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

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Spotting and cramping post chemo

25 December, 2011



I finished chemotherapy about a year ago. Since then I have had irregular cycles and intermittent spotting. I JUST went to the mikvah on Thursday after a month of frustration with spotting. Today, despite the fact that I am wearing dark colored underwear, I noticed that I had some colored discharge. If I don’t continue to bleed, am I niddah? If it is just spotting and I continue to wear dark underwear can I ignore the spotting completely?

If there was a hargasha, is everything irrelevant? The problem is that I regularly have cramping and what I would consider hargashot which never really produce any bleeding.


Spotting that appears on colored underwear does not usually make a woman niddah, as long as it does not turn into a blood flow.

You are correct that a hargashah would change the halacha, but physical sensations, such as cramping, that are often unaccompanied by any bleeding are not considered hargashot. Based on what you write, you are not niddah.

You may find it useful to review our site’s section on stains for further guidance on dealing with spotting. It may also prove helpful to consult your physician about your irregular bleeding. You should explain to him or her that, even if it is not a medical problem, it creates difficulties for you because of your religious observance. Our website for medical professionals,, includes relevant articles that can be shared with your doctor.

Our best wishes for continued good health!

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