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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Bleeding from Pap smear

28 October, 2003


You write about Pap Smears:

"The scraping may cause mild bleeding. However, since this bleeding is caused by a confirmed trauma to the cervix, most authorities agree that a Pap smear does not render a woman niddah."

My doctor says he cannot be absolutely certain that the brush did not enter the inner (or upper?) cervix but he is certain that it did not enter the uterus.

Is it possible that I am a nidda?

Or is any cervical bleeding not considered a nidda?

Thank you in advance.


The lower part of the uterus, called the cervix (neck), has two openings.  One, the internal os (mouth) is the opening from the body of the uterus to the cervix.  The second, the external os, is the opening of the cervix into the vaginal canal.

According to most opinions, only the internal os is relevant for determining whether you are a niddah.  No swab or cytobrush gets far enough to open that os.  Even if it did, it is smaller than the minimum size which could render you niddah due to opening of the uterus.  Additionally, the bleeding from the Pap smear is clearly traumatic.

Thus, according to almost all opinions, a Pap smear would not make you niddah.

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.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar