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

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Mikveh timing and egg retrieval

23 February, 2016


I am in the middle of an IVF cycle. I got my period from birth control pills (taken for suppression purposes) four days ago. The following day, I started injectables. I don’t know when the egg retrieval will be.

The embryos will be tested and good embryos will be frozen for later transfer only (frozen embryo transfer).

I will get a period within 5-7 days after the retrieval.

At this point it doesn’t seem rational to drive far to Mikvah (an hour’s drive one way without traffic) this cycle for husband-wife relations. My question is – do I have to immerse only for the sake of the egg retrieval procedure? And what if the retrieval is scheduled before I can go to mikveh?


There is no constraint on undergoing egg retrieval while in niddah, so there is no need to immerse for the sake of retrieval.  However, although it is not strictly required, there is halachic preference for a woman to be tehorah for embryo transfer.  While mikveh immersion can be delayed when both husband and wife agree, it is also harder to halachically justify forgoing becoming tehorah for an entire cycle (even if the time spent tehorah will be shorter than usual).

You may also find it meaningful to you and your husband to at least to be able to touch (even if relations are off limits), as you go through this process.  Perhaps your husband could drive you to the mikveh or could otherwise find a way to ease the exertion for you.

Please write back with any further questions.

As you navigate fertility treatment, it may also prove helpful to arrange a free consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor, details here.

This response was updated on 3 June, 2021.

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