Blood on diaphragm
9 April, 2006
I took my diaphragm out this morning and saw a little blood on it, and on the toilet paper when I went to the bathroom immediately thereafter. I had some trouble getting it out and I believe I irritated myself.
I am nursing and have not gotten my period since I gave birth 3 months ago, nor do I feel like I am getting my period. Am I in niddah??
Ordinarily, blood on a diaphragm is treated like blood on an internal bedikah, and you would be considered niddah. For this reason, we recommend that women not look at their diaphragms when washing them (or wash them in the dark).
However, it is quite possible that the diaphragm caused some irritation which led to bleeding on the diaphragm and on the toilet tissue. If you can establish that the blood was from an irritation, then it would be considered dam makkah (blood from a wound) and not dam niddah, and you would not be in niddah. To establish that, please see a doctor or bodeket taharah (a female nurse trained to check for women's irritations for these purposes) as soon as possible. In Israel, there are a number of bodkot taharah. Procedures vary in other countries. In some communities, a rav may refer you to a specific doctor. Otherwise, you can ask your physician to look and see if he sees any lesion on the vagina or cervix that could bleed, even if it is medically normal. Please get back to us with any further information. Barring this medical information, you would be considered niddah, as above.
With toilet tissue, it is often best not to look. If you must look, then it is important to train yourself to let fifteen seconds elapse between urinating and wiping. The halachic concern is that the sensation of urinating may conceal a hargashah (sensation). This concern applies when wiping follows urination immediately. When fifteen seconds have elapsed, we are confident that the stain on the tissue did not immediately follow a concealed hargashah. Therefore, we can apply one of the leniencies pertaining to stains without hargashah, namely, that a stain on a throwaway surface such as toilet tissue does not render a woman niddah. When a woman discovers a stain on toilet paper after having waited fifteen seconds between urination and wiping, she is not niddah. (Although we still advise a woman in such a case to abstain from relations for about twenty-four hours, to be sure that a flow does not begin.) If there is no pause between urinating and wiping, a stain on toilet paper generally renders a woman niddah.
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