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Family Purity
Is it permissible to clean the vaginal area with a wet cloth before doing the hefsek tahara or the other Bedikot? If so, would one have to wait a certain amount of time between the cleaning with the wet cloth and the Bedikah? Additionally, is it permissible to do the Hefsek Taharah multiple times until it comes out clean? If so, does one have to wait in between each Bedikah?
AnswerIt is recommended to perform a thorough cleaning of the vaginal area to clean and remove residual blood before the hefsek tahara, but not for the subsequent bedikot. In order to make sure there is no confusion, let me review the different terms. The Hefsek Tahara refers to the bedika that is typically performed on the 5th day of the period (day 4 for Sefardim). The objective of this bedika is to confirm that the period has ended and allow the woman to begin counting her 7 clean days on the following day. There is another bedika called the Moch Dachuk, which is the bedika that is inserted following the hefsek - but still before sunset - and it remains in the woman for approximately 40 minutes. Assuming both the Hefsek and the Moch do not contain blood, the following day marks the first of her seven clean days. In other words, if an Ashkenazi womanís period began on Sunday, she would attempt for a Hefsek Tahara and Moch Dachuk on Thursday before sunset. If neither of those 2 bedika clothes have any blood on them, then she is able to begin counting her 7 clean days on Friday and her projected Mikvah night would be the following Thursday night. Back to your question about cleaning the area before the hefsek tahara. The cleaning can be done in whatever way is comfortable for the person, with either a wet cloth or any other way thatís comfortable. One may also perform multiple attempts for a clean hefsek tahara, but itís important to make sure that one doesnít do it too many times, as not to irritate the area. Therefore, itís a good idea to wait in between each Bedikah so that the area has time to recover, remoisten and wonít get too dry which would lead to bleeding when irritated. The truth is there are some Poskim who require one to wait a little bit between each attempted Hefsek Taharah, but others donít require this wait time, especially if a Moch Dachuk will be used.
Family Purity
I had my Mirena IUD inserted about a year ago and I havenít gotten a period for the last 43 days. I did a pregnancy test but it came out negative. Is this delay of the period normal? Is it a result of the hormones from the Mirena?
AnswerThe Mirena is a hormonal IUD which may affect your cycle; a delay of your period is completely normal and there is no issue at all. Menstruation may be reduced or disappear completely with the device (sometimes it can push it off for a year!). For some people, the delay or disappearance of the period is actually one of the biggest benefits in using Mirena because it extends your ďpureĒ status and permits you to your husband.
Family Purity
My wife is 7 months postpartum. She barely breastfeeds (she nurses the baby once a day maybe) and she still has not gotten her period. Is this normal?
AnswerThis is very normal. For some women, even minimal breastfeeding can prevent their period. If there are any other unusual signs or questions then it should be looked into further.
Family Purity
My Mikvah night falls out during my husbandís shivah for his father? What should I do?
AnswerIím sorry to hear about your loss, May God comfort you among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Regarding your question, marital relations is not allowed during Shivah and some poskim would advise pushing off the mikvah until after shivah. Other poskim disagree and allow the woman to immerse even during her husbandís shivah, so long that they do not engage in marital relations. The question if other forms of intimacy is permissible during the shivah window is another debate in the poskim and many advise the couple to be stringent.
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