11 July, 2003
A colleague of mine is taking someone to the mikveh who is concerned about how to handle her colostomy (she wears a bag). Does anyone have any experience that would help me advise her?
It depends on how continent the colostomy is. If she always needs the bag and may otherwise leak into the water, she should use the mikveh with the bag in place. If she has some control over the flow and can assure that it will not leak during the few minutes in the mikveh, then she should immerse without the bag. The infection control issues should be discussed with the mikveh attendant in advance. Depending on the system, it might be best for her to be the last one to use the mikveh and for the water to be changed before the next day. If there is a filtration system, it is probably still best for her to be last to immerse, but it may not be necessary to change the water.
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.
For further questions or comments:
The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.
Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.