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BISMILLAH

This paper briefly deals with the topic of Assited Reproductive Technologies (ART) called IUI, IVF & ICSI, Surrogacy & others, commonly known as “Test Tube Baby”.

Today, many a men and women delay marriage and reproduction to gain higher education & financial security or due to lack of desirable marriage proposals. Whereas, medically it’s an established fact that fertility reduces with age. Women face more issues with reproduction, especially after the age of 35.

Failing to reproduce in first two to three years of marriage can become stressful for the couple. When conventional medical intervention does not help, doctors advice couples to go for ART i.e. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

In IUI, the sperm is chemically processed & injected with the help of a thin pipe into the uterus. It is then hoped that fertilization would take place and pregnancy may be assisted later with hormonal medicines and bed rest. The following video demonstrates the process:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdIiLLF0vw

If IUI fails, then the doctors may advice the couple to go for IVF or ICSI et al.

In IVF, with the help of hormonal medicines many eggs are extracted from ovaries and are then mixed with sperms in the lab. If fertilization doesn’t take place, then a sperm is injected into each of the eggs to achieve fertilization. This is called ICSI.

In any case, if fertilization takes place, then one or more fertilized eggs are transferred into the uterus. Pregnancy results, if the fertilized egg succeeds in implanting itself in the uterus. Pregnancy may be assisted later with hormonal medicines and bed rest. The following video demonstrates the process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeigYib39Rs

In surrogacy, the fertilized egg from IVF or ICSI is transferred into the uterus of a different woman, who agrees to become pregnant on behalf of the couple.

Further, during natural reproduction, millions of sperm enter uterus and the best sperm enters the egg, whereas in ICSI the lab operator may select the best-appearing sperm to be injected into the egg. There is no guarantee that the best sperm would get selected.

In India, the average cost of one IVF cycle goes well above one lakh rupees. And ICSI requires additional costs. For women of all ages, the odds of a live birth are between 34 and 42 percent over three cycles. The link below is informative.

https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-are-the-chances-for-ivf-success-1960213

A typical graph showing success rate by age of IVF.

A typical graph showing success rate by age of IVF. Source:

Source: https://www.invitra.com/en/in-vitro-fertilization-ivf/ivf-success-rates-by-age/

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) involves a significant physical, financial, and emotional commitment on the part of a couple. Psychological stress and emotional problems are common, especially if in vitro fertilization (IVF) is unsuccessful.

Even though children born out of IVF or ICSI, are considered healthy, there is a concern that the risk of birth defects and other health conditions is higher compared to babies born normally.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2424218/

The first people born out of IVF or ICSI are in their 30’s now. Hence, there is not enough data or research available to assess the long term health effects of ART procedures.

The use IVF or ICSI, is growing fast as fertility is reducing in both males and females. It’s an unhealthy trend. For those who are concerned about having a family of their own, marrying at the correct age and not delaying pregnancies is the only optimum solution to avoid a series of problems which may result otherwise.

Islamic Perspective:

With regard to the shar’i ruling: it should be disallowed, in order to be on the safe side. This is the view of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al- Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him).

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about this matter. Amongst many other things he said:

The matter is not to be taken lightly, because if any deceit takes place, it means that lineages will be mixed, and there will be chaos, which is something that sharee’ah has forbidden. Hence the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “One should not have intercourse with a pregnant woman until she gives birth.” I will not issue fatwas to this effect, unless a specific case is referred to me and I know the man, the woman and the doctor.

The complete discussion is available in the following links:

https://islamqa.info/en/answers/98604/ruling-on-in-vitro-fertilization-ivf

https://islamqa.info/en/answers/1992/ruling-on-test-tube-babies

Further, In Islam surrogacy is not allowed.