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

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No period on Mirena

10 August, 2004

Question:

My wife and I have 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl). She cannot use birth control pills as they cause a myriad of medical problems. We tried an IUD and after 2 yrs. we took it out because it was causing her to have prolonged periods 10 to 12 days and shortening her cycle to about 3 weeks (and sometimes less) making her a niddah for all but 2-3 days or so a month. Her Dr. and OB/GYN suggested the Mirena IUD (which is a IUD and Levonorgestrel releasing system) since the low dosage and direct release might not cause her medical problems and this should regulate and shorten her days of menstrual flow.

We have had it in now for about 7 months and she has now just missed her period. The Mirena literature says that about 20% of women may not get their period altogether and we don't know yet if we fall into that category or not. Is there a problem halachically since she won't be obligated to use the Mikvah and have the forced separation?


Answer:

There is no obligation to have a forced separation. A couple must separate only if the wife becomes niddah. If she does not become niddah (as can happen during pregnancy and breastfeeding, for example, or after menopause), mikveh just does not apply. While separation can be beneficial in renewing the excitement of marriage, there is no requirement to separate when Halacha does not demand it.

For your specific situation, she has to consider her onot based on the last time she had a period. Once the same Hebrew date in the next month, the same interval between periods, and the thirtieth day have passed, she no longer has to worry about onot until she bleeds again.


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