Spermicide on Shabbat
I have been given permission by my Rabbi to use a diaphragm for contraception. Is it a problem to use/spread the spermicidal cream on Shabbat? Are there any alternatives? Many thanks
Thank you for your question.
Although squeezing the spermicide out of a tube is permitted on Shabbat, spreading it is a problem on Shabbat. One solution is to apply spermicide to the edges of the diaphragm before Shabbat, then squeeze some into the middle on Shabbat (so that it spreads itself), and insert as usual. This prevents having to spread it around the edges on Shabbat.
An alternative might be to insert the diaphragm shortly before Shabbat. The diaphragm and spermicide may be safely and effectively inserted up to six hours prior to relations - verify the exact parameters by looking at the instructional inserts that come with your diaphragm and spermicide.
This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases.
If you have further questions or comments about this email, please click here to Ask the Yoetzet.
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefitted from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.