Ovulating early in clean days
17 November, 2015
A close friend has had ob/gyn ultrasounds to help determine her fertility. She was told that she ovulates at the very end of her menstrual cycle or, sometimes on day one or two after she has stopped bleeding. Accordingly, the only time she is physically able to conceive is just prior to, or in the first days of her levonim. Her doctor told her that while this situation is not common, it is true for a not-insignificant number of women/couples.
What is such a woman/couple to do? Does G-d really intend that women who are physically, biologically able to conceive and bear children be prevented from doing so, in favor of the rules of family “purity”? Is this not a circumstance in which the mitzvah of procreation takes priority?
If for some reason sexual relations at the fertile time is forbidden, might the woman/couple use artificial/assisted insemination? (But how would this be handled in a halachically okay manner?)
We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.
Your friend’s case isn’t fully clear to us. Based on what you write, she ovulates very early in her cycle, so that it is quite possible that medical factors unrelated to niddah have affected her ability to conceive. In any case, please share our article about ovulating before immersion with her, to help her learn about the halachic approaches to addressing that type of situation.
Please also let her know that support during this process is available from Nishmat Yoatzot Halacha Fertililty Counselors, who offer free consultations in person (in Israel) or online, in Hebrew or English, for women and couples experiencing fertility challenges. Click here to set up a personal meeting.
In general, we cannot know what God intends for any couple. The mitzva of procreation is indeed very important, and our challenge is to help women maximize their ability to conceive while observing the laws of niddah.
We are fortunate to live in an age when many problems that could not be solved in the past have solutions. The halachic steps mentioned in our article might help your friend conceive. Even if your friend cannot conceive naturally, we hope she will be able to do so with medical assistance. Just as we see God in natural childbirth, we can recognize His role in assisted reproduction.
We wish your friend much hatzlacha!
This response was updated on 22 November, 2020.
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