I am having trouble finding any treatment of this topic on the internet.

A couple who has been having sex suddenly discovers that a blood flow has begun. Are they liable for kareth? Leviticus 15 seems to speak about kareth for merely "exposing the source of her blood", but perhaps the same principle applies as when an axe accidentally flies off the handle when chopping in the forest?

Furthermore, what if this occurred not during the expected days, but eg a week before? So the woman was not checking her blood flow before menstruation. So she is now considered a zavah, correct? And she must count to herself 7 clean days after the blood flow stops?

I would like to understand, with sources, what our sages teach in the case of an sex during an unexpected or early period.

Please bring actual sources.

  • you are in a complex topic. Indeed zava-gedola status occurs after e days of bleeding in the 11 days between 2 nida periods.
    – kouty
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:43
  • If the occurence of bleeding is in unexpected period, and the woman did feel this in the middle of intercourse, gemara in shevuot 14 explains the way to interrupt the intercourse without erection. There is no sin.
    – kouty
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:46
  • Nowaday we have a custom that Jewish women decided ancestrally. One drop of blood in any period needs 7 nekiim. Periods are derabanan but intercourse in half day before veset, (if bleeding occurs then) needs korban because vehizartem. See a good explanation in Rashba, torat habayt
    – kouty
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:58
  • What do you mean by "periods are derabanan"? Jul 31, 2017 at 16:08
  • from tora point of view if there is intercourse at the time of menstruation and no blood was seen, thre is no sin.
    – kouty
    Jul 31, 2017 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


Accidental violation of the prohibition of Niddah warrants a Korban Chattat like most Karet prohibitions (Kereitot 1:1-2). The same applies if after intercourse blood is discovered to have been flowing (Niddah 2:2). If they realize she is Niddah during intercourse, the man cannot pull out, since moving out is pleasurable too, so he must stay motionless until he naturally loses his erection (Shevuot 2:4).

  • Thank you. Two questions: today we cannot bring the Korban Chattat so what does that mean? And what about if they realized it not during intercourse but other sexual acts? Jul 31, 2017 at 14:48
  • 3
    If you can't bring one today, then you just wait until you can. Hopefully soon the Temple will be back in place.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2017 at 14:49
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    "moving out is pleasurable too"?!? Maybe a tiny bit physically, but psychologically, once he realizes what's going on, is he really going to consider getting the heck out of there a pleasurable act?
    – Gary
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:33
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    @Gary How much he's into it doesn't really matter. Sex is sex. If you sleep with someone's wife but aren't really into it you still did it and get executed.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2017 at 15:35
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    @Bach How to determine if found blood had indeed been flowing during intercourse is not the subject of this post. There are various factors driving such a determination, including where and when the blood was found. Indeed you can see that Mishna and the ensuing discussion for some details.
    – Double AA
    Jul 31, 2017 at 16:40

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