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

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Medical benefits to taharat hamishpacha?

18 April, 2018

Question:

I’ve heard that there are medical benefits resulting from keeping the laws of Taharas Hamishpacha. (For example, reduction in risk of cervical cancer.) Are you familiar with any studies that indicate anything along these lines?


Answer:

It is important to note that taharat hamishpacha should be observed for religious reasons and not for any medical benefits it may offer.

There are old studies that show that women who use mikveh are less likely to have cervical cancer. In light of current medical knowledge associating cervical cancer with human papilloma virus, which is transmitted through sexual intercourse, this is most likely due to the fact that women who keep taharat hamishpacha are more likely to be monogamous and thus less likely to be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. It is also possible that Jewish women in general have less of a genetic predisposition to this cancer.

For more information, please see: Menczer J. The low incidence of cervical cancer in Jewish women: Has the puzzle finally been solved? IMAJ 2003;5:120-3  available at http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/cancer/menczer1/


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