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

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Endometrial biopsy after failed IVF

28 October, 2015


After a failed IVF cycle, the doctor has recommended an endometrial biopsy (taking a small sample of the lining of the uterus). If this causes spotting, will I be in niddah (when my period isn’t scheduled for another week)? Thanks.


We are sorry to hear of your failed IVF cycle.

Uterine bleeding almost always results from an endometrial biopsy. Since this bleeding is caused by injury, the opinion of the posek of this site, Rav Yehuda Henkin, is that the bleeding does not render the woman niddah. The bleeding may go on for about a week, and for that time can be attributed to the procedure. Some other authorities are less comfortable permitting bleeding that comes from the uterus, even if a clear source of injury is seen.

For all procedures that enter the uterus, the size of the instrument that enters is also important. Instruments larger than a certain size render a woman niddah even if there is no bleeding. Opinions as to this size vary – Rav Henkin rules that an instrument with a diameter of less than 19mm does not make a woman niddah.  The catheter used for an endometrial biopsy is usually rather small, but you should check this with your physician.

We also recommend reviewing the laws of stains so as not to raise questions unnecessarily. For more information on the relevant precautions, please see our site’s articles “Stains” and “Toilet Paper.”

You may also find it helpful to consult a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor. (This is a free service, details here.)

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

We wish you much hatzlacha!

Response updated October 2020.

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