Ovulating early in clean days
17 November, 2015
A close friend has had ob/gyn ultrasounds to help determine her fertility. She was told that she ovulates at the very end of her menstrual cycle or, sometimes on day one or two after she has stopped bleeding. Accordingly, the only time she is physically able to conceive is just prior to, or in the first days of her levonim. Her doctor told her that while this situation is not common, it is true for a not-insignificant number of women/couples.
What is such a woman/couple to do? Does G-d really intend that women who are physically, biologically able to conceive and bear children be prevented from doing so, in favor of the rules of family "purity"? Is this not a circumstance in which the mitzvah of procreation takes priority?
If for some reason sexual relations at the fertile time is forbiden, might the woman/couple use artificial/assisted insemination? (But how would this be handled in a halachically okay manner?)
We cannot know what God intends for any couple. The mitzvah of procreation is indeed very important, but its importance does not allow us to override the laws of niddah.
We are fortunate to live in an age when many problems that could not be solved in the past have solutions. Even if your friend cannot conceive naturally, we hope she will be able to do so with medical assistance. Just as we see God in natural childbirth, we can recognize His role – which is possibly even greater – in assisted fertility.
In the situation you describe, medical intervention would be called for. Please show your friend the article on our site about halachic infertility. Your friend can also show her physician the articles on this condition on our app or website for medical professionals. Delaying ovulation is usually the first step, and if that is not successful, artificial insemination during the clean days is another option.
Support during this process is available from Nishmat Yoatzot Halacha Fertililty Counselors, who offer free consultations in person (in Israel) or online, in Hebrew or English, for women and couples experiencing fertility challenges. Click on this form to set up a personal meeting.
Machon Puah (www.puahonline.org) is an organization that assists couples undergoing fertility treatments and supervises the treatments, making sure they are performed in a halachically permissible manner.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
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