Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Kallah: painful bedikot

12 January, 2005

Question:

I G-d willing will be married in June. I went to the gynecologist recently for my first test to make sure all is healthy and I was told that have a very narrow vaginal channel. This is no surprise as my mother is the same way, which required her to have c-sections for every birth.

The doctor's examination was excruciating. I asked my mother how she dealt with taharat hamishpacha and she told me that she was told that she only had to do internal exams on the first and last of the seven clean days (as best she could) and just a cursory exam in between because it was painful for her as well.

My kallah teacher suggested that I try doing a round of bedikot prior to the wedding date, which I am in the middle of presently. Let me just say …Ouch. I can't go as deep as suggested because of obvious reasons and doing even a little hurts even afterwards. My sister who's a doctor suggested that I try to use KY jelly but I don't know if that is permitted or if it would help either.

What would be my options? Should I follow what my mother was told ?? Please advise. Thank you.


Answer:

We're sorry to hear that you're experiencing such trouble with your bedikot.

You should use KY jelly to lessen your discomfort. You should also be using the softest cloth you can find – you could even cut up a well laundered pair of white cotton underpants – and slightly dampen the cloth.

For now, perform only one bedikah a day, at a time when you are relaxed.  Go very gently.  As a kallah, you only go as far as is comfortable.  Up to the first knuckle is fine.  Some women are more comfortable with one leg slightly elevated on a stool.  Others find it helpful to lie down.

It is important to remember that the vaginal canal is formed by muscles that can be contracted and relaxed. Anxiety causes one to tighten the muscles and thus narrows the opening. Relaxation helps keep it open. Therefore, techniques that increase relaxation (e.g. deep breathing, listening to music, thinking calming thoughts) can help make these bedikot easier as well.

If the discomfort persists, please ask your rabbi or get back to us about reducing further the number of bedikot.  You should also consider consulting a urogynecological physical therapist.  She may be able to help you with your bedikot and better prepare you for marital relations.  See our article on sexual pain disorders for further information about such specialists.

Mazal tov!


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. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site 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 benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.


Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.