Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Can we get donor eggs to save her life?

Doctor in lab coat extending hand

Assalamu Alykum,

I have not been blessed with a child in my 7 years of married life. My wife underwent 3 unsuccessful IVF cycles due to her unhealthy follicles. Now her health condition will not allow her to go for any more infertility treatment, and she will not tolerate any more pain. The most important thing is that she has severe endometriosis cysts which grow every month and cause severe pain. The last time the cysts were very big and pressing on the other organs, doctors were advising that if the cyst bursts this will be life threatening and she should go for an operation to remove the cysts or entire reproductive organs as soon as possible.

Somehow we managed to aspirate the cysts without operation (this is just a temporary solution, the cysts will re-develop in time). We have aspirated the cysts 4 times in a 5 years period (2 times by laparoscopy, 1 time by open surgery, and the last one by USG guided syringe). Doctors are now advising that she should get pregnant as soon as possible to cure this disease. I have tried my level best to make her pregnant but failed. I want to cure and save my wife’s life more than having a child.

I love my wife and I don't want to leave her at any circumstances. I asked my wife’s permission to go for a second marriage but she is not at all agreeing to this and I didn’t want to go for a second marriage without her agreement.

I am asking these questions with the hope that my wife might accept for me to marry to her elder sister who is not living with her husband due to some misunderstanding. She already has a 5 year old child,  so I hope she will still produce some quality eggs.

My questions are:

I know Islam doesn’t allow donor eggs and marrying to two sisters at same time. In my case will there be any option or excuse? (Because Islam is a simple religion in terms of everything but in my case it seems to be bit tough,  since during the ancient days they might have not come across such incidents like mine, otherwise there could have been a solution for my case.)

1. Can I use my sister-in-law's eggs to get fertilized with my sperm and implant it in my wife’s uterus without getting married? (I know this is against the logic and Islam will never allow it.)

2. Can I marry my sister-in-law with the intention of using her eggs to make my first wife pregnant? (Hoping to have some consideration on this question because this will save my wife's life.)

Please advise me to take a decision.


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10 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    It seems that the basis of your question is based on the belief that your wife getting pregnant is the ONLY way to cure her of her endometriosis. However, you mentioned also that she was advised to get a hysterectomy at one point to relieve her of it as well. Therefore, getting pregnant is not the only option. Even though I'm sure it's heartbreaking for you to give up your dream of having children with your wife, it seems that (short of a miracle) the only way your wife will find permanent relief from her condition is through a hysterectomy.

    I'm not saying that you can't continue to try to get pregnant with her- you can. The odds are very slim (given her fertility history) that she will conceive, but not impossible. But more than that, even if she were to get pregnant, it's not a foolproof guarantee that she won't need to get an hysterectomy eventually. The endometriosis may very well return after she gives birth (and in some cases it's even worse than before), and she would still need a permanent cure for her suffering.

    If your wife is truly tired of going through the pain of the cysts, then the best thing she can do is opt for the hysterectomy. If she wants to keep trying to get pregnant, that's up to her since she's the one that has to go through the ordeal of the fertility treatments, which aren't pleasant. Either way, marrying her sister will never be an option because as you said, Islam forbids the marrying of two sisters at once for ANY reason. There would be no exceptions even in your wife's case, since she does have other treatment options available to her. The option of using the sister's eggs for IVF is also prohibited.

    -Amy Editor

  2. asalam alaikum brother,

    i have read your info atleast 3x..i do have experience as a ob/gyn nurse..endometriosis is overgrowth of uterine tissue that can go anywhere in the body..heart, lungs etc and grow...and cause pain as the estrogen levels increase every month due to hypothalamus and monthly doesnt cause cysts.just overgrowth. you maybe referring to PCOS or uterine cysts...they will always grow back even after aspiration..but i have seen birth control pills control this by regulating her estrogen levels.. also..i dont know if your wife is overweight but..estrogen is stored in the fat or adipose tissues..therefore if she is and even if she isnt exercise can do wonders in regulating her ovulation and irregularity. You have spoken of IVF..but is your wife very old? i have seen a plenty women with cysts have children as long as they are not blocking the uterus. if they are in the cervix they can be removed...and she can give birth..growths on the ovaries can be a problem but if she doesnt have them there i dont see what the problem could be..but women with cysts and fibroids and PCOS etc do have children. ask her to exercise..regularly 30mins/day for atleast5 days a week.

    clomid is a good drug that she can get if she doesnt have a history of cancer. it will BOOST her ovulation and if a cyst isnt in the way of the fallopian tubes she will be able to conceive..also STRESS lessens CONCEPTION...SO dont be so stressed it will come when you dont worry about it..seen it too many times..couples worry and never concieve then when they stop thinking of it it happens.

