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

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Bleeding resumes on seventh clean day

26 March, 2009


Hi there,

I am having a really hard time. I have always had a regular period, and then, in the last five months, I started bleeding in between periods for the first time ever. I have had my gynecologist check me out, and he says that the cause is hormonal. He’s put me on the birth control pill, but that hasn’t stopped the bleeding.

The bleeding always starts the day I am supposed to go to the mikvah. For the past three months, I have been unable to have relations with my husband because I can never count more than three or four clean days after my initial seven.

The nature of the bleeding is that MOST OF THE TIME it is not blood that appears on my underwear, but on toilet paper after I got to the bathroom. I am sure that if I didn’t look down, I would never know about it. I am also pretty sure that if I took certain precautions (without inspection) before doing my official daily check,  my cloth might show up clean.

That said, last month, the flow was heavy enough to appear on my underwear. My doctor is not concerned. However, I am concerned about what is now the eighth of my marriage that I have spent unable to have relations with my husband.

Please help me soon!

With blessings and gratitude.


We are sorry to hear of the difficulties you are experiencing.

We hope that the hormonal contraception will ease the staining in the near future. If you still experience staining after three cycles on the pill, you should speak to your physician about switching to a different type of pill with a higher dose of estrogen. While this mid-cycle bleeding may be medically insignificant, it’s important for your doctor to understand that it has a significant impact on your life. You can refer your physician to the section of our website designed for medical professionals, Jewish Women’s Health, written to assist health care professionals in providing optimal care to patients who observe hilchot niddah.

In the meantime, we suggest you perform only one bedikah per day during the seven clean days. Prior to your bedikah you may externally wipe yourself with toilet paper (not after urinating) to see if you are staining. If you are staining, you may omit the bedikah on that day. However, you must take care to perform a bedikah on days one and seven. As long as you performed a bedikah on day one and a bedikah on day seven, the shivah neki’im are valid.

If you see that you are staining on the seventh day, as long as you performed a bedikah at some point during days 2-6, you may omit the bedikah that day and try again on the eighth day or later. The rule is:

  1. You need a framework of bedikot on the first and last day of the clean days and
  2. No more than five days may pass without a bedikah.

Thus, a bedikah on day one and a bedikah on day seven is a valid shivah neki’im since only five days (and no more) passed without a bedikah. However, a bedikah only on days one and eight is not valid, since more than five days passed between the first and last clean day. A bedikah on days one, four and nine is also a valid shivah neki’im since you have the framework of bedikot on the first and last day, and no more than five days passed without a bedikah.

Discharge that is light brown, the color of coffee with milk or lighter, with no reddish hue is not a niddah color and may be disregarded, on bedikot or any other surface.

Dark brown, black, or reddish discharge of any size on an internal bedikah should be brought to a halachic authority for evaluation. Further, if you find a stain on your white underwear, if it is smaller than the size of a gris (the size of a US dime or Israeli shekel), you may disregard it. If the stain is larger than a gris, and might be a niddah color, you should bring it for halachic evaluation. Do not assume that any stain will automatically invalidate your clean days. If stains on white underwear are preventing you from completing the clean days, you may use disposable pantiliners, and disregard stains found on them.

As long as you wait at least a few seconds after urinating before wiping, you may disregard any stain found on the toilet paper. You can review or pages on stains and toilet paper for further details.

Once you are able to immerse, be careful with precautions against becoming niddah from any further staining, as outlined in our page on stains.

We hope these suggestions will help you immerse soon. Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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