The order after intercourse

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9. After intercourse:

  1. Standing up after intercourse:[1]

A man should not stand on his feet immediately after [ejaculating during] intercourse, as doing so can be dangerous. Rather, one is to wait [and sit or lie down] for a short period of time prior to standing up. 

  1. Position of wife after intercourse:[2]

When intercourse takes place for the sake of pregnancy, it is proper for the wife to lie on her back after the intercourse for two to three minutes, in order to allow the semen to travel and cause her to conceive. She should also avoid sneezing, eating, or turning over during this time.

  1. Washing hands:[3]

One who has marital relations is required to wash their hands [immediately[4]] afterwards.[5] [This is one of the main necessary sanctifications of intercourse and is done in order to banish the evil spirit(s) from them.[6] One who does not do so causes his seed to be damaged.[7] This applies to both the husband and the wife.[8] One must be very careful in this matter.[9] Prior to intercourse, one is to prepare a basin of water near the bed for this purpose.[10] Nonetheless, if they did not do so, they should simply wash their hands by the nearest sink, and there is no need to beware not to walk four Amos beforehand.[11]]

How to wash the hands:[12] Although from the letter of the law washing one time suffices,[13] the custom is to wash one’s hands three times [inconsecutively[14]].

What occurs if one does not wash his hands?[15] If one did not wash his hands after intercourse, then if he is a Torah scholar, he will forget his learning. If he is a layman, he will lose his mind.[16] [Likewise, it can cause his seed to become spiritually damaged.[17]]

  1. Spilling water near the bed:[18]

[After washing hands[19]] after intercourse, [the husband and wife] is to spill some water near the [marital] bed. [Doing so is a Segula for the child who will be born, and protects him from damage.[20] Likewise, it is done in order to banish Lilis from one’s midst and prevent her from nurturing from the drops of semen.[21] Doing so is similar to Mayim Achronim which takes place after eating, and is done in order to feed the Sitra Achara its portion.[22] Accordingly, it is to be spilled even if one’s wife cannot become pregnant from the intimacy.[23]]

How much water to spill:[24] One is only to pour out a small amount.

Where to spill the water:[25] It may be spilled anywhere near the bed. [It is to be spilled specifically near the bed, and hence spilling water down the sink does not suffice.]

  1. Intimacy even after intercourse & when to leave her bed:

Even after intercourse, one is to continue to appease his wife.[26] One is to kiss his wife on the lips even after the intercourse.[27]

Remaining in bed by her side:[28] After the intercourse, one is to remain with his wife in her bed for approximately a half hour and then get up and return to his bed. [One should remain with his wife showing her that he cares for her and is not just having intercourse for his own pleasure. This is an act of piety and is not required from the letter of the law.]

Separate beds: Some say that the beds are to always remain separate, even when one’s wife is pure, due to reasons of Tzenius, as explained in Appendix 6.

  1. Washing off Zera prior to saying blessings or learning Torah:[29]

From the letter of the law, semen does not have the same status as feces at all [and hence does not prohibit one from Davening and learning Torah while it is on the person].[30] Nonetheless, it is proper to be stringent with semen and treat it as the same law as feces regarding Davening and learning Torah, and mentioning Hashem’s name.[31] The following are the full details of this matter:

Semen on the skin: Based on the above conclusion that it is proper to treat semen as the same law as feces, one is not to Daven or learn Torah, if there is [even a tiny drop[32] of] semen on one’s skin, until it is removed.[33] This applies even if it is covered under clothing.[34] If the semen is wet, then it suffices to simply clean it off using a cloth, if it is dry, then it is to be cleaned using water.[35] [Thus, one is also not to say Hamapil until one washes the semen off from his body. Some suggest that one is to wash the entire Ervah area afterwards, due to this reason.[36]]

Semen on the clothing:[37] If the semen is not on the skin but on one’s clothing, then if it is on one of the inner clothing that is covered by exterior clothing, it does not prohibit Davening or Torah learning.[38] [However, if it is on the outer clothing, then it is to be cleaned/washed off just as we rule by feces.[39]] Nonetheless, some Chassidim were stringent to have intercourse without any clothing at all in order to not get semen on their undershirt, even though it is worn under clothing.[40]

Thinking words of Torah:[41] It is permitted for one to think Torah words even prior to washing the semen from one’s body.


