Renewed bleeding after morning hefsek
11 November, 2015
I had a good hefsek this morning, which I did as a back-up since I wasn't sure I could make it home before shekiyah. Since then, I discovered bleeding, which I sometimes get as the "grande finale" of my period when I've already had a clean spell.
Can I still try for a good hefsek later today or does the intermediary blood negate my attempts to do another one at all, and I should start over tomorrow? What happens if I can't get home in time to retry before shekiyah, if indeed I am allowed to try again?
The hefsek taharah establishes that bleeding has ceased from that point onward, in order for a woman to begin her clean days as of sunset. So renewed bleeding invalidates an earlier hefsek taharah, but does not rule out or otherwise affect a later attempt. When a woman has had renewed bleeding on a day on which she plans to make a hefsek taharah, she should make sure to insert a moch dachuk.
A hefsek taharah should be performed prior to shekiah (halachic sunset). In a case in which a woman cannot return home, we recommend finding a bathroom nearby and cleaning lightly with water (or a moist wipe, if available) and performing the hefsek taharah there. If there was renewed bleeding on that day, she should perform the hefsek no earlier than minchah ketanah (2.5 proportional hours before shekiah). Times for minchah ketanah can be found at http://www.kashrut.com/zemanim.
In general, a woman is fully permitted to make multiple attempts at a hefsek taharah over the course of one day. (Multiple attempts may irritate the vaginal lining, leading to scratches or even bleeding! So a woman should take that into account.)
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