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

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Contraception going off the Pill

12 May, 2005

Question:

I am preparing to go off of the pill and looking to start a family. I was talking with my gynecologist and she highly recommended that alternative preventative measures (i.e. condoms, etc.) be used for the first three months after going off the pills. The only reason would be to establish my own menstrual cycle so a due date for the baby could be determined. As far as I understand there is no major health risk to myself or the baby if preventative measures are not used. What is the halachic response to using other methods of birth control during this time? And if other methods are allowed what should be used?


Answer:

Halacha does not permit birth control when a couple is ready to fulfill the mitzvah of peru urevu and there is no health risk involved in doing so.  However, there is room to permit use of a back up method for a month after being on the Pill in order for the woman to re-establish her natural cycle prior to pregnancy.

Halachically, condoms could not be used for this purpose.  A spermicide alone would meet this need and pose the fewest halachic problems. Assuming there is no other health risk, one cycle should suffice – it should not be necessary to avoid conception for three months.


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