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

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PCOS and dating

5 February, 2006

Question:

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?


Answer:

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.


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