Premenstrual staining, minimum days, and onot
14 May, 2006
I have a regular period and expected it on Shabbos morning. Late Friday afternoon, I had some staining that would not have put me in niddah – a stain on coloured underwear and a small stain on toilet paper after a 15 second wait. I thought my period may come anytime so decided I wasn't niddah but that I would abstain for 24 hours to see what would happen. My period started properly a couple of hours later, once it was Friday night. What day do I count as day 1 – when I saw the stains on Friday afternoon, or when my flow started Friday night? Also when should my next anticipated period be – day or night onah? Thank you.
Although you were concerned, at the time of the spotting, that a flow might begin imminently and thus abstained for halachic reasons, the day of the spotting cannot count as the first day of the five-day minimum, because you were certain that you were tehorah. Abstention was highly recommended, but not mandatory, so the five days are unaffected by it. The first of the five days began with Friday night. The first day to attempt a hefsek taharah is Wednesday.
Since you actually became a niddah with the flow that began at night, and since your flow is not consistently preceded by such spotting, that night will be the onah from which your vesatot are calculated.
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