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

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Choosing a contraceptive pill

16 April, 2016


As per the advice of both our Rav and Marriage Counselor, I will iyh be going on the pill to prevent pregnancy. I was hoping for some advice about which pill to go on? I know this would normally be discussed with a doctor, but given the circumstances, I really prefer not to. I have never been pregnant before.


There are many different types of pills available, all of which must be presribed by a physician. Despite your discomfort it is important to work with your doctor to find the right pill for you, although we can give some basic information here:

Among the combined estrogen-progesterone pills, some have a lower dose of estrogen and some have a higher dose. The lower dose pills often have fewer side effects but may have a higher chance of causing irregular staining. The higher dose pills may have more side effects but usually cause less irregular staining.

In addition there are types of pills that are taken continuously for 3 months so that you would only get your period 4 times a year. While this sounds attractive, in practice staining usually makes it difficult to last the full 3 months. An alternative may be to take 2 packs of  regular pills back to back to extend the time between periods. This should be discussed with your doctor.

Finally there are some types of pills that will cause you to get a very light, short period.

Please see our article on choosing a contraceptive method and speak to your doctor about the various options to find the right pill for you. You may wish to refer him or her to the section of our website designed for medical professionals, Jewish Women’s Health, for information on the implications of hilchot niddah on birth control choices.

It is important to note that for all of these pills there is often an adjustment period of up to 3 months in which you may experience irregular staining as your body adjusts to the hormones. However, not all stains will render a woman niddah nor invalidate the clean days, so it is important to review the laws of stains in advance. Please see our article on stains for more details.

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


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