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

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Communicating with your Physician

Getting Information from a Doctor

The role of the physician in hilchot niddah is to give his or her best medical opinion related to the halachic question. This might include:

1) a description of what is seen on a physical examination

2) a description of the medical procedure that has been or will be performed

3) the most likely cause of vaginal bleeding

4) a medical need for contraception

The role of the medical professional is not to give halachic rulings. For this a rabbi or yoetzet should be consulted.

Sometimes it is difficult for a woman to know what questions to ask the physician to get the information that she needs. The following is a summary for some common situations:

Unexpected Vaginal Bleeding

What is the most likely cause of the bleeding? Does an examination show any visible wounds, abrasions, or areas that could bleed? What is the chance that the bleeding is from a wound or abrasion (e.g. definite, probable, possible but doubtful)?

Medical Procedure

What is the name of the procedure? What instrument was used? Was any instrument inserted into the uterus through the cervix? If so, what is the maximum diameter of the part of the instrument that entered the uterus? Can the procedure cause bleeding? If so, what is the source of the bleeding, and how long can it be expected to last?

Birth Control

For what medical reason is contraception recommended? For how long will it be needed? Is there any medical reason not to use hormonal contraceptives? If so, what is it?

Information for Medical Professionals

Sometimes, it may be helpful for the physician to have a basic understanding of hilchot niddah and its medical implications in order to give optimal care to observant patients. Physicians can be referred to the section of our site designed for medical professionals, Jewish Women’s Health, written to enable medical professionals, such as physicians, midwives, nurses, and psychologists, to understand the needs of their patients or clients who observe Jewish law (halacha).

Jewish Women’s Health is also an excellent resource for women seeking to communicate with their healthcare providers about the halachic implications of medical conditions and procedures. Patients can visit the site and print out the relevant pages to share with their doctors, or access it during an appointment. The site includes questionnaires that physicians can complete both before and after gynecological procedures.

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All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

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