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

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Staining soon after mikveh

4 December, 2021

Question:

I am 4 months postpartum and on birth control pills. Every time I get to the mikvah I begin spotting a few days afterwards (within less than a week). I am so stressed by this and don’t know what to do. I have followed guidance to wear colored underwear and try not to look at the toilet or tissues I use but this is giving me a lot of anxiety and making it basically impossible to be with my husband. After a week of significant spotting, I usually decide to just relieve my stress by “getting my period” by taking placebo week since I feel too nervous about making the judgement of is this still spotting or not. I plan to call my doctor tomorrow to discuss this but was looking for some guidance from a halachik perspective. Thank you so much!


Answer:

Mazal tov on the recent birth of your baby!

We are sorry to hear of your difficulties with staining. It is normal to experience irregular staining during the first 3 months of taking the pill. After that point, the staining usually clears up. It is important to take the full pack of pills and not skip to the placebos once you start staining, as that can further disrupt your cycle and cause more staining.

If the staining is heavy enough that you need a tampon or full pad to contain it, you should consider yourself niddah. If it is lighter than that, you may treat it as staining, and may take precautions against becoming niddah from the staining. See our article on stains for more details. When you have questions about a specific situation, don’t hesitate to write to us or (for a quicker answer) call our hotline or ask a local rabbi or Yoetzet Halacha.

We understand that the staining is causing you anxiety and is confusing. However, it is important to note that when the Sages instituted the rabbinic stringency of stains, they did not want to overburden women and purposely built into the laws many leniencies. By taking advantage of the leniencies you are following what they intended. From a practical perspective, even if you abstain as a precaution due to the staining, you are still tehorah. All other types of contact are permissible, and the harchakot don’t apply.

Starting the placebos and causing yourself to go into niddah (unnecessarily) can add other types of stress or marital difficulties. It is important to find the right balance of trying to reduce your stress without making the situation even more complicated.

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

B’Hatzlacha!


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