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

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Total hysterectomy

16 November, 2017

Question:

I am a 39 year old mother of eight, bli ayin harah.

Due to dysfunctional bleeding for seven months, and after having taken numerous medication, polyp removal, curettage, cryotherapy, etc., I am scheduled for a hysterectomy in three weeks. It will be a total vaginal hysterectomy, only leaving in the ovaries so as not to create menopause. Our rav gave us a psak that I should do this.

Will the hysterectomy change my status to a nida?

What needs to be done after such a procedure in order to be permitted to my husband? Can he take care of me?

According to the doctor, I am not allowed to do internal checks till the wound has healed. So what is to be done about the bedikot? Once it is medically allowed to check internally, how many bedikot should be done? When is the best time to start counting the 7 clean days?

Do I get to make a bracha in the mikva? It will probably be my last tevila.


Answer:

We follow the halachic position that a total hysterectomy does not itself make a woman niddah, since the blood is caused by trauma from the procedure. At the same time, as a matter of stringency, you should wait seven days and then immerse.

In practice in this case, assuming you are not niddah going into the procedure, you should wait seven days from the procedure and then immerse. Bleeding during that week may be ignored and no bedikot are necessary.

You and your husband should refrain from relations and affectionate touch (much as on an onat veset) during that week, but he may care for you without the usual constraints.

Because this immersion is a stringency, you may not make a bracha.  However, in recognition of the immersion's significance to you, you may certainly say your own personal prayers at the mikveh.

Please write back with any further questions. We wish you a successful procedure and a refuah sheleimah!


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