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

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Pills without prescriptions

21 June, 2004

Question:

Some of my friends have long engagements whereby they cannot choose a wedding date based on their cycle. So they go on those birth control pills beforehand, and I do not think they have been prescribed by a doctor. The big kallah teachers arrange it, and I have no idea how. Perhaps it is through a doctor – a doctor has to be involved at some point, it's prescription medication after all!

Be that as it may, two of my friends have not been able to conceive since they got married – one for many years now.

My question really is – can these girls go on the pill for a short time before their wedding – and really expect that their fertility will not be compromised in the process?

I know it's not my business, but I hate to sit by and let this happen. Many thanks.


Answer:

We feel very strongly that it is improper for women to be given birth control pills without proper evaluation by a physician. This puts women at risk in a way that we believe is counter to the halachic obligation not to risk one's health.

However, it is unlikely that short term use of birth control pills would cause long term effects on fertility. If a couple has diffficulty conceiving after one year of trying, they should go for evaluation and treatment.


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