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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Permissibility of relations on Pill

30 April, 2007


If a rabbi permits the use of contraception (birth control pill), is my husband committing any sin while we are having relations? He is very worried about this.


We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

There is no sin at all involved in having relations while using contraception in situations where it is halachically permitted. This is certainly the case in your situation, where you received a ruling from a halachic authority. Relations while a woman is using a halachically permissible method of contraception do not violate the prohibition against hotza’at zera levatalah (wasting seed).

While it is true that procreation is considered an important aspect of marital relations, procreation is not their sole purpose. There is a second mitzvah involved, the mitzvah of onah (marital intimacy), according to which a husband is obligated to have relations with his wife when she desires it, even if she is unable to conceive at that point.

We hope that marital intimacy can be a point of connection and strength in your relationship, and not worry. For an extended discussion of the religious significance of marital intimacy, please see Rabbi Avraham Peretz Friedman’s essay here.)

If your husband wishes to explore this topic further, he could approach a rabbi or teacher he trusts or read Rabbi Friedman’s book.

Please be in touch with any further questions.

This response was updated on 8 August 2022.

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

Accessibility Toolbar