Woman visiting a male doctor/Gynecologist

Woman visiting a male doctor/Gynecologist:[1]

It is permitted for a woman to see a male doctor, even if the Doctor will need to touch her, such as to check her pulse and the like.[2] This applies even if the woman is married, and even if there are other gentile [or female[3]] Doctors available.[4] This applies even if the doctor will need to examine intimate areas such as is done by a gynecological exam.[5] [Nonetheless, if a female doctor of equal expertise is available, it is better for a woman to visit a female doctor.[6] This especially applies by a gynecologist, that a female gynecologist should always be preferred over a male, if available, unless there is a medical issue involved in which the male gynecologist has greater expertise.[7]]

Yichud: When one visits a male doctor, care must be taken not to transgress the laws of Yichud during the visitations. This matter will be discussed in a further Halacha!

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[1] See Darkei Teshuvah 157/8; Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 195/11; Shevet Halevi 3/186; 4/167; Shiureiy Shevet Halevi 195/274; Minchas Yitzchak 7/73; Igros Moshe E.H. 2/14; Taharah Kehalacha 7/1; Halichos Bas Yisrael 7/17; Ohel Yaakov p. 286

Regarding a caretaker/nurse of opposite gender [not a doctor]: See Michaber Y.D. 335/10 and Poskim there!

[2] Shach 195/20 that so is the custom; Sidrei Taharah 195/24; Kreisiy Upleisi 195; Piskeiy Dinim 195/17; Darkei Teshuvah ibid that so is evident from all Poskim, Rishonim and Achronim, who deal with the question of a male doctor checking a woman; Noda Beyehuda Kama Y.D. 66; Tinyana 122; Binyan Tziyon 1/75; All Poskim ibid; Igros Kodesh 14/100 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 5/248] “I never heard that people were careful in this matter”

The reason: As the prohibition of Giluiy Arayos only applies when done out of lust and not when done with other intents in mind, such as for medical purposes. [Shach 157/10 and 195/20]

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule even unaffectionate touch with an Erva is Biblically forbidden. [Beis Shmuel E.H. 20/1 that so holds Ramban to be the opinion of Rambam; Beis Yosef 195 in opinion of Rambam that even in a case of Sakana one may not touch even unaffectionate] Other Poskim rule unaffectionate touch with an Erva is Rabbinically forbidden. [Beis Shmuel E.H. 20/1 and Beis Yosef Y.D. 195 in opinion of Ramban; See Ezer Mikodesh 20/1] Some Poskim however rule that even according to the stringent opinions, unaffectionate touch is only forbidden with one’s wife who is a Nida while with other woman it is completely permitted [in a case of need]. [Toras Hashelamim 195/15; Igros Moshe E.H. 2/14]

[3] So is evident from Shach ibid

[4] Shach ibid

[5] Darkei Teshuvah ibid that so is evident from all Poskim, Rishonim and Achronim, who deal with the question of a male doctor checking a woman’s vaginal area to determine the source of bleeding; Noda Beyehuda Kama Y.D. 66; Binyan Tziyon 1/75; Letter of Rebbe in Shulchan Menachem 5/248; See however Michaber Y.D. 335/10 and Shach 335/9 that a man may not be a caretaker for a woman if he will see her intimate areas. Perhaps however there is a difference between a caretaker and a doctor, as by a caretaker the visitations are frequent as opposed to a doctor.

[6] Letter of Rebbe in Shulchan Menachem 5/248; Igros Kodesh 14/100; Minchas Yitzchak 7/73; Shevet Halevi 4/167; Shiureiy Shevet Halevi ibid; Halichos Bas Yisrael 7/17

The reason: Besides for the reasons of Tzenius, a woman also naturally feels more comfortable with a female doctor. [Rebbe ibid]

[7] Poskim ibid

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