Separating after onot perishah
21 December, 2003
What a wonderful website! I'm having trouble understanding what to do on the days between onot. There are at least 3 days of onot per month and sometimes they fall on consecutive or the same days, and sometimes there is a day or two in between anticipation dates. Those in between days—– we've been treating those as anticipation dates as well, but I was reviewing the halacha with a friend, and it appears we've been following too strictly.
The question came up last month because my period was 3 days late and we thought perhaps (we were hoping) that I was pregnant. So we kept anticipating on the 32nd, 33rd, 34th day of my cycle……….. and I was getting negative pregnancy tests, so logically, I was expecting my period to come (and it did come later that day……) —- so it just didn't seem logical that those dates wouldn't be onot for us.
Am I erring too much on the side of caution?
It seems that you do not have an established period. In this situation, perishah is halachically required only during the specific days on which you are considered most likely to establish a cycle. Therefore you are correct in observing the three days of perishah: yom hachodesh, the haflagah, and onah beinonit.
You do not need to observe perishah on the intervening days. And after the onot perishah have passed, you do not need to refrain until you get your period. You and your husband are permitted to each other except during the specific onot perishah.
When it is that close to your period, however, it might be prudent to wipe externally with a tissue (not after urinating) to see if the bleeding has started. If the tissue is clear, go ahead with relations. If the tissue is stained, you should abstain but you are not yet rendered 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 yoatzot.org.