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

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Staining on finger with rectocele

14 November, 2018


I have a posterior vaginal prolapse (rectocele). In addition, 3 months ago I had a mirena IUD inserted. Since then I have had staining which I understand is normal after this type of iud is inserted. I am familiar with the laws of stains.

Due to the prolapse I have difficulty with complete evacuation during a bowel movement (even soft) and I press against the back wall of the vagina with my finger in order to have a bowel movement.

The problem is that when I press against the back wall of my vagina the stain is on my finger, and is clearly from the vagina. I don’t know if the colors of these stains render me Niddah. I can show my rabbi my bedika cloths and underwear, but what do I do about a stain on my finger which is more stringent?

Also, when I have been able to get to the Mikva I am nervous that each time I have a bowel movement I will have to press my finger into my vagina and once again become Niddah from a strange color. If these stains were just stains they would not be big enough to make me Niddah, and they would be on colored underwear.

In the past, before the IUD was inserted my doctor has checked and said that the bleeding is indeed due to irritation of the vaginal wall, but now it could be from the IUD.

Do I need to go to my doctor or a Bodeket each time to check the cause of the bleeding?

What is the best way to deal with this situation?


We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

A stain on a woman's finger after vaginal "splinting" such as you describe can make her niddah. Because the finger is inserted internally, the leniencies of staining size considerations do not apply. Her status typically depends on the color of the stain. This color can be evaluated by pressing the stain against a white cloth or tissue, which can be shown to a halachic authority if necessary.

If we understand your case correctly, the IUD is as likely to cause staining as vaginal irritation. If that is so, you should not be lenient unless you can confirm through examination that you have a vaginal irritation that bleeds on contact.

What we recommend you do in the immediate future is to keep colored tissue by your side at the toilet (and in your purse) and wipe your finger off on the tissue and flush it, taking care not to look at it. Avoid looking again at the finger until after you have washed your hands.

Long term, this situation is less than ideal. Splinting can also lead to vaginal infections or more severe irritation. We recommend that you pursue treatment for the rectocele. Please consult your physician for options. Urogynecological physiotherapy can often be very effective in helping women with this condition.

Please write back with any further questions. We wish you a refuah sheleimah!

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