Reproductive Medicine for Jews

Reproductive Medicine for Jews

The Bible (Torah) teaches us that God created the world in 6 days. The last day He created man and woman and gave them a commandment: grow and multiply (Genesis 1:28) that must be obeyed above personal or economic considerations. Every aspect of Orthodox Jewish life is strictly regulated by a collection of rules and commandments. (Halacha).

With reference to Reproductive Medicine:

  1. Masturbation is considered a sin, therefore the evaluation of the seminal quality can be carried out in a Postcoital Test by observing in the microscope the presence of spermatozoids hours after the sexual relation.  Many rabbis allow also the study of semen based on sexual intercourse with a perforated condom without spermicide, which would allow a pregnancy avoiding the coitus interruptus.
  2. Time of impurity. Theoretically, sexual intercourse is allowed from the 8th day of the menstrual cycle.  However, the Talmud delays it until 7 days after the menstrual flow stops completely. On the evening of the 7th day, the woman must perform the ritual bath of purification (‘Mikveh’), which can lead to delaying sexual intercourse beyond the time of ovulation and in the case of IVF. (Reichman et al., 2013).
  3. Sperm freezing is allowed, as well as Intra-Ovocyte Sperm Injection (ICSI).
  4. Genetic study of the embryo to avoid the transmission of hereditary diseases is allowed and widely accepted given the higher prevalence of certain genetic diseases among believers.
  5. With respect to oocyte donation, it should be kept in mind that the child of a Jewish woman is Jewish, which implies that the origin of the oocyte is not a factor to be taken into account and is therefore permitted.
  6. The laboratory processes will not be carried out on Saturdays or bank holidays.

“Halacha” Rating

The majority of the ‘Halacha’ authorities bless and support the development of Assisted Reproduction Techniques to fulfil the Genesis commandment and even more, they encourage couples to resort to them and a specialized rabbinate has even been created, which also offers the possibility of personal supervision of all laboratory procedures, by a specially trained Orthodox woman.

Instituto Bernabeu respects all the previous rules and commandments and according to them makes available to Jewish couples diagnostic tests, treatments and Assisted Reproduction Techniques.

Dr Rafael Bernabeu, Medical Director at Instituto Bernabeu.

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