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

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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?

Thank you!


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.

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