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

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Dermal anchors and body piercings

3 July, 2017

Question:

I am getting married in a few months and I have a couple of questions about my first mikva immersion.

I have a number of body piercings I had done a few years ago and I would like to know if they are considered to be a "chatzitza".

There are 2 categories:

a) Those that I could take out myself. (Eg ear cartilage, navel piercing)
These were pierced a few years ago but I never take them out or change the jewelery as it would cause discomfort and they would possibly close. If I were to take them out they probably wouldn't bleed, but they might close.

b) Those that I cannot take out myself.
I have 2 dermal anchors by my hips that cannot be taken out except by a professional. This is because they have a "foot" underneath the skin with a hole in it that encourages tissue to go through it and thus hold it in place. If I were to remove them, there would be a lot of blood and I would be unable to put them back in.

Please advise as to what I should do. Taharat Hamishpacha is incredibly important to me and I want my mikva immersion to be kosher.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your upcoming wedding!

We appreciate your deep commitment to observing taharat hamishpachah.

The halachic ideal is to immerse without any piercings, and this is one reason why getting permanent piercings such as you describe is not customary.  However, after such piercings are in place, it is permissible to immerse with them, especially because they were put in to adorn the body and the woman immersing specifically wishes to keep them.

In your case, you are permitted to immerse with your piercings and your immersions will be"H be fully kosher.  You should try as much as possible to clean thoroughly around each piercing.  For those for which it is safe and will not cause pain or damage, you should also loosen or rotate the jewelry so that it is not adhering to the skin.  

Please write back with any further questions. 


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