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

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Condoms for protection from Zika virus

24 August, 2016


Is it permitted to use a condom if the wife is pregnant in an area where there is Zika, to prevent the birth complications that may occur if the husband has the virus (there is no way to know for sure) and transmits it to her?


In these circumstances, the only safe options are condoms or abstinence. Halachically, abstinence is preferable, as condom use is generally prohibited by Jewish law as a violation of hotza'at zera levatalah (spilling seed). The laws of hotza'at zera levatalah apply even when a woman is pregnant.  

When abstinence is too much of a strain on the couple, the wife may use a female condom to protect herself from possible exposure to Zika during pregnancy.

Please get back to us with any further questions.

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