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Is there any reason that a Jewish woman who has permission from her Rabbi to use birth control could not choose a pill that stops her from menstruating? Although certain birth control pills are specifically designed for this type of usage, almost any birth control pill can in fact be used this way. Using any birth control pill in this manner for any length of time is widely considered safe.

Would the simple desire (hers or her husband's) to avoid niddah periods be a sufficient reason for her to do so, or would she need a stronger reason?

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    What could possibly be the problem?
    – Dave
    Jun 14 '12 at 23:18
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    I'm with @Dave. The only halachic issue with the pills is a bitul mitzvas ase, which you mentioned that the Rabbi excluded from the case.
    – YDK
    Jun 14 '12 at 23:51
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    I remember hearing such an opinion but I never really understood why it should be a problem. The argument was basically that since Niddah is there to 'rejuvinate' the relationship based on a gemara in niddah 31b "Rabbi Meir...", then to not have niddah would be...not in the 'spirit' of the mitzva. I fail to find the argument compelling.
    – Double AA
    Jun 15 '12 at 0:41
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    Aren't there issues with wasting seed?
    – 930913
    Jun 15 '12 at 1:04
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    @SethJ, I don't think that this question is in the same league, tzeniut-wise, as questions about particular intimate activities.
    – Isaac Moses
    Jun 15 '12 at 18:09
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Basically, if a couple has valid reason to not have children right now, then a pill that prevents menstruation is fine.

Judaism regards having children as a mitzvah, though (as in many things in life) it's complicated and there are caveats. It's recommended -- and according to some, required -- that a couple consult with their rabbi first before using birth control. Note that in circumstances where pregnancy would be highly harmful to the mother, Jewish law may allow and even require birth control.

Of the various forms of birth control, "the pill" is actually considered among the least-objectionable methods, assuming it's medically indicated for this particular couple. (Older versions of the pill often caused breakthrough bleeding, which was a problem as it created a nida status; this tends to be less of an issue today.)

"Wasting of seed" is a moot point. (And I'm somewhat annoyed that people get the wrong idea about this, perhaps with biases from some Christian views.) A husband is obligated to physically care for his wife -- whether she's fertile, pregnant, postmenopausal, or whatever. Whether it's likely to impregnate or not is irrelevant; marital relations are never "wasting seed."

As for philosophically and "what was intended by the Torah" or the like, I can refer you to yoatzot.org and the like; basically, we apply the law as required; it's not our job to extrapolate and cause conflict with marital harmony, which Judaism values highly.

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    To complet @Shalom's point about "wasting of seed", the Beour Halakha (Siman 240, dibur hamath'il ela beona) (hebrewbooks.org/…) quotes the mekubalim which indicate that during the relation nechamot keduchot are created even if the woman is not able to have children.
    – allced
    Jun 15 '12 at 8:58
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    This answer could be greatly improved by citing sources
    – Lee
    Feb 5 '17 at 10:38
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In a discussion I had with Rabbi Shmuel Maybruch, he quoted Rabbi Mordechai Willig as saying that one should not postpone niddah in this way longer than 9 months. Since a 9 month lapse in periods does commonly occur naturally (through pregnancy), that amount of time is acceptable. Longer than that he felt was excessive.

However, R' Maybruch added in his own name that he doesn't understand why any couple, once they are taking birth control, does not take one that decreases menstrual frequency, assuming it works for that couple (i.e. that breakthrough bleeding isn't a problem).

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  • I don't understand this Psak. As quite evident from one who has learnt Tractate Nidda or YD 189:31-34, in their times a woman who conceived still had her period for the forst 3 months and it only subsequently returned 30 months later, 6 months during the rest of pregnancy and a further 24 months after childbirth where here periods stopped. So we see that it can be natural (and that was the way of the world until recently) for a woman to stop getting a period for 2.5 years. Why then is anything more then 9 months excessive?
    – MiZeh
    Jul 27 '21 at 14:55
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    @MiZeh you seem to be claiming facts about length of gestational and lactational amenorrhea. I am not an expert, but even if those facts were true then, they are not true now. Also, your source in YD would mean a woman within 2 years postpartum would not have a regular predictable period at consistent intervals, not that she has no period at all. Aug 24 '21 at 16:54

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