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

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Mikveh before embryo transfer

25 October, 2004


I am in the middle of an ivf cycle. I am scheduled for embryo transfer on Wednesday. Do I need to go to the mikveh before embryo transfer (not like insemination where sperm are injected directly)? Also, they specifically told me that a bath is prohibited. Should I just soak my feet?


There is no requirement to immerse in the mikveh before the embryo transfer procedure. You are permitted to immerse (assuming you have completed the usual requirements), since mikveh allows you to have physical contact with your husband even if marital relations are proscribed for medical reasons.

It is not clear to us why bathing is forbidden. Please discuss this with your doctor to clarify what the concerns are. If the problem is soaking in soapy water, then you can prepare for the mikveh by showering, making sure that the water gets into all the folds of your body. If the concern is just with being in the water, then mikveh immersion itself might be a problem. If the concern is infection, then arrangements can be made with most mikvaot to allow you to be the first to immerse on a given night and thus have the cleanest water.

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