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

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Non-hormonal options at 48

11 March, 2009

Question:

I am now 48 years old. I have 5 children (both sexes), and would not like to get pregnant anymore. Currently I am using an oral contraceptive (yasmin), which I know is the preferred method, however, my endocrinologist would like me to stop taking it and use another method, like condom (I know it is out of the question) or a coil. I do not have any health problem (besides uterine myomas), he wants to make the change for prevention purposes only. Is that a good enough reason to use a method other than the pill?


Answer:

While hormonal contraceptives are usually considered the halachically preferred method of contraception, there are other halachically permissible options (such as an IUD or diaphragm) that would be appropriate in your situation. The condom alone is not very effective (as well as halachically forbidden as you pointed out).  If your physician feels that this level of protection alone is sufficient, then spermicide alone is approximately as effective and halachically permissible. The coil is a form of sterilization which leads to more serious halachic questions and is therefore only permitted in extreme circumstances. Please read our article on choosing a birth control method and discuss your options with your physician.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


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