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Family Purity
I was supposed to go to the Mikvah this past Tuesday, but I started bleeding that morning and it wasnít just staining, it was regular bleeding like the beginning of a period. The bleeding continued until Thursday (yesterday), until I went to my OBGYN. The doctor did an ultrasound and said that the bleeding was from the uterus, seemingly caused by the non-hormonal IUD that I have. This morning (Friday) the bleeding stopped, what should I do now? Do I have to count shivah nekiim again?
AnswerIf in fact there was bleeding from the uterus, and it wasnít just staining, then this does undo the original shivah nekiim. You need a new shivah nekiim beginning with a new hefsek taharah.
Family Purity
I went to the doctor in my 9th week of pregnancy and unfortunately the doctor couldnít find a heartbeat. He checked multiple times and then suggested that I take pills in order to remove the fetus. How does this process work in terms of Hilchos Niddah?
AnswerI am so sorry to hear about your loss, we wish you much bracha and hatzlacha to have many children in the near future. Assuming there is 100% medical confirmation that there is no heartbeat, then you should follow the doctorís suggestion to remove the fetus. There are two options to accomplish this: either D&C (scraping of the uterine lining) or taking pills. Depending on the size of the fetus, pills may be the recommended approach. From a purity perspective, from the moment you start bleeding you must observe the regular rules of niddah. Since the loss occurred more than 40 days after conception, the earliest you can immerse in the mikvah is 14 days from the onset of the bleeding. If you have any questions calculating your mikvah schedule, please do not hesitate to call one of our rabbanim at 718-336-0603.
Infertility
I am 32 years old. Before we started with fertility treatments, we were childless for 5 years. Now we have 3 children, Baruch Hashem! I have a very low ovarian reserve but we have two embryos from the previous fertility treatment. From a Halachic perspective, am I allowed to go ahead with fertility preservation given the circumstances?
AnswerIt is quite understandable why someone with a low ovarian reserve would inquire about fertility preservation. From a halachic perspective, it is permissible and possibly even encouraged! I suggest that you contact us at 718-336-0603 to speak with one of our experts to help advise how best to proceed.
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.
Family Purity
Iím five weeks pregnant and I recently saw a brown discharge, which I assume is old blood. Am I a niddah now?
AnswerIf the discharge just looks like a brown stain on a colored garment or from an external wiping, then such a stain does not render you a niddah. However, if the discharge was found during an internal check (on a bedika cloth, tampon etc.) then it depends on the color. There are some brownish colors which are not problematic and there are some brownish colors that are close to red that may in fact render a woman a niddah. Feel free to speak to one of our PUAH advisors who can help determine if the color should be examined by a rabbi at 718-336-0603.
Family Purity
I had a diagnostic hysteroscopy today and I didnít see any blood. Does this procedure render me a niddah?
AnswerIn most cases, a diagnostic hysteroscopy does not cause a woman to become impure. So if in fact you didnít see any blood and no further procedure/test was done on the uterus then you are not considered a niddah.
Family Purity
I heard that a divorced woman canít be a Mikvah lady. Is there an actual source for this or is it just superstition?
AnswerFrom a Halachic perspective, there is no reason why a divorcee cannot be the mikvah lady (as long as sheís at least 12 years old). On a practical level, each mikvah has their Rav and board that create policies for their community.
Family Purity
I needed to do a Hefsek Taharah and Moch Dachuk today, but it is already past Tzeis Hakochavim (nightfall) and I forgot to do them. Can I still do my Hefsek Taharah or is it too late?
AnswerA Hefsek Taharah and Moch Dachuk may not be performed after nightfall because the previous day is already gone. In fact, the hefsek and the moch should be inserted before shekiya (sunset). One way to prevent this frustrating situation of missing the hefsek is by doing a bedika in the morning. Although the hefsek should not ideally be done in the morning, it can however be used as a backup if the hefsek was forgotten later in the day.
