This question is about Ovum Freezing.
Is ovum freezing allowed to preserve fertility for later on ie. a single women is getting older, ie late 30's and not yet married but hopes to get married and is worried about fertility?
If this is allowed, would it be allowed in the following case:
a woman is her mid/late 30's is in a "bad marriage" without children. At this time she does not know what to do with her marriage but wont have children at this time. Can she do egg retrieval and preservation in the hope that her marriage improves but she may have decreased fertility at that later time OR maybe she will end this marriage and hopefully get re-married and want to have children then and will have decreased fertility at that time due to her age. (to re-phrase my question, can she freeze eggs now while married to one man and then use them in a second marriage to a different man)
Thank you very much
There are a number of issues with ovum freezing:
1. The general risk of an invasive medical procedure. This is dependent on the risk factors and potential benefits, and would seem permissible in these circumstances.
2. The standard technique of egg removal involves hormone treatments to release the eggs and collecting them with the aid of a needle inserted through the vagina.This technique is permissible, and even recommended, under the circumstances described.
3. There is a newer technique that involves freezing ovarian tissue. This introduces the potential issue of sirus, the prohibition of maiming the reproductive organs. However, it is possible that removal of a small amount of ovarian tissue, which leaves the overy functional, is not included in the prohibition. (See, Hebrew article in Assia 81-82, pp. 62-63, and "The Halakhic Chapter of Ovarian Transplantation," Dr. Edward Reichman, Tradition 33, 1, (1998), 31-70.) This technique should be utilized only if there is medical need or a realistic likelihood of using the tissue for fertility purposes. Also See Hebrew article in Assia 81-82, pp.62-63: https://www.medethics.org.il/articles/ASSIA/ASSIA81-82/ASSIA81-82.04.asp#
4. For practical guidance on the issue, including recommended institution, entailed cost, and halachic supervision, it is worthwhile to contact Rabbi Elchanan Louis at Machon Puah: 02-651-5050.
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