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

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Difficulty getting clean hefsek

3 June, 2019


For the last couple of cycles, I have been having difficulty getting a clean hefsek. I am not actively bleeding throughout the day (although underwear does get spotted and I see various stain colors on tissues). However, when I attempt a hefsek, it comes out obviously red. This is a new situation for me. It takes about 2–4 days to get a non red hefsek and I still have dark brown, pink, or orangey bedikas that require checking.

Historically (and now as well), when presenting my bedika cloths to a Rav for evaluation, my husband has been asked whether I have any medical conditions or take medication based on the color of the discharge. We are not sure what they mean by this. The answer is no as far as I am aware. I do often have very brown or pinkish bedikas (those do tend to fade).

Is there something that might be causing this issue? Is there a resource you can recommend to help me get to the root of the problem?


Sometimes extended staining might be caused by hormonal changes, stress, diet, or other factors. It can be difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. However, if this has been going on for a few cycles, it should be checked out by your doctor to determine if there is any possible cause for the extended red staining (cervical erosion, a polyp, etc.)

In the meantime, we recommend soaking in a warm bath to remove any old blood before attempting a hefsek taharah. Give yourself plenty of time before sunset in case you need to make a few attempts until you get an acceptable hefsek. You can also try herbal or natural treatments to minimize staining. We have received anecdotal reports of taking vitamin C, alfalfa, or bioflavonoids (1000 mg 3x/day) which have helped some women.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

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