Infertility
My husband and I are both 27 and we are trying to get pregnant. We have been hoping and wishing for this tremendously. Itís been over half a year without any success and I donít know why. Any help/advice would be appreciated.
AnswerHi, thanks for reaching out to PUAH. I would like to share some statistical data about pregnancy. About 85% of couples under the age of 35 become pregnant within one year of unprotected intercourse. Although you have been trying for a bit over half a year, there is absolutely no indication that there is a fertility issue and you are well within the range of normal. If there are unusual details in your case please call one of our advisors at 718-336-0603 and we would be happy to help!
Family Purity
I was taking Aygestin last week, and I just found out that Iím pregnant. Should I stop taking the Aygestin? Will I get a period after stopping and become a niddah?
AnswerYou should stop taking the Aygestin and you shouldnít expect bleeding because your progesterone levels should remain high due to your pregnancy. But in the event that you do see blood, make sure you wear colored underwear and the other laws relevant to spotting. Please feel free to reach out again for more information about spotting.
Family Purity
I gave birth to a baby boy a month ago and 40 days havenít passed yet but my bleeding has stopped. Can I do the regular bedikot and go to the mikvah?
AnswerYes, you may attempt a hefsek tahara and seven clean days if the bleeding has stopped. There is no need to wait 40 days from birth to go to mikvah. I would like to offer one piece of advice - it is very common for the bleeding to stop a few weeks after childbirth, but then it picks up again a week or so later. As I said, you are able to begin your bedikos now, but remember that if you begin bleeding at any point that would render you a Niddah. I wouldnít want you to get your hopes up and then be disappointed if you begin bleeding again.
General
I am 31 years old and Iíve been breastfeeding my child for the past year and nine months. I still havenít gotten my period since before I got pregnant. Is there a way to check for ovulation now? I am interested in getting pregnant again but donít want to stop nursing. And another question- at what age is it suggested to stop breastfeeding?
AnswerIt is possible to ovulate while breastfeeding. But it is also possible that breastfeeding is preventing ovulation. You can do an ovulation test based on your hormone levels, but such a test may not be so conclusive without regular menses. It may also be that even if there is ovulation, the level of prolactin from breastfeeding is too high and is preventing pregnancy. The question of when to breastfeed until is a personal decision. Breastfeeding is very important for six to nine months for the babyís immune system. After that, the decision to continue breastfeeding is really up to you! Some women stop breastfeeding after a year. Others stop when their body doesnít produce enough milk to satisfy the child. I think it would be legitimate to stop breastfeeding in your situation where youíve been breastfeeding for a while and youíre interested in getting pregnant.
Family Purity
2 days before I had a positive pregnancy test result, I saw light secretions with my bedika which was done because it was my yom haívest (expected day of menstruation). The doctor said this is very common in the beginning of pregnancy. Am I considered to be a Niddah even though I now know that Iím actually pregnant? If so, do I need to be tovel as I would when Iím a regular Niddah?
AnswerBíshaa Tovah! In regards to your status as a Niddah, you should take these questionable bedika cloths to a Rav to see if the color is actually problematic or not. If the color is indeed problematic, then you should observe the regular halachos of Niddah, i.e. wait the regular five days of menstrual flow (with the yom haívest counting as day 1) and on the fifth day do a Hefsek Taharah and then observe Shivah Nekiim and do Tevilah as you regularly would.
Family Purity
I was sick with Corona, and based on my own calculations I had a specific day that I would get out of quarantine, so I have been doing Bedikos twice a day for 7 days in order that I can do Tevilah right when I get out, but the doctor added an additional 2 days to my quarantine. If I already finished the Shivah Nekiim with two Bedikos a day, what should I now do until I can do Tevilah in two more days? Do I have to keep on doing Bedikos or am I finished doing Bedikos and will just do Tevillah when I can?
AnswerWith the completion of the Shivah Nekiim you can stop doing bedikos and you may switch to wearing colored undergarments. Once you are permitted to leave quarantine based on a doctorís guidance, you can go to the mikvah that night.
