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

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Five days when trying to conceive

29 August, 2010


I started spotting on Wednesday and we decided to abstain, just to be safe (we did not separate the beds). The spotting became a real flow on Thursday and lasted four days, until Sunday.

Can I go to the Mikvah a week from Sunday night, based on the spotting? Or do I have to wait until a week from Monday, counting five days from the onset of the flow?

I made a hefsek on Sunday afternoon and plan on doing one Monday afternoon, just to be sure. I am anxious to go to the Mikvah so that I may conceive, and I don’t want to miss ovulation.


We understand that you are anxious about ovulating prior to immersion.

The five-day minimum does not normally begin until the couple follow all the restrictions of niddah, including the harchakot. There may be room for leniency here based on difficulty conceiving. But spotting that clearly did not make you niddah cannot be counted towards the five-day minimum.

In cases in which a couple has difficulty conceiving, there is room to wait only four days prior to beginning the clean days, especially if they abstain the day before.

Therefore, our rabbinic supervisor, Rav Yehuda Henkin, rules that in your specific case this cycle, if you have difficulty conceiving, you may begin your clean days Sunday night based on your early abstention. Examples of difficulty conceiving might include six months of trying, medically established ovulation prior to immersion, or another medical concern. Please get back to us if your situation remains unclear, and please do not hesitate to consult us with any further questions.

You may also find it helpful to schedule a consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor (a free service, details here), and to read our site’s articles and posted questions about ovulation prior to mikveh.

This response was updated on 26 October, 2020.

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