Single Women & Sexual Health
I know you’re here. The orthodox Jewish girls who aren’t married but feel like many of my birth control or sexual health posts apply to you. The ones who feel like they can’t ask anyone about these things, because they aren’t “supposed” to care or need to know yet.
As I write this, I want to be clear that I am not judging, condoning, or condemning any choices.
My concern is that you’re living the safest life you can within your choices.
One, I’m willing to bet that in our community, if you are sexually active outside of marriage, getting pregnant would be pretty devastating for you. This is when speaking to your doctor about birth control is crucial. If you don’t feel like discussing your reasons for needing it, even with a medical professional, you can give another valid reason, like wanting a more comfortable or predictable period. Contraception just happens to be the side effect.
Two, STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are also not great. Many are treatable. Some are not. Though condom use is generally not halachically permissible, the risk of contracting an infection that could affect either future fertility or overall health may be something to think about in that context. And get screened on a regular basis. These tests can be done via cervical swabs, urine test or blood tests.
I hope it’s not off-putting, but when I meet with a kallah, after getting to know them a bit (meaning, it’s not my first question!) I’ll ask if they’ve ever been sexually active. Most are pretty taken aback by the question. A few say yes and seem pretty relieved I asked. There’s no huge shock or surprise reaction from me. So much of the practice of medicine is about risk reduction. Same applies here.
Though I can’t do STI testing via telemedicine right now, if this post is applicable to you, I’ll happily see you to discuss birth control options.