Intimacy
Unfortunately, right after I was intimate with my husband, and maybe even while I was with him, I saw blood. My cycle wasnít supposed to begin for another 3 or 4 days. I know that if I tell my husband then heíll be very upset, but should I let him know so that he can do Teshuvah? Was there anything that we couldíve done originally to prevent this?
AnswerIf, according to Jewish law, it was permissible to be intimate at that time, and there were no warning signs beforehand, then even if there was blood during relations, there was no transgression whatsoever. This is considered a complete Ones - a situation beyond your control - and neither of you need any attonetment for this.
Family Purity
Is a Hefsek Taharah which was finished a minute after shkiyah acceptable?
AnswerThere are halachic authorities that rule that a hefsek performed after sunset, even one minute after sunset, is invalid. Nevertheless, many disagree and rule that under certain circumstances, a hefsek performed one minute after shekiya is acceptable. One may rely on this opinion if needed.
Infertility
From a Halachic perspective, is it permissible to freeze eggs? (This is specifically regarding a 29 year old unmarried woman)
AnswerFirst of all, thank you for having the strength to ask the question. PUAH helps guide many women regarding these issues in conjunction with Gedolim, with strict adherence to Halacha and a future oriented attitude filled with Emunah and Tefillah that a Jewish home will be established. Many poskim permit and even encourage freezing eggs! I suggest that you call one of our advisors at 718.336.0603 to learn more about the process and see how PUAH can be a resource for you.We look forward to your call!
Family Purity
I gave birth a year ago and now my cycle has returned to normal but I am still breastfeeding. I would like to push off any possibility of getting pregnant for another year. Which birth control methods should I use for this?
AnswerThe two most effective approaches from both a Halachic and a medical perspective are either the use of an IUD (intrauterine device) or birth control pills/patches. The Nuvaring is also a good option. Each method has its advantages - such as minimizing the risk of becoming a niddah, as well as disadvantages - spontaneous spotting etc. Please call us at 718.336.0603 for a more detailed conversation.
Genetics
I am currently dating someone who is an only child, and his parents became pregnant with him after many years of trying. Are children of those who have infertility issues likely to also have infertility issues themselves?
AnswerInfertility issues can be the result of a variety of factors. Infertility is usually not inheritable so I donít see any reason to be concerned with this and prevent the shidduch from happening. It is possible that as you progress in the shidduch you can learn more about the specific issue, but the concern that it is an inheritable issue is unlikely at this point.
Genetics
I am starting to date and I have a cousin who is a potential option to date. I want to know your thoughts about marrying someone with such a close familial connection- are there specific tests that we can do in order to know the risk involved? Are the percentages of there being issues much higher than normal in this situation?
AnswerMarrying close family members such as cousins does have a higher risk than normal in regards to genetic issues. Therefore much caution should be taken regarding proceeding with such a shidduch.
Family Purity
Is it better not to use white sheets during Shivah Nekiim and when Iím Tahor? Does this apply to pillow cases as well? Are light colors like beige and gray ok?
AnswerIt is certainly better not to use white sheets when youíre not a niddah in order to avoid creating extra questions regarding your Tahor status. If the sheets are colored then there are far fewer potential issues. The pillow cases are less of an issue because even if a spot would appear on them it is unlikely that it came from the area of concern, but the blanket should also be colored like the sheets. Regarding white sheets during the 7 clean days - some are careful to only have white bed sheets during this time. Others maintain that this only applies if the woman is sleeping directly on the sheets without underwear. If she is wearing white underwear, however, then her underwear is the halachic equivalent to the white sheets. One may rely on this second opinion.
Family Purity
Iím five weeks pregnant and I recently saw a brown discharge, which I thought was just old blood. Do I need to worry about this? Am I a niddah and forbidden to my husband now? And if so, how do I purify myself?
