Spermicide as backup while on antibiotics
23 March, 2005
I am currently using birth control (yasmin). To fight a bacterial infection, my primary care doctor prescribed antibiotics. She told me that the antibiotics diminish the birth control effect of the pill and advised that I use another form of birth control while taking the antibiotics. I was told by a Rav that the diaphragm and/ or spermicides were the next options. I only need another birth control method temporarily, about 7 days or so. The diaphragm, as I understand, needs to be fitted by a doctor, and thus seems impractical. What are spermicides? Are they a plausible option and how does one go about finding them?
Spermicides come in a variety of forms (foams, jellies, suppositories) and are generally available over the counter at the pharmacy. They are less halachically controversial than the diaphragm. However, they are also somewhat less effective. Spermicides alone are about 85% effective (that means out of 100 women using this method, 15 will get pregnant within a year), as opposed to the Pill, which is in the high nineties. However, in your case they are needed only as a backup method and thus it is quite reasonable to use them.
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 yoatzot.org.