Egypt's Dar El-Ifta says freezing women's eggs permissible if certain conditions are met

Nada Baher, Fatma Naser, Wednesday 4 Sep 2019

Dar El-Iftaa
Dar El-Iftaa

Egypt's Dar El-Iftaa, the country's Islamic institution responsible for issuing religious edicts, released a statement on Wednesday saying that the freezing of women's eggs is permissible under certain conditions.

The edict was issued after Reem Mahana, a 30-year-old Egyptian poet, made a controversial video on her Facebook account saying that she had undergone the egg freezing (oocyte cryopreservation) procedure to give herself a chance of becoming a mother when the right time, and man, comes. The video sparked a heated discussion on social media.

Dar El-Iftaa said in its statement that the procedure is permissible if four conditions are met: the frozen eggs are only to be used within the context of marriage using the husband's sperm; the eggs are to be well-secured so as not to get mixed up with another women's eggs; the eggs should not be fertilised in another woman's womb; and the procedure should not negatively affect, or cause any birth defects, to the embryo.

The declaration by Dar El-Iftaa is not the first to be made on the matter.

In 2017, Dar El-Iftaa said that the procedure is permissible for cancer patients undergoing chemo therapy.

So far there are no egg banks in Egypt as the procedure is still new. The frozen eggs are usually kept in artificial insemination centers that are fully equipped to keep the eggs in stable condition.

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