PCOS & irregular cycle
5 October, 2021
I have a few questions:
1. I have a 10-month old baby and I’m Baruch Hashem nursing. I nursed clean until he was 9 months old, when I got my first period since birth. I haven’t gotten my next one yet, although it’s been more than a month (already took 2 pregnancy tests). When nursing, could there be such a thing as getting one period and then having another long break of nursing clean?
Or once the first one comes things are supposed to resume to normal?
2. If an onah passes and I haven’t gotten my next period yet, I’m allowed to resume relations regularly? It just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m always scared that having relations will cause the onset of the next period even if I see nothing right before. (Which already happened once to me.)
3. I don’t have a typical calendar schedule. I typically get my periods 5-6 weeks apart. (Was diagnosed with PCOS as a girl.) This can be very unpleasant, physically – as I often start feeling period cramps already after 4 weeks, and emotionally – as I start feeling very hormonal and moody, and in general 2 weeks of not knowing maybe today, maybe this week, maybe next week is very hard. What can I do about this? As a girl I took provera, which sometimes caused staining. After marriage I did puregon to stimulate ovulation (part of fertility treatments). Is there any natural remedy to regulate periods? And if I want to take care of this medically, do I need a specialist or do I speak to a regular ob/gyn?
Thank you so much for all your help and time!
1. It is very common for cycles to be irregular postpartum and while nursing. PCOS can sometimes contribute to this.
2. Yes, once the onot perishah have passed, relations are fully permissible. The reason that there are specific veset days is to limit our obligation to worry about the onset of a period to set times.
While staining might be a good indication that you should abstain from relations for a day or so lest a flow begin, there is no obligation to abstain aside from the onot perishah. Even general cramping or moodiness such as you describe does not mean you need to abstain.
3. We are sorry to hear of the difficulties that PCOS sometimes causes for you. On the natural end, eating a healthy diet low in refined carbohydrates and keeping one’s weight down can often make a real difference with PCOS.
While we are not familiar with specific natural remedies, we have heard anecdotally of some women being helped by Chinese medicine. Any complementary treatments should be undertaken in consultation with one’s physician.
We do suggest seeing a specialist to explore different treatment options, including raising the possibility of Metformin, which acts on the insulin system and can sometimes be helpful with PCOS.
Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
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.