Washing one’s Ervah area:[42]

Based on the above, one should wash his Ervah area after intercourse, prior to Davening or saying blessings.


May the wife recite words of Torah, or blessings when she has semen on her or her clothing?[43]

If there is semen on her skin, outside of her vaginal area, or on her outer clothing, then seemingly this follows the same law as a man, that it should be cleaned off prior to Davening, reciting Hashem’s name or words of Torah. If, however, it is found by her vaginal area, or on her undergarments, then it does not need to be cleaned off prior to Davening or learning. Certainly, she is not to purposely clean out the semen from her vagina for this purpose, as will be explained in Halacha J. 


  1. Using the bathroom and saying Asher Yatzar after intercourse:

After intercourse, one is to check if he needs to use the bathroom.[44] Some Poskim[45] rule that one is to intend upon reciting Asher Yatzar [after using the bathroom for the first time], after intercourse, to also include the pleasure of intimacy and thank Hashem for it. One is to try to use the bathroom after intercourse, also due to this reason.

  1. Saying Hamapil or Shema after intercourse:

After intercourse, one is to recite Hamapil prior to going to sleep, after cleaning himself properly. Some write that one is to repeat the first paragraph of Shema prior to saying Hamapil. One is not to abstain from saying it even though he is a Ba’al Keri. If one accidentally said Hamapil before Tashmish, he nevertheless fulfills his obligation and does not need to repeat it afterwards. See Halacha 4D for the full details of this subject!

  1. Nursing after intercourse:[46]

One who has a nursing child is not to nurse the child after marital relations for approximately two Milin, which is close to an hour [i.e. 36-48 minutes[47]]. [Lack of waiting this amount is dangerous for the child.[48]] At the very least [such as in a time of need[49]] one is to wait the length of one mil [i.e. 18-24 minutes, or according to some Poskim[50] even half a Mil, which is 9 or 12 minutes]. If the child is really crying, then some Poskim[51] rule that one is not to adhere to this matter at all, and may nurse the child right away without fear. Other Poskim,[52] however, are stringent even in such a case that one should always wait one Mil. Practically, one should try to calm the child in other ways, and if one is unable to do so, then one may be lenient to nurse him even prior to the passing of the above amount of time.[53]




May one give the child a bottle after intimacy prior to waiting the above amount of time?[54]

The above restriction is only regarding nursing the child and not regarding feeding him with a bottle. Likewise, breast milk which was pumped prior to the intercourse may be bottle fed to the child even immediately after intercourse. However, after intercourse one should wait the above time prior to feeding the child milk that was pumped after the intercourse.



  1. Wife bathing, swimming, and Mikveh on Erev Yom Kippur, within three days of intercourse:[55]

A woman who is within three days of having marital relations, then if she had relations in close proximity to after her Mikveh night or her expected period, then she is not to [take a hot bath, at any time of the year, or] immerse in a Mikveh on Erev Yom Kippur.[56] [See footnote.[57]] If, however, she is within three days of relations that did not take place in proximity of her immersion or her period, then she may [bathe, swim and] immerse on Erev Yom Kippur. Prior to her immersion, she is to thoroughly clean out her vaginal area with hot water in order to expel all the seed from her body.[58] Women who are not within three days of marital relations are not required to clean themselves from possible semen prior to the immersion. [In all cases she may take a shower and go swimming in cold or warm water.[59]]


[1] Admur C.M. Shemiras Haguf V’Nefesh 5, “One who ate or drank or slept or had marital relations or let blood, after doing any of these, is not to stand up immediately but rather is to wait a little prior to standing.”; Shabbos 129b; Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya Gimel 2; Kaf Hachaim Y.D. 116:89; See Mayim Chaim 2 O.C. 3; Sheyikadesh Atzmo [Nachmonson-2015] p.  549