AnswerIf the discharge just looks like a stain on a colored garment or from an external wiping, then such a stain does not render you a niddah. However, if the discharge was found during an internal check (on a bedika cloth, tampon et.c) then it depends on the color. There are some brownish colors which are not problematic and there are some brownish colors that are close to red that may in fact render a woman a niddah. Feel free to speak to one of our PUAH advisors who can help determine if the color should be examined by a rabbi.
Family Purity
I had a diagnostic hysteroscopy today without any further procedures and I didnít see any blood. Does this procedure render me a niddah?
AnswerIn most cases, a diagnostic hysteroscopy does not cause a woman to become impure. So if in fact you didnít see any blood and no further procedure/test was done on the uterus then you are not considered a niddah
Family Purity
When is the earliest time to perform a hefsek tahara on the 5th day of my cycle?
AnswerShalom! You should aim to do the hefsek tahara any point between Mincha Ketana and Shekiya. Practically speaking this is around 2/2.5 hours before sunset until sunset. Additionally, you can do a bedika in the morning to serve as a "back up" bedika in case you forget the hefsek before sunset.
Infertility
Dear Rabbi, I will be doing a FET this Sunday and I have a question we have two children one boy and one girl and have 5 healthy embryos of various genders and will be transferring one of these embryos. Do we have the right to choose a gender if not how can we do this randomly each embryo has a number can we put the numbers in a hat and pick it randomly could we simply ask the doctor to make a random pick? I assume the doctor may influence his decision based on his own thoughts maybe I'm wrong. This may be strange but can we put the numbers in a hat and have our eldest just pick a random number out of the hat? Thank you
AnswerGood morning, Thank you for reaching out to PUAH. I would advise instructing the doctor to transfer the best quality embryo. If there is a male and female with the same quality, it is completely up to you! If you want the doctor or your child to choose...thatís fine...but under these circumstances, there is nothing wrong with you choosing the gender. On the contrary, why should the doctor have more of a say on your family than you!? I am more than happy to discuss this further on the phone. Feel free to call me at your convenience. 718-336-0603. All the best,
Family Purity
Good morning Rabbi, can you please answer this very time pressing question. I am scheduled to go to the mikvah tomorrow night. However, I have not been feeling well recently and am currently waiting to hear back from my doctor with the test results. I am not in mandatory quarantine at this time, but my doctor told me to stay home. What should I do about going to the mikvah? Suppose my results come back and I do not have the coronavirus, am I then able to go to the mikvah? Thank you
AnswerFirst of all, refuah shleima for any symptoms you are currently experiencing. I understand that this is a complicated question, as timely immersion in the mikvah is very special and important. However, I must stress the value and importance of your health, the health of your family as well as the health of your community. We know how much the Torah values life, and it would be inappropriate to endanger yourself or anyone else, even for the special mitzvah of immersing in a mikvah. Therefore, if you are not feeling well, you may not immerse in a public mikvah - which means that you will remain in the current state of niddah. As soon as you feel better, you should contact your physician to receive guidelines and instructions for public exposure which includes immersion in the mikvah. In the event that you test positive for the Coronavirus, chas víshalom, you will receive special instructions from your doctor how to proceed. May you have a quick and speedy recovery along with the rest of the cholei yisrael.
Family Purity
Iím sure you're aware of whatís going on with the CoronavirusÖ My Mikvah night is this Monday (today is Thursday) and I donít know what to do. Baruch Hashem I do not feel sick at all and I do not have any symptoms from any virus or the like. Am I still able to go to the mikvah? Are there any changes in place due to the virus? Thank you so much for this service!
AnswerGood afternoon, thanks for reaching out to PUAH. We have seen statements published by many Mikvaot around the world with their own guidelines and protocols. For the most part, the Mikvaot are open and are cleaning and disinfecting the premises on a very frequent basis. At this time, it seems that women who are not sick and are not experiencing any flu like symptoms may immerse in the Mikvah. Itís only Thursday now and things may change by Monday, so I encourage you to be in touch with your local Mikvah on the day of your immersion to verify that they are open.
