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

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Do I need to show my hefsek to a rabbi?

24 January, 2023

Question:

I tried doing a hefsek tahara yesterday before sunset on the fifth day of my period and it was clear to me that it wasn’t kosher because it was a reddish brown color.

Today, the sixth day, I tried again and it was a much lighter color with a little bit of brown discharge.

I’m not sure what to do. I’m not comfortable sending it to a rabbi and it will be the first time since my wedding going to the Mikveh.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your recent marriage!

Thank you for reaching out to us.

It is perfectly normal for a woman not to be able to get a hefsek taharah on day five. (Sometimes, it may be helpful to soak in a bath and/or gently clean yourself out beforehand. It may also be worthwhile to make a few attempts–allowing a number of minutes between bedikot for natural secretions to return. With experience, you will begin to develop a sense of when it’s worth another try, and when it’s better to wait until the next day.)

A light brown with no hint of a reddish tint (e.g., the color of coffee with milk) is not a niddah color and is considered acceptable on a hefsek taharah. Based on your description, it sounds as though this was the case with your hefsek today, and you can begin your clean days.

We understand that sending a bedikah to a rabbi can be uncomfortable. At the same time, especially at the beginning of marriage, it can be to the couple’s benefit to ask more questions, so that they are not unnecessarily stringent and so that they can learn more about what they can evaluate themselves. In your situation, for example, it is possible that your first bedikah was acceptable, though it is also possible that you were correct and it wasn’t.

Some women address the discomfort by having their husband bring in the question or by finding an anonymous way to drop off cloths. In communities with yoatzot halacha, a yoetzet can also evaluate many colors. If you’d like to share your location with us, we can try to explore what options might be available for you. Please see our guide to asking halachic questions for a more detailed discussion.

Please be in touch 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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