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

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Ovulating before mikveh?

15 February, 2005


I wonder if you can offer some advice. I tend to have a cycle of 25 to 28 days. I also do not seem able to get a clean hefsek prior to seven days from becoming niddah – occasionally this goes to nine days. I am very frustrated that I will be unable to conceive since I am only with my husband for the week or ten days prior to becoming niddah again. My hefseks are invalid due to brown spotting or mucus. What can I do, as the mitzvah of pru urvu is very important to me and I feel a clash of two mitzvot? Please help – thanks!


We’re sorry to hear of your frustration. Sometimes the laws of niddah and of procreating can be in tension. Halacha itself often provides guidance for how to address this.

1) To begin with, please make sure you are asking a halachic question about the hefsek taharah and bedikot if they are any color other than bright red. When asking, make sure to indicate how few days you have available and how difficult this is for you. Cloths do not need to be completely “clean”; there is often room for leniency in brown discharges. Be sure to note how many days have passed since you started bleeding.

2) Medically, you can track ovulation to determine if your situation is in fact affecting your ability to conceive. Ovulation typically occurs 12-16 days prior to the onset of the next menstrual blood flow. If you establish that you are consistently ovulating prior to immersion and cannot get an earlier hefsek taharah, you might consider medical intervention under the guidance of a physician. Please see our article on ovulation before immersion for discussion of the available options for ovulation tracking and for addressing this issue.

Feel get back to us with any further questions.

You may also find it helpful to consult a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service, details here.)

This response was updated on 13 December, 2020.

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