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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Water Phobia

10 December, 2004


I am petrified of water and have a hard time going to the Mikveh. The moment I get my period, I start to get nervous and tense about going to the Mikveh. The last few times I have been it has been very difficult as one time I nearly drowned, the other few times I have been so nervous that I have either not dipped in completely or held on to something due to the fear of water. Hence, I have had to immerse a few times before the Mikveh attendant can say Kosher. I have come to the point, where even thinking of the Mikveh makes me very scared, nervous, tense and depressed. I do not know what to do as I am sure that I cannot handle going to the Mikveh anymore. When I talked with my Rabbitzein, she told me that I should take some medication before I go to the Mikveh, which is not a possibility for me as I do not like to take medications and have a feeling that I will not have control of myself. I observe the laws of Family Purity, but the only thing of going to the Mikveh is the most difficult for me and I know that it is the most important but I just cannot do it! Pease advise what I can do in my situation. Thank you so much for your time.


It would be permissible for you to immerse while holding on to a railing under the water, so long as you do not grip it too tightly.

Alternatively, you could immerse with one or two women accompanying you into the water and holding you. In either case, both you and anyone assisting you must wet their hands in the mikveh prior to immersion.

You might also consider pursuing behavioral therapy to ameliorate your phobia.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. 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.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Accessibility Toolbar