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Is My Period Finished? How to Know the End of Menstruation

by Naielah Ackbarali 

Many women wonder how to tell when their menstrual bleeding ends.

Towards the end of menstruation, it may take a longer time for colored discharge to descend to the vaginal opening. This can pose problems for a woman who sees that her panty liner is clean and takes a ghusl, but the bleeding later returns.

A similar issue may occur when women resort to wiping and see nothing on the toilet paper used. Some may find themselves taking a ghusl more than once because they assume that their menstruation has finished when it has not.

Using a kursuf can help resolve these issues. Watch this video for tips or read the following article for answers to common questions.

1. What is the kursuf?

The kursuf is a piece of cotton cloth placed at the vaginal opening. It is used to determine the color of discharge when it exits the vagina.

It also aids in catching scant discharge that exits towards the end of a woman’s menstruation when the flow of blood becomes lighter. Learn more about what menstruation is from an Islamic perspective in this video.

2. Why can’t a woman rely on what she sees on her pantyliner?

Lighter colored discharges like yellow or turbid – in addition to normal vaginal discharge like white or clear – may change color after they exit the vagina. Check out this video for all the colors of blood.

Pads and panty liners do not work like a kursuf. They are placed further away from the vaginal opening and cannot be used to determine the original color of lighter discharges.

Thus, the only way to ascertain the real color of these discharges is to wear a kursuf and to judge the discharge while it is still fresh. If the kursuf is worn correctly, there is hardly any chance that air will reach it and alter its color.

3. What is the ruling for discharge seen on the kursuf?

Once a woman removes the kursuf, whatever color is immediately seen will determine the Islamic ruling. Any change in color afterwards is of no consequence.

If the discharge exits yellow on the kursuf and dries white, then the discharge is considered yellow. This means that it is blood.

If the discharge exits white or clear on the kursuf and dries yellow, then the discharge is considered white or clear.

Check out this website to understand what normal vaginal discharge looks like throughout a woman’s cycle. The pictures below are taken from that website.

4. Where did the kursuf come from? When does a woman wear a kursuf?

In a hadith found in the Muwaṭṭaʾ of Imām Mālik, the maidservant of the Mother of Believers ʿĀʾisha (Allah be pleased with her) said:

“Women used to send small boxes to ʿĀʾisha, the Mother of the Believers, that had a piece of cotton cloth (kursuf) contained in them in which there was a yellow discharge upon it from menstrual blood. They would ask her about the prayer. She would say to them, ‘Do not be hasty (to take a ghusl) until you see a white discharge.’” By that she meant purity from menses. (Muwaṭṭaʾ)

The Mother of Believers ʿĀʾisha (Allah be pleased with her) taught the female Companions (Allah be pleased with them) that menstruation does not end until white discharge is seen. Moreover, what is understood from this transmission is that the female Companions (Allah be pleased with them) used a cotton cloth (kursuf) to determine when their colored discharge ended.

In general, it is sunna to wear towards the end of menses.

5. How does a woman wear a kursuf? What materials are used?

A kursuf is normally worn externally – meaning outside the vagina. It is placed at the vaginal opening in-between the labia lips.

Follow these steps:

  1. Sit on the toilet or squat.
  2. Rinse the labia (lips) with water.
  3. Dry the area.
  4. Fold a tissue or a piece of cotton cloth into a small rectangle that is around 2 inches wide by 3 inches long.
  5. Hold the folded tissue vertically. Lay the tissue on top of the labia minora (inner lips).
  6. Stand up. The lips will fold over the kursuf, and it will not shift around or fall out while walking.

As for materials, some women feel more comfortable with using a smaller sized kursuf, a piece of cotton t-shirt cut to size, or a makeup remover cotton pad. Each woman should do what works for her own body.

6. Can a woman insert a kursuf into her vaginal canal?

Yes, a married woman can insert the kursuf inside the vagina. This may help keep the kursuf from shifting around while walking.

7. When should a woman start to wear the kursuf?

A woman starts to wear the kursuf and check for the end of her bleeding when her bleeding gets lighter to the point that it will soon stop. Watch the video below for tips.

8. How long should the kursuf be worn?

The length of time depends on each woman’s body. Based on surveying many women, wearing the kursuf from anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes before checking is best.

Wearing it for longer can be uncomfortable. It can also cause the kursuf to shift away from the vaginal opening or rip apart – which defeats the purpose of using it.

9. How many times is the kursuf checked?

The kursuf only needs to be checked once in the prayer time and not multiple times.

When bleeding ends before a woman’s habit, there is a possibility that the bleeding may return. Thus, checking the kursuf must be delayed until the last 20 to 30 minutes of the prayer time. Otherwise, if the bleeding ends after her habit, delaying is recommended.

Women should avoid checking many times within a prayer time. It can lead to hardship and whisperings from the devil (waswasa).

10. What does a woman do after she checks her kursuf?

If white, clear, or no discharge is seen, a woman takes a ghusl. Learn about the ghusl in this video or read this article.

If color is seen, a woman assumes she is still menstruating and continues to avoid the prohibited acts. Learn more about what is prohibited during menstruation in this article and this video.

If a woman is unsure about the color she sees, she can show her kursuf to her husband, female relative, or a female teacher like the female Companions did with the Mother of Believers Aisha. May Allah be pleased with all of them.

To learn more about the Islamic rulings related to menstruation (hayd), post-partum bleeding (nifas), and abnormal bleeding (istihada), check out our books and courses.


References:

  • Imam ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar
  • Imam ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin

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Naielah Ackbarali

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali is the founder and CEO of Muslima Coaching. She is passionate about inspiring Muslim women by way of spreading the beauty of living an Islamic life. Ustadha Naielah is a trained strategic relationship coach, certified life coach, and a certified NLP Master Practitioner. Combined with her knowledge of the shariah sciences, coaching experience, and personal marriage of 15 years, she also offers faith-based marriage coaching and relationship advice.