Infertility
Hello, I am currently in the middle of an IVF cycle process and Iím very nervous about the Coronavirus. I just had my egg retrieval earlier this week but Iím not sure what to do about my egg transfer - Do you think I should push off the retrieval because of Coronavirus? Is it dangerous to become pregnant (for me or the potential fetus)? I've already been through so much and would only want to push off the cycle if it's absolutely necessary. Thank you for your time.
AnswerHello - this is a very common question at this time, but that doesnít make it any easier to answer! After much thought and consideration, our recommendation is to consult your doctor. They will likely ask if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and whether you have travelled recently. Assuming you feel fine and are not aware of any exposure to the virus, the decision must be made with your doctorís approval. I know patients who are cancelling their cycles and I just spoke with someone who is planning their IVF treatment for next week! Please feel free to reach out if you want to discuss your doctorís protocols. We are here for you and especially at such a hard time like this. Wishing you bracha víhatzlacha!
Family Purity
I am in my seven clean days and Iím supposed to go to the mikvah tomorrow night. We went on vacation and I forgot to bring my birth control pills with me. After two days of not taking them, I started bleeding. Do I need to start counting all over again?
AnswerNot taking birth control pills for two days may be the cause for mid-cycle bleeding/spotting. Depending on how much blood you saw and where the blood was found, you may have to start the seven clean days again beginning with a new hefsek tahara. This can start as soon as you can produce a clean bedika. As I mentioned, there is a possibility that you can continue counting and go to mikvah as planned - I recommend you call one of our Rabbis to discuss the details of your case - 718.336.0603.
Infertility
Baruch Hashem my husband and I are blessed with 5 healthy boys. I am 40 years old and very much would like to have a girl, as well. I am afraid that time is running out, as my pregnancies are less likely to be successful and more risky. Is there any way, medically and halachically, that we can ensure to be blessed with a girl? Thank you for your time.
AnswerShalom! There are 2 basic methods for choosing the gender of a baby. 1. As you know, males have 2 types of sperm - X sperm and Y sperm. If their X sperm fertilizes an egg, then the child will be a girl (XX). If the husbandís Y sperm fertilizes the egg, then the child will be a boy (XY). There are studies that propose that the X sperm is more durable and can survive longer than the Y sperm. Whereas the Y sperm is faster, but has less stamina and doesnít survive as long as the X sperm. Therefore, knowing this information, you can try and plan intercourse appropriately depending on your desired outcome. For example, if you have relations some time before ovulation, the sperm will be in the womanís body for the next 3 days waiting for ovulation to occur. As we mentioned, the Y sperm is less durable and may die before ovulation. Therefore, the chances are higher that the only sperm cells that will be alive to fertilize the egg at ovulation will be the X sperm cells - creating a female embryo. This method is completely permitted according to Halacha, however it is certainly not guaranteed to work. Additionally, depending on when you go to the Mikvah, you may not be able to be together with your husband until the actual time of ovulation. 2. The second possibility is in vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic screening (IVF with PGS). This method is guaranteed to yield desired results, assuming conception is successful. This process involves a considerable amount of medical treatment, potential Halachic compromises, and is usually quite expensive. This question has been asked to PUAH countless times. It is a sensitive subject because the couple are usually distraught. The general consensus amongst the poskim is not in favor of such a procedure, but of course every situation is different. I suggest you give us a call at 718.336.0603 so we can discuss the details of your personal situation.
Family Purity
On Monday I was supposed to do a Hefsek Tahara. However, I didn't realize what time was shkiah and I didn't do the Hefsek until 30 minutes after shkiah. I know I was clean, it's just that I didn't actually do the Hefsek before shkiah. Then on Tuesday I did a Hefsek at the right time, before shkiah. Can I count my hefsek from Monday and start counting the zayin nekiim from Tuesday or is Tuesday my hefsek day and Wednesday will be day one? Thank you so much for this ask the rabbi service!
