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

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Hysterectomy

26 May, 2003

Question:

I have a web community devoted to educating people about Judaism. Recently I was asked about the niddah in regards to a woman who receives a hysterectomy. I have no idea and was hoping you could give me some insight to relay back to my members.


Answer:

If a woman has a total hysterectomy and the uterus is completely removed, she will never become niddah again. If only part of the uterus is removed (a subtotal hysterectomy), then she should discuss her operative report with a rabbi to see if she can become niddah again or not.

If she was in the niddah status prior to the surgery, she needs to go through the taharah process one last time. The correct procedure is as follows: She performs the hefsek taharah examination, omitting the moch dachuk. She then counts seven clean days, but she does not wear white underwear, and she does only two bedikot: one on day 1 and one on day 7. She then immerses in the mikveh.

If she was not niddah prior to surgery, she should discuss with her rabbi whether the surgery will make her niddah. While on a theoretical level it does not, many rabbis are not comfortable ruling in this manner on a practical level.


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