[2] Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya 2 8; Sefer Zechira Inyanei Zivug; Amudei Sheish Kesubos 39a; Minchas Yitzchak 4:94-11; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 60:2 footnote 2

[3] Admur Kama 4:18 and Siddur; Beis Yosef 4 in name of Mahari; Reishis Chochmah Sha’ar Hakedusha 16:33; Siddur Arizal of Rav Shabsi in name of Ramak; Sh’lah Sha’ar Ha’osiyos Kuf p. 103b; Olas Tamid 240:8; Elya Raba 240:16; Or Tzadikim 27:13; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 1:16; M”B 240:54; Yesod Veshoresh Ha’avoda 8:6; Kaf Hachaim 240:50 in name of Damesek Eliezer p. 326 and Kaf Hachaim 240:57; Sheyikadesh Atzmo [Nachmonson-2015] p.  398

[4] Magen Avraham 4:18; Seder Hayom Kavanas Neilas Yadayim; Elya Raba 4:12; Peri Megadim 4:18; Kaf Hachaim 4:63; M”B 4:38; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 39:2 [that this applies even if he remains touching his wife afterwards for the half-hour period]; Omitted by Admur. Vetzaruch Iyun.

The reason: In order to immediately remove the spirit of impurity from one’s hands and not delay it. [Poskim ibid]

[5] The Reason: The impure spirit resides on the hands upon having marital relations. This applies according to all. [Ketzos Hashulchan 2:11]

Likewise, it is done in order to banish Lilis from one’s midst. [Sefer Zechira]

[6] Reishis Chochmah Sha’ar Hakedusha 16:33

[7] Kaf Hachaim 240:50 in name of Damesek Eliezer

[8] Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16

[9] Siddur Arizal of Rav Shabsi

[10] Sh’lah Sha’ar Ha’osiyos Kuf p. 103b

[11] Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16; Kaf Hachaim 4:63; Ashel Avraham Butchach; Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:9

[12] Elya Raba 4:12; Machatzis Hashekel 4:17; Soles Belula 4:14; Machazik Bracha 4:6 in name of Makor Chaim; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 1:16; Kaf Hachaim 4:61; Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 29 regarding Levaya; Olas Tamid; Sh’lah Sha’ar Ha’osiyos 9; Lev Chaim 1:63; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 7:26; Ruach Chaim 4:3; Chesed Le’alafim brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:61; M”B 4:39; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30

Background: Kama 4:18; M”A 4:17; Seder Hayom; K’neses Hagedola all rule that one is not required to wash three times. Nevertheless, the custom today has become to follow the opinions brought above.

[13] Admur Kama 4:18, “One does not need to pour the water on the hands three times”; M”A 4:17; Seder Hayom; K’neses Hagedola

[14] See Ketzos Hashulchan 2 footnote 29; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 16; Kaf Hachaim 4:62; Halichos Shlomo 20 footnote 86;

Other Opinions: Shulchan Hatahor 6 writes it suffices to pour three times consecutively on each hand. See Piskeiy Teshuvos 4 footnote 165

[15] Admur Kama 4:18; Michaber 4:18; See Chupas Eliyahu Sha’ar 8; Aron Eidus Parshas Metzora; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30 footnote 223; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 39:6

[16] This means to say that he will come to sin, as one does not sin unless a spirit of insanity enters him. [Elya Raba 4:13; Kaf Hachaim 4:89]

[17] Elya Raba 240:15

[18] Admur ibid in Siddur; Zohar Vayikra 3:19; Mishnas Chassidim Miseches Shechiva 11:11; Siddur Arizal Reb Shabsi; Or Tzadikim 27:16; Morah Ba’etzba 2:55; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] 4:1; Pischeiy Olam 240:41; Kaf Hachaim 240:67; Darkei Chaim Vehslaom 346; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 39:7

[19] Implication of Admur ibid in Siddur; Kaf Hachaim [Falagi] ibid

[20] Or Tzadikim ibid; Siddur Arizal ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid; See Sheyikadesh Atzmo 39 footnote 12

[21] Mishnas Chasisidm ibid; Shulchan Hatahor 240:7

[22] Matok Udevash on Zohar ibid

[23] Setimas Admur and Poskim ibid; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 39:8

[24] Siddur Arizal ibid; Or Tzadikim ibid

[25] Implication of Admur ibid, Or Tzadikim ibid, Kaf Hachaim ibid that it is spilled one-time anywhere near the bed. However, see Mishnas Chassidim ibid who implies that it is to be spilled around the entire bed.

