Mikveh after IVF
14 February, 2005
I recently had an embryo transfer in connection with an IVF cycle. I was unable to go to the mikvah prior to embryo transfer (because of bleeding) and am prohibited by the doctors from immersion/bathing until after the two week wait following transfer until pregnancy is determined (the doctors fear infection because of trauma to the area). In any event, marital relations are not allowed during that period. If I am not pregnant, I will get my period and then go to the mikvah as I normally would. If I am pregnant, can I go to the mikvah as soon as the bathing and marital relation restrictions are lifted? Are there any specific rules with regard to mikvah and pregnancy?
A woman is considered niddah until she has observed seven clean days and immersed. This is the case whether or not she is pregnant. (Uterine bleeding can sometimes even make a woman niddah during pregnancy.)
We recommend that you perform a hefsek taharah and count seven clean days now, so that you will be able to immerse as soon as your doctors permit it. Immersion is permitted for the purpose of other types of physical closeness, even when relations are ruled out.
Please note that mikva’ot are usually kept very clean. Where there is a medical concern about infection, you can arrange with the mikveh in advance to be the first to immerse after the mikveh has been cleaned. In this situation, it is also permissible to dip only once. It could be worthwhile to discuss this option with your physician.
We hope that the transfer is successful. If you’d like an opportunity to discuss the halachic aspects of fertility treatment at greater length, please see here to arrange a free consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor.
This response was updated on 26 August, 2021.
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