to pass to each other. If you have questions about specific problems that might arise on the flight, please get back to us.

Our website www.jewishwomenshealth.org, is designed to explain the laws of niddah to healthcare professionals. You may find it helpful to refer your physician to the site, or to print out the relevant pages to show them.

This response was updated on 29 May, 2022.


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