Pink staining a few hours before period
27 June, 2022
Hi. Every month, a few hours before I see any real red flow, I will see some pink staining on toilet paper or a bedikah. Can I declare myself a niddah when I see the pink staining (because I know my period is coming soon – I never see this staining otherwise)? I’d like to start the five days at that point, since I would separate anyway. For example, if the pink stain shows up later afternoon, can I declare myself a niddah in the afternoon and count that afternoon as day 1? Or do I have to wait for the actual flow?
On the flip side, am I obligated to treat myself as a niddah upon seeing the pink staining? For example, if the staining shows up. at night, I would abstain, but do I have to observe harchakot at that point?
I always find myself confused during those 5–10 hours.
This is a complex question, and we can empathize with your confusion.
Pink staining on a bedikah cloth typically does make a woman niddah. Additionally, a woman who wishes to be in niddah can deliberately perform a bedikah when she sees staining or, as you suggest, can simply declare herself niddah. In that case, the halachic day on which you become niddah is day one of the minimum wait, even if the flow begins only later. Since the staining regularly comes so close to your flow, you would calculate your veset days based on the day of becoming niddah.
Whether pink discharge on toilet paper makes a woman niddah depends on a number of factors, including the interval that elapsed between urinating and wiping. (To learn more see here.) In other words, pink discharge on toilet paper doesn’t necessarily make you niddah. If it doesn’t, then abstaining from relations from the discovery of staining would be recommended, but not obligatory.
Staining that consistently precedes the beginning a flow by a few hours can be considered a type of veset known as a veset haguf (a veset related to bodily phenomena), regardless of whether the staining makes you niddah. Since your flow reliably comes five to ten hours after the onset of the staining, even when it doesn’t make you niddah, you are obligated to observe a veset (and abstain from relations) beginning five hours from when you see it. (This is the case unless this staining occurs three times in a row without a subsequent flow.)
The choice of whether to declare yourself niddah upon discovering this staining likely depends on the timing, and on how you weigh the importance of these five to ten hours against the importance of possibly beginning the clean days earlier.
We hope that this has helped to clarify the situation. Please get back to us with any follow up questions.
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