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

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Mikveh on day 14

17 November, 2015


My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a few months but have had no luck so far. We are both young and healthy and were wondering if the length of my cycle could be proving an impediment to conception. I am usually able to dip at the mikva only on the 14th night of my cycle whereas the medical world recommends having sexual intercourse from before the 12th day when trying to conceive. Can you advise in this matter? Many thanks.


It is common for women to immerse on the fourteenth night and it is also common for such women to become pregnant.  However, it does sometimes happen that a woman ovulates prior to immersion and that affects fertility.  This is a situation called halachic infertility.

To clarify whether or not you are ovulating prior to immersion, you could use an ovulation predictor kit, readily available at pharmacies, for a few cycles. You should also make sure that you are getting to mikveh as early as halachically permitted. The hefsek taharah, moch dachuk, and bedikot of the seven clean days do not need to be completely clear; many shades of brown are acceptable. Bedikot that are not clearly red should be brought to a halachic authority for evaluation.

If it seems you are consistently unable to immerse before ovulation, we suggest you discuss this with your physician (you may find our app or website for medical professionals helpful) and get back to us with any further questions.  Looking at relevant articles and Q&A on the site may also prove helpful.

Many healthy and fertile couples find that it takes them several months to conceive.  Typically, young and healthy couples such as yourselves are not advised to have a fertility work-up before a year has gone by of trying to conceive.  Again, you could discuss this with your physician.

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.

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