AnswerShalom, 30 minutes after shkiah is too late to be considered a Hefsek Tahara for Monday. However, you write that you know you were clean. Is this knowledge based on the fact that you did any type of internal examination earlier in the day - because that alone might be able to be considered as a Hefsek. Let us know what your knowledge is based on. 718.336.0603 For the future, itís a good idea to perform a ďbackup hefsekĒ at any point during your ďhefsek tahara day.Ē You should still do a hefsek tahara later in the day since that is the proper time, but the initial bedika may serve as a backup if you end up forgetting the hefsek or perform it after shekiya.
Infertility
My wife and I are struggling with infertility and we just started seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. One of the tests the doctor wants me to take is a semen analysis. What is the proper way to do this according to Halacha?
AnswerShalom, there are several methods used for sperm procurement. The most acceptable according to halacha is the post-coital test (PCT) - the couple has relations and then the woman goes to the doctor who removes semen from inside of her. Your doctor may or may not offer this as an option. Therefore, the next best option according to halacha for the couple to have intercouse and then to collect the semen that leaves the womanís body into a sterile cup. That cup should be delivered to the lab within an hour or so. Another method is through intercouse with a special medical condom to collect the semen. I would like to mention that there are important factors in specific cases that may change the psak regarding the semen analysis. I suggest you call PUAH at 718.336.0603 for the best advice based on your specific situation. Wishing you all the best!
Family Purity
Hi there! I was supposed to get my period last week and those days passed without any blood. So I took a home pregnancy test and it came out positive! A couple of days later I saw spotting on my undergarments. I did an internal bedika and there were some pink spots on the cloth. I didnít look like my period but the cloth definitely wasnít clean. After that, I didn't see anything. Then two days later (today) I saw brown colors on the tissue after wiping in the bathroom. I am going to the doctor tomorrow to make sure the pregnancy is still go, but what should I do in terms of niddah?
AnswerFirst of all, mazel tov on the good news, may everything go smoothly. In general, if you experience spotting in the future, you are not required to do a bedika. In fact, doing a bedika may put you into niddus unnecessarily. Therefore, you should only perform a bedika when a Rav tells you that you must. Regarding the bedika that you did, that cloth should be brought to a Rav to determine whether or not the color will render you a niddah. It is quite common for a pregnant woman to experience uterine bleeding - this blood generally does not pose any danger to the pregnancy, but it can render the woman a niddah. The other option to consider is perhaps the blood is coming for a vaginal/cervical wound which will not render you a niddah at all. You should make an appointment at your local bodeket to see whether or not there is a makkah. Feel free to call us at 718.336.0603for a list of bodkot near you!
High Risk Pregnancies
My wife had a miscarriage and D&C 11 days ago. When can she go to the mikvah? Iím asking from both a halachic standpoint as well as a medical one. Thank you
AnswerI am sorry to hear about your loss, may you be blessed with good news in the very near future. If the miscarriage took place 40 days after conception, then you must wait 2 weeks from the misscarriage to attempt for a hefsek tahara. It may help to figure out when her last mikvah night was and then begin counting 40 days from there. If the misscarriage occurred within the 40 days, then the bleeding is treated like a regular niddah cycle. Therefore, you wait a minimum of 5 days from when your wife began bleeding, followed by a Hefsek Tahara and seven clean days. There are other opinions about how to calculate day 40. This is also especially relevant in determining whether the miscarriage we prevent a pidyon haben for a future son. For specific guidance on how to calculate mikvah/future pidyon haben after a misscarriage, call PUAH 718.336.0603
Family Purity
Good morning. I have a niddah question. I experience staining a couple of days before my period actually starts. I usually see the staining on toilet paper after going to the bathroom, and I consider myself forbidden to my husband beginning then. I want to make sure Iím doing the right thing because Iím almost always a niddah for way longer than the regular 12 days. Your guidance would be very helpful, thank you!
