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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais

IUI procedures

26 July, 2009


My husband and I are getting ready for IUI – first of all, I have heard about a special condom for collection, but not sure if my doctor will allow it– second, my doctor wants me to do it before I go to the mikvah if I am ovulating before then. And third, I've heard something about watching over the sperm while it's being washed to make sure it's my husband's – are all of these things preferable but not necessarily assur? I am under a lot of pressure with this process and don't know if I can do all of these extra "steps".


Collecting sperm during relations with a special condom is the halachically preferable method of collection because male masturbation is generally prohibited.  Please discuss this method of sperm collection with your physician. Most fertility specialists are aware of this consideration and have access to such special semen collection devices. There is some halachic preference for using a condom with a pinpoint hole. However, if your physician thinks the possible exposure to bacteria from this minute hole will decrease the chances of successful IUI in your case, collection can be done using a condom without a hole.

There is a debate among halachic authorities about performing IUI before a woman has immersed to exit the niddah status.  Some authorities permit it.  Others require an intermediate tevilah before the IUI procedure and a proper tevilah afterwards. Please discuss this issue with your rabbi. If you do not have a rabbi to whom you can address these questions, please get back to us for a specific halachic ruling.

Supervision of the sperm until it is inserted, to ensure it does not get mixed up or exchanged with another man's, is halachically desirable to avoid questions regarding your child's lineage.  Some halachic authorities permit IUI to proceed without outside supervision, so long as the physician is reputable and at least one other health professional is present to ensure there is no mix up.

As you note, there are a lot of steps involved.  We think you would be best off contacting a halachic authority experienced in this area to help guide you through this process.  This could be a local rav, a rav associated with halachic supervision of assisted reproduction (click here for a list of clinics where supervision is available), or Machon Puah, an institute devoted to providing guidance, support, and halachic supervision for observant couples engaged in infertility diagnosis and treatment.

We hope your procedure is smooth and successful.  Please get back to us if we can be of further assistance.

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