5 January, 2003
I gave birth just over six weeks ago and hope to go to the mikvah in a few days. Today I had my six week follow-up checkup. Do I need to worry that it might have caused niddah bleeding and that I need to start the seven clean days again?
Mazal tov on the recent birth of your baby!
A standard postpartum checkup involves a speculum exam to help the doctor visualize the cervix, a manual exam in which s/he inserts 1-2 fingers into the vagina to examine the state of the reproductive organs, and sometimes a Pap smear. None of these procedures involves opening the cervix and therefore they do not make you niddah.
We follow the halachic position that a woman does not need to ask her physician if they saw uterine bleeding and does not need to look at anything that was inserted internally. If blood is nevertheless observed on an instrument or a glove that was inserted internally, ask if it might have been the result of a scratch or irritation from the procedure and consult us or a local halachic authority for help determining your status. Bleeding that starts shortly after the examination is assumed to be dam makkah (bleeding from an abrasion) and does not invalidate the clean days.
We recommend performing the bedikah for that day before your appointment, and skipping the afternoon bedikah. If you had a Pap smear, or if your doctor informed you that there may be some bleeding due to abrasion, we recommend skipping bedikot on the following day as well. However, you must have an acceptable bedikah on day seven of the clean days in order to immerse on time. Please get back to us, our telephone hotline, or a local halachic authority with any further questions.
This response was updated on 14 November, 2022.
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