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

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Non-virgin bride

12 September, 2006


Hi. My daughter is a baalat teshuva and is getting married with another baal teshuva this coming month. She has told her chatan that she is not a “virgin” since she had one experience before. She doesn’t want to tell this to her Rabbi, nor her Rebbetzin, and I understand. The problem she is facing now is how does she do the counting?? When should she go to the mikveh?
Thanks for your prompt answer.


Mazal tov on the upcoming wedding!

Your daughter does not have to share information about her sexual history with her Rabbi or her Rebbetzin. Her chatan knows, and that is all that is important.

There is a halachic difference if the bride is not a virgin in that the laws of dam betulim – hymenal bleeding – do not apply to her. She will not become niddah after the first complete act of intercourse, and marital relations will remain permissible until she expects her period.

Following the wedding, during the week of sheva brachot, the couple may prefer to observe the harchakot (restrictions during niddah) when they are with other people, so as to keep their status private.

She can schedule her wedding as any kallah would, planning for her period to end in time to count seven clean days before her immersion in the mikveh. If she wishes to consult with her Rebbetzin or kallah teacher regarding scheduling, she doesn’t need to mention her previous experience. (Often, a virgin bride will try to schedule her wedding for shortly before she expects her period, so that the separation for dam betulim coincides with her period. This consideration won’t be relevant in your daughter’s case.)

We encourage your daughter to contact us with any further questions through our website or on our telephone hotline, or to speak to a local Yoetzet (click here for a directory of Yoatzot Halacha outside of Israel).

May the new couple be blessed with many loving and joyful years together.

This response was updated on 1 May 2022.

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