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

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Trying to conceive for a year

13 June, 2017

Question:

I am married for a year now and have been actively trying to get pregnant since the beginning. I got pregnant after eight months, but it ended in an early miscarriage.

I have yet to have a positive result on an ovulation test. I am suspicious that I keep missing ovulation, though I always start testing the day before mikva for a week. I thought I am not ovulating normally but the miscarriage must mean I ovulated. I have more or less regular cycles, though they are on the shorter side (27-28 days), which causes further trouble in me missing ovulation. I have a heter to try to get a clean hefsek on day 4, but this rarely works (maybe only once or twice).

I was wondering what halachic and medical advice you could give me in being able to conceive and be able to go to the mikva earlier. I have gone to the doctor but he said to wait another 2-3 months and I could really use some advice prior to that.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your recent marriage!

We are sorry to hear of your difficulty conceiving, and about your miscarriage.

After a miscarriage, it can take a few months for the body to sort itself out. The fact that you conceived shows that for at least one cycle you were able to get to mikveh within your fertility window. In general, it is normal to take up to a year to conceive, and standard medical practice for women under 35 is to begin a fertility evaluation only after a year of trying. For all of these reasons, your doctor’s suggestion to wait another few months makes sense.

Ovulation typically occurs twelve to sixteen days prior to the onset of menstrual bleeding, and variations are normal, so it is likely that your mikveh night is not too late to conceive.

To clarify further whether you are ovulating prior to immersion, you could continue testing ovulation for another couple of cycles, starting the tests a few days before mikveh. If you do not find signs of ovulation, or determine that you are consistently ovulating before mikveh (as variations of up to a week in cycle length are normal), then you should present this information to your doctor, and discuss further diagnostic steps and potential treatment.

Halachically, to get a hefsek taharah as soon as day four, it can be helpful to know that the hefsek taharah and bedikot need not be completely clear. Stains that are yellow or light brown (the color of coffee with milk) with no reddish hue are acceptable. Other questionable stains can be brought to a halachic authority for evaluation.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions. You may also find it helpful to read our site’s article about ovulation before mikveh and to schedule a consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service. Details here.)

We wish you much hatzlacha!

This response was updated 22 October, 2020.


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