A bedikah is performed with a soft, white cotton cloth. The cloth must be completely clean, and should be soft enough to easily maneuver into the various folds of the vagina. Cloths are available at most Jewish supermarkets. They can also be purchased online from https://bedikahcloths.com/ (UK and most of Europe), and from https://www.mikvah.org (USA).
To perform a bedikah take a soft, white, cotton cloth and inspect it carefully to ensure that it is totally clean. Wrap the cloth around your finger. The cloth should at least wrap the finger until the second knuckle. Most women find it easiest to perform a bedikah with the index finger.
Find a good position for doing the bedikah, such as with a foot up on the edge of a bathtub. Insert the finger with the bedikah cloth very gently into the vaginal canal. If it is difficult to insert the cloth, one may put a small amount of KY jelly or another clear lubricant on the cloth or themselves to assist with the insertion. The cloth should be inserted as far as one can comfortably go. Preferably this is at minimum until the second knuckle. If a woman finds this difficult, one may be lenient about this depth, as long as they can do a bedikah at this depth for the hefsek tahara and one bedikah throughout the shivah neki’im (preferably the first bedikah). If even this is difficult, a rabbi should be consulted.
Move the finger around the entire circumference of the vagina. Gently touch all the sides and in all the folds of the vagina. Because it is necessary to touch all the folds, a stiff cloth, such as a tampon, should not be used for a bedikah.
Take the cloth out, and carefully check the cloth in good lighting for any red or pink spots on the cloth. Other colors, such as yellow or green, are not problematic. If one is unsure about a color, such as a brown spot, the cloth should be taken to a rabbi. Taking a cloth to a rabbi is a common occurrence. Many women will find themselves dropping off a cloth once or twice a cycle. It does not need to invade your privacy. The cloth can be left in a rabbi’s mailbox with just a phone number and no name.
In order to properly answer your question, one should include the following information with the cloth:
- A way to contact you, either by phone or email
- What bedikah this was, either for a vest, hefsek, moch, or shivah neki’im
- If there was any pain or discomfort
- Any relevant medical information, such as birth control pills or an IUD