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

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Spermicidal cream for diaphragm on Shabbat

27 April, 2007

Question:

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


Answer:

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.


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