AnswerShalom and thanks for reaching out! It is quite common that women experience staining before their flow begins. Assuming they see the blood on something that is not white or something that is not mekabel tumah (toilet paper, the toilet seat, the floor etc.), then she will not be rendered a niddah. In general, it is very important to communicate with Rav before assuming you are niddah. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that the more you ask, the more youíll see that youíre not actually a niddah! Letís assume you notice light staining a few days before the expected period on colored underwear - assuming the amount of blood does not resemble a flow then you are not a niddah. You should abstain from having relations from the moment you see spotting, but none of the other niddah restrictions are in place. We encourage you to write back or call us at 718.336.0603 with any questions you may have!
Family Purity
I am currently 6.5 weeks postpartum. I did a Hefsek and the first three days were fine. But now Iím on my fourth day and there was blood on my bedikah. What should I do now? How long is it normal to bleed after a birth?
AnswerMazal tov! First of all, it may seem like there is blood on the bedika, but the cloth should be shown to rav to make that final determination. If the bedika was painful, perhaps you have vaginal/cervical cut which may be the cause of the bleeding - in which case you would not have to restart your seven clean days. However, if we assume that the blood is for the uterus, you would be required to perform a new hefsek tahara and moch dachuk before restarting the seven clean days. I would like to note that it is very common to experience abnormal postpartum bleeding. Even if the bleeding is on and off - there is no reason to be alarmed. If it continues, you should reach out to to your doctor and you can always reach out to PUAH!
Infertility
Good morning, my husband and I have been married for a bit over a year and we have not been successful getting pregnant. I am 24 years old and my husband is 25. I get my period on a pretty consistent basis, every 26 or 27 days. My doctor told me that my bloodwork is all normal and perhaps it's male factor infertility. What should my next steps be?
AnswerShalom! It is certainly possible that there is a male issue here. In fact, studies show that male factor infertility is as common as female infertility! Nevertheless, before we jump to any conclusions, let us begin by addressing a basic question - are you ovulating too early? You wrote that you get your period every 26 or 27 days - perhaps the reason why you're not getting pregnant is because you are ovulating before you go to mikvah. Ovulation typically occurs 14 days before the onset of your next period. In other words, if a woman has a 30 day cycle, she will normally ovulate on the 16th day of her cycle. If you get your period every 26 days, you may be ovulating on day 12 of your cycle. Assuming you perform a hefsek tahara on day 5 of your cycle followed by 7 clean days, you are ovulating very close to mikvah. Perhaps even too close for a successful pregnancy. I recommend that you buy ovulation sticks from your local pharmacy and track your ovulation to see exactly when it occurs. If you see that you are ovulating before mikvah, there are a number of ways to fix this issue. After a conversation with our of our rabbanim, we may discover a halachically permissible way for you go to mikvah earlier than your normal practice. Our rabbinic team is also well versed in hormonal & holistic methods to push off your ovulation until after the mikvah. Please call us at 718.336.0603 and we will walk you through your cycle so ovulation will occur after mikvah.
High Risk Pregnancies
: I am 35 years old and in the 9th week of pregnancy. My doctor asked if we wanted to do an amniocentesis due to my age, and I didnít know how to respond. Please advise. Thanks!
AnswerB'shaah Tovah! An amniocentesis does pose a potential risk to the pregnancy and therefore must be considered carefully on a case by case basis. Although age is certainly one factor in the decision making, it also depends on the results of the ultrasounds and blood tests. Assuming the ultrasound and blood tests are all normal, we generally recommend NIPT and avoid the amnio. NIPT (Noninvasive prenatal tests) doesnít test for as many chromosomal defects as amniocentesis, but it does screen for the most common fetal chromosome anomalies: trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). If you have any other questions, please donít hesitate to reach out by phone or email - 718.336.0603/questions@puahfertility.org
High Risk Pregnancies
I am currently 41 and a half weeks pregnant with my fourth pregnancy. My previous births were all before week 40. A week ago my doctor recommended inducing labor, but we refused. Now we are anticipating a possible birth on Friday or Shabbos which is something we want to avoid. Can we induce now so we can try and be out of the hospital before shabbos?
