Egg freezing is permissible in Islam: Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, the Egyptian state-run Islamic institution assigned to issuing religious edicts, said on Wednesday that egg freezing is permissible in Islam.

Dar Al-Ifta’s announcement came as wide controversy was raised after an Egyptian woman named Reem Mehanna posted a video on social media over the weekend in which she said that she underwent the procedure, becoming the first Egyptian female to do so.

“The process of freezing eggs is permissible, and there is no Islamic prohibition of it if it is carried out under four conditions. Egg freezing is a new scientific development in the field of artificial insemination. It allows the couple to repeat the fertilization process when needed, without re-stimulating the ovary to produce other eggs,” Dar al-Ifta said in a Facebook statement.

The statement explained the four Sharia controls necessary for the egg freezing procedure, which are:

1) Eggs must be fertilized by the sperms of the husband while the couple is married, and not after the marriage is over, such as in cases of divorce, or death.

2) Fertilized eggs must be kept completely safe and under strict control, preventing intentional or inadvertent mixing with other preserved eggs.

3) A fertilized egg must not be placed inside the womb of a woman who did not originally produce the egg, and eggs may not be donated.

4) Egg freezing must not pose negative side effects on the fetus due to the impact of the various factors that they may be exposed to during the process, such as those that could induce birth defects or mental retardation later.

Egg freezing is a medical procedure that preserves a woman’s eggs outside of her body, allowing her to postpone fertilization and pregnancy to a later date when the eggs may be re-inserted into the body.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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