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

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Surgery scheduled a few days before mikveh

21 July, 2015

Question:

I am schedueled to have major surgery in nine days. I am currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer. The surgery will be major abdomonal surgery on both the colon and the liver, along with a procedure to put in a chemo pump in my hip.

I just got a period today. The mikva date will not be until a few days after the surgery. The problem is that I will need a lot of help from my husband, both in the hospital and when I get home. After the surgery, I will not be able to dip for an extended period of time. Is there any way I can go to the mikva, but not be with my husband prior to the surgery?

Thank you for your time and understanding.


Answer:

We wish you a refuah shleimah!

Unfortunately you may not immerse before completing the seven clean days. Such an immersion would not render you tehorah and you would remain in niddah.

While it is strongly preferable to have a nurse or another female assist you, if no one else is available your husband may physically assist you with your needs while you recover from the surgery even if you are niddah. Any assistance that does not require physical contact is certainly permitted, and even assistance that involves physical contact is permitted if necessary, taking care to minimize contact as much as possible. It is recommended that he wear gloves to avoid skin to skin contact.  (If you require assistance bathing you should have a female friend/relative or a nurse assist you.)

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

We hope your surgery goes smoothly and successfully!


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