Infertility and Assisted Reproduction

Dealing with infertility is not easy, especially in Israel where giving birth is seen as a natural part of being a woman. The chapter focuses on infertility, the possible reasons for it, the physical, emotional and social implications, the possible treatments and their consequences. The chapter opens by defining fertility and how our way of life effects fertility of women and men. It also looks at the cultural standpoint of fertility in Israel. The chapter delves into definitions of infertility, the prevalence of the phenomena and the different explanations for infertility in men, women, the combination of reasons for infertility as well as cases which appear to have no medical explanation.
The main aim of the chapter is to raise awareness of the treatments available in Israel. It begins with the diagnostic attributes and provides detailed explanations of the various treatments available, the medical implications and the possible complications, the ethical aspects of assisted reproduction and the possible emotional, partnership related and sexual aspect of it. The chapter also presents the social and legal aspects of assisted reproduction, such as: the law in Israel, the rights of women and men during the treatment, Halachic viewpoints, as well as assisted reproduction for different kinds of families – single parents and same sex partners and the Arab population. It provides up to date information of service centers – Kupot Cholim (HMOs), IVF units, sperm banks, charities and other sources of information, as well as discussing issues such as holistic medicine, surrogacy and adoption.