I am 20 years old and beginning to date. I just found out about PCOS and looked it up online. I have some of the symptoms, including an irregular period. One of the big issues of PCOS is that it causes infertility. Now I am thinking – I should really go to a doctor to find out if I have PCOS. But do I want to know? And if I do have it, would I have the obligation to tell a potential husband? At what point? Should I tell my friends – or could that ruin my chances of getting a shiduch? Maybe I just shouldn’t bother to find out. Ignorance is bliss. Or is it?
We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.
We recommend seeing a physician now about your suspicions. PCOS is a condition that affects a number of systems, not only the reproductive system. It is largely treatable, and it could bring you peace of mind to find potentially successful treatments before marriage (or engagement). Alternatively, you may be relieved to discover that you don’t have PCOS after all.
In some communities, people are very open with their friends about medical conditions. In others, especially where shidduchim are the norm, discretion is more common. Halachically, you can choose to disclose such information only to family and close friends, or you can choose to share it more widely. There is no obligation to share this information even with those arranging shidduchim.
Halachically, you do not need to reveal a diagnosis to a future husband during the initial stages of dating. However, building trust is a critical element in marriage, so it’s important to discuss this when dating reaches a more serious stage. Exactly when would be up to your judgment. In this type of case, it can sometimes be helpful to arrange a joint appointment with the treating physician, to address any questions that the couple may have.
After marriage, if you have any concerns regarding fertility and halacha, you should also feel free to arrange a free consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor.
This response was updated on 2 September, 2021.
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.