Condom to prevent preterm labor
3 February, 2010
I am 34.5 weeks pregnant, and I had some preterm contractions last week. I asked my ob if it is okay to have relations and she said that until 36 weeks, I can only have relations using a condom. She is not concerned about the relations themselves causing labor, but about the prostaglandin in the semen.
Although normally a condom is not permitted, is there any heter for it in this case?
I would much prefer to be able to have relations now and not to have to wait a week and a half.
I would appreciate if you could bring a source for your answer.
Thank you very much for your wonderful service.
You are correct that using a condom is only permitted in very rare instances, as where there is concern for HIV infection. In your case, especially since you should be able to resume relations soon, condom use would not be permitted.
You could check in with your physician about whether using a contraceptive sponge would provide a sufficient barrier against the prostaglandins. It would be permissible to use a sponge in this case.
For sources on these issues, please see the entry "Contraception" in Dr Steinberg's Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics.
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.