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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

NFP in halacha

28 February, 2009

Question:

Hi, your site is so helpful. Thank you. Can you email me some general guidelines for natural birth control for spacing between children? Also, which seforim discuss this? I'd like to learn more about it. Thanks very much.


Answer:

Please see our site's article on the Fertility Awareness Method

The halachic factors that go into assessing whether contraception is permissible apply equally to natural family planning.  The fact that it is "natural" does not change the fact that it is a form of contraception. 

The halachic advantage of natural family planning is that it does not entail questions about its mechanism – selective abstinence – which is natural and indirect.  However, since this technique is less efficacious than others, there is a halachic tendency to prefer other methods when there is a strong reason to avoid pregnancy.

We refer you also to the discussion of contraception in general, and the rhythm method in particular, in Dr Avraham Steinberg's Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics. (This link leads to an abridged version of the article, in Hebrew).

The Lactational Amenorrhea Method raises no halachic concerns at all, since it relies on breastfeeding rather than on abstinence. However, it is effective for no more than six months postpartum.

Please get back to us with any further questions.


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.