AnswerB'shaah Tovah! I have spoken to a number of highly revered Torah scholars about the halachos of labor induction and their answers are quite simple: if the doctor medically advises that you induce, it is permitted, if not obligatory, to listen to your doctor. You may not take any unnecessary risks.The fact that the birth might take place on Friday or Shabbos should not play a role in the decision to induce. Itís true that there are poskim who maintain that it is generally not permissible to induce, but even those poskim agree that one must induce to protect the health of the fetus.
High Risk Pregnancies
I recently found out that I am infected with the CMV virus and my doctor recommended that i go on birth control. However, I just took a pregnancy test and it came back positive. I am considering having an abortion because I don't want a child that is sick. Can you please advise me what to do?
AnswerMazal tov on the positive pregnancy test! Research shows very clearly that the probability of the fetus being affected by the CMV that you have is very low. It also makes a difference when you contracted the virus. Was it recently or a long time ago? Please call us and we will guide you with all the exact statistics. One thing is clear, please do not go ahead with the abortion. Please call me at 718.336.0603 and we will walk you through everything and calm your nerves!
Family Purity
Hello. I am still nursing my one year old daughter and I stopped taking birth control pills three weeks ago and still have not gotten my period. I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative. Is this normal?
AnswerHi, thanks for reaching out to PUAH. You did not mention which type of pill you were taking. If it was a progesterone only pill, then it is very possible to still not yet get your period, especially if you are still nursing a baby.
High Risk Pregnancies
I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago with a D&C and I am still bleeding, is that normal? Also, my doctor recommended that even after I am able to go to the mikvah, I should use contraception until I get my first period, preferably a spermicide and not anything hormonal. Is this allowed according to Halacha?
AnswerFirstly, I am sorry to hear about your loss. May Hashem bless you with healthy children in the near future. It is completely normal to continue to have light bleeding even at this point. If the bleeding persists, you should have your doctor examine you to make sure the uterus has been completely cleaned out. It is advisable, both medically and Halachically, to utilize birth control until your first period to ensure that your organs are functioning normally and have had a chance to get back to themselves and can withstand a pregnancy. Spermicide, such as VCF, is acceptable according to Halacha.
Infertility
Hello, I need to undergo surgery for a varicocele. What are the consequences of such a procedure and does it affect fertility?
AnswerA varicocele procedure is performed for one of three reasons. One reason is pain that is clearly being caused by the varicocele. Another reason is testicular atrophy, a concern that the varicocele will cause the testicles to deteriorate. A 3rd reason why someone may have a varicocele surgery done when the varicocele may be the cause of low sperm count. Therefore, the question of surgery will depend on each case by itself, depending on the reason for the surgery. Assuming the procedure is the appropriate course of action from a medical standpoint, it would be permissible from the halachic standpoint as well. If a semen analysis is suggested by your doctor, it might make a difference according to Halacha if you are single or married. Please feel free to contact us at 718.336.0603 to discuss your particular situation in greater detail.
General
I am in my 21st week of pregnancy. Do I need to fast this Tisha B'av?
AnswerBíshaa tova! The laws of fasting on Tisha baíav are more lenient this year because Tisha B'av is a nidcheh (the 9th of Av falls out on a shabbos and we therefore observe tisha baív on sunday - one day late). In addition to it being a nidcheh, there are some Poskim that feel that a pregnant woman should not fast at all. Therefore, assuming your doctor agrees, I would suggest that you start off fasting at night and see if you can make it until chatzos the following day (halachic noon). However, if at any point throughout Tisha Bav you feel weak, then you can break your fast. Since we are observing Tisha Bíav immediately following shabbos, many poskim maintain that you need havdallah before eating. There is a dispute whether it is permissible to make havdallah over wine/grape juice on tisha bav, therefore itís best to use coffee or orange juice. You can hear havdallah from your husband (you drink the cup) or you can make havdallah yourself.
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