The Jewish Faith and IVF
This article has been contributed to fertility clinic IVF London, by Fertility Counsellor, Nomy Cohen
Infertility can be a very difficult and painful journey for any couple irrespective of their culture or ethnicity. Whatever the circumstances, fertility problem (if any) or outcome of treatment, the experience can have a huge impact on individuals and their relationships across the range of social and cultural systems. In this article we talk about the specificities of jewish faith and IVF.
Fertility problems can evoke a whole spectrum of emotions and can challenge an individuals’ beliefs about themselves and the world around them. Coming from a Jewish and religious background myself, and having worked as a fertility coach and counsellor for 18 years, I am very aware that Jewish women and couples can sometimes experience different challenges arising out of their culture and religious beliefs.
IVI London is a new clinic that has recently opened up in Elstree. The director and embryologist, Alpesh Doshi, has previously worked for many years in CRGH where he became very aware of, and familiar with the needs of the Jewish Community. One of his goals in setting up this clinic was to create somewhere where the staff are familiar with and sensitive to the rituals and laws of Judaism. Many Jewish people like to consult with a Rabbi during treatment to get guidance about what they can do and how they are permitted to do it. This is fully understood by the clinic and will be respected as long as it is entirely safe for the patient.
Examples of culturally sensitive issues
- If a woman feels more comfortable being seen by a female consultant, she only needs to ask and that can be arranged for her.
- One of the most important laws for a Jewish couple is “Family Purity”. This involves going to the Mikve (ritual bath) at a certain time in the monthly cycle. This can sometimes cause fertility issues in itself, and when having treatment, needs to be taken into account. This clinic understands the importance of the Mikve and will enable the couple to work within that ritual.
- They understand the importance of the Sabbath and will ensure that if some part of the treatment has to be done on the Sabbath, they will do it in a way that doesn’t involve the couple breaking any laws.
- If a couple would like to use Shmira (Rabbinical Witnessing), which is aimed at guaranteeing the integrity of the process, that can be arranged.
By being aware of, and sensitive to the needs of the Jewish Community, this clinic endeavours to make each couples treatment experience as smooth as is possible.
In the 18 years that I have been working in this area, I have worked with people from all different cultures, although much of my work has been within the community. I have supported individuals and couples all the way through their journey and sometimes even after it. If anyone has any questions,on the issues discussed or on any related areas, I can be contacted by email at [email protected]