[26] See Eiruvin 100b and Rashi and Rabbeinu Chananel ibid; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 42:3

[27] Sefer Avnei Zichron of Chozeh Milublin 12

[28] Or Tzadikim 27:3; Kaf Hachaim 240:63; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30; See Beir Heiytiv 238 in name of Arizal

[29] See Admur 76:4; 40:9-10; 613:19; Michaber and Rama 40:7; 76:4; 613:11; M”A 40:5; 76:7; Sefer Chassidim 157; Olas Tamid 240:8; M”B 240:54; Kaf Hachaim 240:50 and 94; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 63:7

[30] Admur ibid; M”A 76:7 based on Shabbos 114a; Hagahos Maimanis Hilchos Shevisas Assur 3:6; Beis Yosef and Darkei Moshe 613

Other opinions: It is implied from other sources that semen is considered like feces from the letter of the law and it is hence forbidden to mention Hashem’s name while it is on the person. [Sefer Chassidim 157; Olas Tamid 240:8; M”B 250:54 and Kaf Hachaim 240:50 and 94 in name of Sefer Chassidim that it is forbidden to mention Hashem’s name while there is semen on the body; Implication of Rama 76:4; See sources ibid in which this matter is not made clear, that it is a mere stringency.]

[31] Admur ibid, “It is proper to be stringent”; Implication of Admur 40:9-10 and 613:19; Rama 76:4, “It has the same law as feces”; Implication of Michaber 40:7 and 613:11; Maharil Yom Kippur; Implication of Rambam Shevisas Assur 3:3; Elya Raba 240:15; Sefer Chassidim 157; Olas Tamid 240:8; M”B 240:54; Kaf Hachaim 240:50 and 94 in name of Sefer Chassidim that one must do so.

[32] Sefer Chassidim 157; Olas Tamid 240:8; Kaf Hachaim 240:94

[33] All Poskim ibid

[34] Admur ibid brings a dispute in this matter regarding feces and concludes to be stringent and he then continues and writes that it is proper to be stringent even regarding semen, even if it is covered by clothing.

[35] Admur 76:4 and 613:9; Michaber 613:11; Rambam ibid

[36] Elya Raba ibid; Kaf Hachaim Falagi 4:1; Kaf Hachaim 240:50

[37] Admur ibid;

[38] Admur 76:2 regarding feces and 76:4 that if so applies even by feces then certainly by semen which is not like feces from the letter of the law; M”A 76:7

[39] Implication of Admur 76:2 and 4 and 98:4 in parentheses that only when the dirty clothing is itself under clothing is it allowed; Admur 77:2 and 78:3 regarding urine and certainly regarding feces.

[40] Admur 76:4; Sefer Chassidim 5090; Sefer Hayirah

[41] Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:30

[42] Or Tzadikim 1:14; Sefer Chassidim 157; Olas Tamid 240:8; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 63:14

[43] See Rambam Tefila 4:6, “she should clean herself, wash her hands and Daven; Sefer Kedoshim Tihiyu p. 144; Regarding women not being included in even the original decree of Tevilas Ezra – See Kinyan Torah 1:16; Mishneh Halachos 5:23

[44] Tur 240:15 and E.H. 25:2

[45] Halachos Ketanos 1:137; Yad Aaron on Tur 240; Chasam Sofer Niddah 51b; Kaf Hachaim 240:28

