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Chapter Ten

Doctorís Examinations and Birth Control

149. Does a woman become a Nidah after being examined internally by a doctor if he uses no instruments?

If the doctor makes an internal examination using only his fingers, the woman does not become a Nidah and remains clean.

150. Does a woman become a Nidah after being examined internally by a doctor if he uses instruments?

Whenever a doctor makes an internal examination using any kind of instrument, the woman should find out whether the doctor penetrated the cervix or the uterus. She should also find out the size of the instrument (length and thickness), as well as the exact medical procedure which was done.

Immediately after the procedure, the woman should examine herself to determine if she has any bleeding. If there is bleeding, the doctor should be asked his opinion as to the cause of this bleeding.

All of the above information should then be told to a Rav who will determine if the woman is considered a Nidah or not. It should be noted that the Rav must be consulted whether the woman has bleeding or not.

151. Does a Pap smear cause a woman to become a Nidah?

The woman should find out from her doctor what was used for the examination (cotton Q-tips, instruments, etc.). She should then follow the procedure outlined in Question 150 and consult her Rav.

In view of the above, it is always most preferable for a woman to try scheduling such doctor appointments during the days when she has her period.

152. Do pregnant women, women after childbirth, and women past menopause have to follow the procedures outlined in Question 150?

All these women should also follow the procedures outlined in Question 150 and consult a Rav after having an internal examination, even if there was no bleeding.

153. Is a married couple obligated to have children?

Yes. The Torah commands us "píru uírvu" (Be fruitful and multiply) This Mitzvah is interpreted to mean that a couple must have children until they have at least one boy and one girl. They are not permitted to push off this Mitzvah, but should try to have children as soon as they are married. Disregarding this Mitzvah, which is the express will of our Creator is a sin.

154. Is it a Mitzvah for the couple to have more children after they already have a boy and a girl?

Yes. We learn from the Posuk: "Plant your seeds in the morning and donít rest your hands in the evening" that there is still a Mitzvah to have more children.

A Jewish couple should consider every child of theirs as a special blessing which Hashem bestows upon them. It has always been considered a privilege and a special honor for a Jewish woman to be blessed with many children. Every Jewish woman should look to our matriarchs Sarah, Rivkah. Rochel, and Leah as a guide to the proper approach toward children. Our matriarchs prayed and strove to have children whom they could raise in the ways of Hashem.

157. What forms of birth control are permissible?
It is not in the range of this Sefer to go into a detailed discussion as to which forms are permissible and which are not. However, it must be stressed that even for the woman who is permitted to practice birth control, not all forms are permitted. Very grave sins can be committed by using the wrong forms of birth control. Therefore, as mentioned above, a competent Orthodox Rav should be consulted immediately for guidance in this matter.
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