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

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Testing husband first

1 August, 2004

Question:

I have a fertility question. I am 27 and my husband is 29. We have been trying to conceive our first child for 9 cycles now. My husband had surgery to the genital area as a young boy, and this leads us to believe that it could have caused him to have fertility problems. I know the man should be tested later when the woman’s fertility has already been tested, but since it seems more likely that it is his previous health issues that may be causing this delay, when and how should we go about testing his fertility? Do I have to submit myself to all manner of tests before we get to him, or can we assume he might have a problem and “skip ahead” to testing him?

We are considering asking for help if after a year of trying we are still unsuccessful, but I wanted to have an idea of the correct thing to do.

Thank you very much!


Answer:

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

While past halachic consensus was to hold off on semen analysis until after women were tested, that has begun to shift. Our site’s rabbinic supervisor, Rav Yehuda Henkin, permits a husband to have semen analysis at the same time as his wife’s testing.

In your case, given that you have specific concerns about your husband’s fertility, it is reasonable for both of you to be tested already.
For more information, please see our site’s article on fertility evaluation. You may also find it helpful to arrange a free consultation with a Yoetzet Halacha Fertility Counselor, details here.

This response was updated on 4 June, 2020.


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