Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Artificial insemination

23 February, 2005

Question:

My husband and I have been trying to conceive a child for over one year now. We started practicing the laws of family purity 3 months ago. Prior to practicing family purity, we underwent tests suggested by a doctor, to determine if there were any infertility problems. All the tests came out fine; however, after 18 months we have been unable to conceive.

An infertility specialist diagnosed unexplained infertility, and suggested artificial insemination. I am very depressed and anxious to learn what Jewish Law says about artificial insemination.

I am 33 years old, with a regular cycle, and ovulating normally. I'm growing anxious about not being able to conceive, and this is creating lots of marriage issues.

Can someone provide the halachic position on artificial insemination?


Answer:

Artificial insemination (both vaginal and intrauterine) is permitted with the husband's sperm.  Not only is it permitted, but, since the commandment of procreating is highly valued, it may be encouraged.  Whether to permit this procedure when the wife is niddah is a matter of rabbinic debate.

Artificial insemination by a donor is a matter of serious halachic debate.  Many authorities prohibit this practice. As the commandment be fruitful and multiply applies only to the husband, use of donor sperm does not fulfill this commandment and thus there is little  justification for this intervention. Those who permit it prefer a non Jewish donor to prevent the possibility of future marriage between siblings.

It is important to have Halachic guidance throughout the process.  Such guidance is provided by Machon Puah.

We wish you much success, and hope to hear good news. If you have specific questions about hilchot niddah, please feel free to ask through our website.


This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.


Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.