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

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Missed miscarriage

4 July, 2022

Question:

Hello, I have a question regarding laws of niddah and miscarriage. Unfortunately I had a miscarriage on Friday night. I started bleeding red on Thursday before sundown. The baby had stopped developing at 7 weeks but it was a missed miscarriage and I didn’t know or start bleeding until I was 10 weeks.

I know for miscarriages that are later in pregnancy the woman is niddah as long as a leida, but I don’t know where I fit into that because I don’t know if it’s based on the age of the pregnancy or when the bleeding began. I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl either. I have no idea when I go to the mikveh and I want to figure it out sooner than later so I can plan and start to move forward. I’m still bleeding a little (it’s Wednesday) and have not begun counting nekiim yet.

Thank you.


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your miscarriage.

As you note, for a miscarriage more than 40 days after conception, a woman follows laws similar to those after childbirth. If the fetus was female or the gender is unknown, she does not immerse in the mikveh until at least 14 days have elapsed. The question of whether these laws apply when fetal development stops significantly earlier than the pregnancy is a difficult one, and often depends on the specific details. In practice, the difference in mikveh timing between the two scenarios is usually no more than two days.

It is fairly common, though, for bleeding to continue for some time after pregnancy loss, so that there is no practical difference in mikveh timing. That is the case here at this point. You will be permitted to immerse at earliest opportunity once you can make a hefsek taharah and count seven clean days.

Pregnancy loss is unfortunately very common. You might find it helpful to see our article on it here.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions. We wish you a refuah sheleimah, refuat hanefesh and refuat haguf–a full recovery, body and soul.


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