Reporting the cases of two Jewish women in whom the use of oral estrogen to delay ovulation ended years of infertility.
Oral estrogens can be used effectively to delay ovulation in women who are unable to have intercourse at their most fertile time, say US physicians.
Such postponement of ovulation is particularly important for certain Orthodox Jews, who are prohibited from having sex from the start of menstruation until 7 days after the end of menses, when they undergo ritual cleansing, explains the team, led by Michael Dahan from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
In the current report, they describe the cases of two orthodox Jewish women, of 27 and 33 years of age, in whom this ritual had led to 3 years and 1.5 years of infertility, respectively. Both had a 7-day menses, allowing them to restart sexual intercourse on day 14, which was consistently after the time of their luteinizing hormone surge, on days 11 and 10.
Each patient was prescribed 3 mg oral ethinyl estradiol twice daily, beginning on the first day of full menstrual flow, to delay ovulation. They conceived during the first and fourth treated cycles, respectively.
"We believe that 3 mg ethinyl estradiol, taken orally twice daily for 10 days and started on the first or second day of full menstrual flow, is an easy and effective mechanism for delaying ovulation," the physicians conclude.