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

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Insemination on Yom Tov

10 October, 2004


My questions are regarding intrauterine insemination, which might take place during the holidays-depending on the dr.'s decision as to when to do it, which would depend on my hormone levels/sonogram findings of mature follicles. After using Follistim injections, once appropriate, I would be told to use an ovidrel injection. The next day I would have 2 subsequent intrauterine inseminations done (one day after the next) My questions are:
1) Am I/my husband allowed to give me an injection on shabbos/yom tov, given that I wont have anyone else to give it to me?
2) Am I/my husband allowed to travel on shabbos/yom tov to the fertility center to have the sperm washing & Intrauterine inseminations done, if so what are the rules regarding this, if not what are my options – would I have to push off having my inseminations done – which would cause alot of distress & financial loss for my husband & I? I don't have anywhere to stay thats next to the center & it's several miles away from my home.
thank you so very much!


As distressing as infertility is, it is not considered pikuach nefesh (a life threatening situation in which Shabbat or Yom Tov restrictions would not apply). Therefore, one cannot permit activities prohibited by Torah law in order to facilitate conception.

There can be some leniency with regard to rabbinic prohibitions due to the suffering involved. Determining what can and what cannot be permitted requires detailed information.  Please consult your local rabbi, or, if you do not have one, contact our hotline to discuss the specifics.

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