[46] M”A 240:29; Bedek Habayis; Zohar Parshas Vayikra p. 119a; Kav Hayashar 17:5; Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya Beis 12 [rules that even initially one only needs to wait a Mil]; Kitzur SHU”A 150:16; M”B 240:54; See Yad Ephraim ibid; Kaf Hachaim 240:91; Sheyikadehs Atzmo 25:2

[47] How much is a Mil? Some Poskim rule that a Mil is 18 minutes [1st opinion in Admur 459:10; Michaber ibid and in Yoreh Deah 69:6; Rama 261:1; Maryu 193; Terumos Hadeshen 123], and hence the total time to wait prior to nursing is 36 minutes [See Misgeres Hashulchan 150:16] Other Poskim rule that a Mil is 24 minutes [2nd opinion in Admur 459:10; Rambam in Pirush Hamishnayos Pesachim 3:2], and hence the total time to wait prior to nursing is 48 minutes [See Shulchan Hatahor 241:5; Kitzur SHU”A ibid; See Taharas Yisrael 240:20; Misgeres Hashulchan 150:16 concludes to wait 9 and at best 112 minutes] Practically, Admur mainly rules like the opinion of 24 minutes. [Admur ibid; See Ketzos Hashulchan 3 Seder Hachnasas Shabbos 5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:29]

[48] Or Yakar Vayikra 16; Toras Nassan Ramak p. 149; Shulchan Hatahor 241:5 that it can lead to the Nichfeh illness.

[49] Taharas Yisrael 240:88

[50] Possible understanding of Yad Efraim on M”A ibid; Taharas Yisrael 240:88; See however Sheyikadesh Atzmo 25:3 footnote 2

[51] M”A ibid according to some prints; Siddur Ya’avetz Leil Shabbos 3:12; Divrei Yatziv 1:104-2

Other opinions in M”A ibid: Some have a different Girsa in the M”A ibid which makes it read that if the child is crying one may be lenient like the opinion of one Mil, thus removing the source from the M”A above which claims that one may be completely lenient. [Girsa of Machon Yerushlayim; See Sheyikadesh Atzmo 25:3 footnote 2 that so is implied from wording of the Zohar.]

[52] M”A ibid according to some prints [see previous footnote]; Or Tzadikim 27:18; Elya Raba 240:24; Olas Tamid 240:7; Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 7 Chulya Beis 12                                                                                       

[53] Siddur Ya’avetz ibid that on this the verse states, “And the child [i.e. Moshe] cried and she had mercy on him”

[54] Shevet Hakehasi 5:48; Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:29; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 25:3

[55] Admur 606:11; M”A 606:8; Darkei Moshe 606:3; Maharil Erev Yom Kippur p. 316; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 607:9 for other opinions in this regard.

[56] The reason: As these are times when she can become pregnant and the water can destroy the semen, and prevent the pregnancy. The explanation is as follows: A woman who is within three days of marital relations must wash her vaginal area prior to Mikveh using hot water in order to remove any semen, as if the semen is expelled within three days of relations, she returns to become ritually impure. However, when a woman is within three days of relations that is near her time of fertility, she cannot wash herself out as it will destroy the semen. Therefore, there is no need at all for her to immerse, as she may in any event return to become impure on Yom Kippur. [Admur ibid] The implication from Admur ibid is that only hot water, which a woman within three days of marital relations must wash her inner parts with, is what is forbidden during times auspicious for pregnancy. However, the actual immersion in cold water does not pose an issue.

[57] The above ruling in Admur 606:11 is recorded in continuation of the opinion which rules that the entire purpose of the immersion on Erev Yom Kippur is for Keri purposes. Vetzaruch Iyun if according to the second opinion [brought in Admur 606:12] who rule the immersion is for Teshuvah purposes, even these women are to immerse, and are thus arguing on this point as well. On the other hand, perhaps the second opinion is only arguing on the amount of times one is to immerse, and the custom for even non-married women to go. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[58] As otherwise their entire immersion may be useless, as if they expel seed within three days, they return to become ritually impure. [Admur ibid]

[59] Implication of Admur ibid

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