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Mikvah & intercourse

Observant Jewish women follow the laws of Niddah, a time when she is considered ritually impure and must refrain from any physical contact with her husband, including sexual abstention.

The end of Niddah is signified by going to the Mikvah (ritual bath) where she immerses in a deep pool while following a particular bathing process for ritual purification.  Men go to the Mikvah too for purification for Sabbath and Holy days. Click here to read more about it.  Click here to take a Mikvah tour.

It is expected that the couple engages sexually upon the woman’s return from Mikvah (yes, same night), which should be a welcoming transition for the couple having abstained from any contact for nearly 2 weeks.  However, this mandatory engagement is a cause of great distress when the woman is reluctant to be intimate with her husband, or if intercourse is painful (dyspareunia, vaginismus).

Sadly, women will often submit while suffering in silence because they believe that they have no choice/it is their duty/they are the ‘only one with this problem.’  We encounter an endless stream of such cases, which often include husbands who are at a loss too about what to do…

But there is a (Halachic) choice!  We urge suffering women/couples to seek religious and/or medical guidance in order to resolve the situation and be able to live normally.

About The Author

vaginismus specialist Dr. Ditza Katz team member Women's Therapy Center
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