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

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Collecting sperm for IUI

12 December, 2006

Question:

Next week b"h my husband and I will undergo our first intrauterine insemination (IUI).

We would like to know what is the optimal method of collecting the sperm for the procedure.

(We assume we do not need to use a special condom similar to those used when doing a sperm count since in the case of an IUI the sperm is being inserted into the woman.)

Thank you for your help. Your site and work are excellent!


Answer:

There are two issues involved in the collection of sperm. One is hotza'at zera levatalah which, as you point out, is less of an issue in this case as the sperm are going to be used for insemination. The second is the prohibition against masturbation. For the second reason, the halachic preference is for the sperm to be collected during marital relations. A sterile collection condom is thus the best option. Some authorities prefer that it have a small hole that would theoretically allow some semen to escape. Some physicians, however, are concerned that bacteria might enter. There are additional options if necessary but the condom is the first choice.

Ask your doctor about the availability of such a condom. If your doctor has an objection, please get back to us with his reasoning so we can further advise.

Behatzlachah!


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