    but i would really suggest is about 70 percent success rate. When i did IVF in saudi arabia i saw women with loads of reproductive delays and clomid did a great job. You should still discuss birth control to regulate her cycles to decrease the growth of cysts and miss some here and there with sexual activity and she can possibly get pregnant.

    and no you cant marry her sister...or use her sister's eggs. how do you think she would feel about that? think of yourself? women are not non emotional beings..i know you want a child..but to even suggest her sister. not a good idea and its against islam. How would you feel if you couldnt conceive and she even asked to marry an unmarried brother of yours?

    having compassion means more than fulfilling a need. No use in almost destroying a marriage to gain another. I know you want children...and this is your right but you dont have to have them...want is yoru priority? having children with another woman and your wife will be undoubtedly so hurt by this after she has went thru so much to give you a child. do you want to inflict that on her? polygamy sounds easy.but do you have the financial capability to really handle TWO HOMES..TWO WIVES..and possible children because there is no guarantee the next wife will be able to concieve.

    brother..i have been the 2nd wife for a few years and now have five children. my husband is the best..and he is equal..but he does spend more time with me because i have five children under the age of five. i have had children every year since marrying him.

    i love him but..if i had to do this over again. i WOULDVE NEVER agreed to it. I will NEVER be fully ok with it. I only do it for the sake of my children because he is a great father and provider. but i never suggest it...

    brother..there are plenty of muslim orphans looking for homes..what about them? maybe they could find a home a loving one with you? i know you want blood children but sometimes it isnt meant for all of us. if you want is great that you dont do it without her permission..because many women would divorce you for that. its not obligatory and she doesnt have to live that way if she is not happy. it is a privilege but not choose wisely. dont end one marriage to get a may NOT be worth it.


  3. Salams
    brother its better u get second wife than your sister in law and as u said islam doesnt permit marrying two sisters yes its right so instead of going against d will of Allah u can either adapt an orphan kid n raise or marry another woman and in sha Allah have kids wid her as for your wifes condition.everything goes by d will of Allah i pray dat Allah make it easy for her n grant her baby aameen

    may Allah most high make it easy for u both


  4. Assalaamualaikam

    Medically, pregnancy is not the only solution to your wife's health problems, and I can't recall there being a reasonable evidence base for it as a treatment. I would advise discussing this again with your doctors, as it may be that you have misunderstood their advice.

    One thing that struck me when reading your post is the use of "I" rather than "we", and the emphasis on your own wishes; it might be worth thinking about whether your own desires in this situation are shared by your wife or if they are yours alone, and maybe reflect on why, if your wife is unwell, you are placing such an emphasis on having a child. I don't know the answers, but thinking about the reasons for these might help make things clearer in your own mind?

    Islamically, what you are proposing would not be acceptable - it is clearly stated that it is not permissible to marry your wife's sister. It doesn't sound as though you would be marrying her for reasons other than egg provision, which is not a sound basis for a relationship - your wife's sister deserves a marriage where she is valued and wanted for herself, not where her role is to produce eggs for her husband to have children by another woman.

    In your post, you mention that your situation might not have been encountered otherwise a solution might have been provided. Thoughts such as this can be an indicator that a desire is starting to get out of control. The Quran is the perfect guidance given to us by Allah, and its guidance is valid throughout history, not just at the time of The Prophet (peace be upon him). Therefore, the answer to your dilemma is in its text; even if we do not necessarily always "like" an answer if it is not the answer we desire, we should try our best to accept it, knowing that Allah's plans are what is best for us.

    If you and your wife both want to have a family, the two of you could look into adoption. If you choose to explore this, I would recommend speaking with a specialist Islamic adoption organisation so that Islamic guidance is followed.

    Midnightmoon editor

  5. salaam alaikum.

    pls i have a question relating to this topic.

    is it medically possible for a woman to be pregnant and give birth to a child by not having sexual contact with her husband???
    some are saying that its posible to take a man's sperm and inject it into the woman's vegina (just like artifitial insemination in animals). pls is this true?? and how is it posible??

    pls this is a very important question to me. and i need a reply pls.

    • Salaams,

      That's a medical question. We don't specialize in medical questions here as we are an advice website for marriage/family issues. If you really need an answer to that question consult a reproductive specialist or look online at websites that might have that information.

      -Amy Editor

  6. I just find the heading of your post very misleading. Your wife's life is NOT in danger because of her not being able to bear children or even because of the endometriosis - these are not life threatening conditions at all.

    I am a medical doctor - I went thru EXACTLY what your wife did - my husband wanted to remarry (forgetting conveniently that HE too had low sperm count and poor sperm quality and was no guarantee that he could be a father with another woman). He asked if I would give permission - I refused as I had gone thru so much pain to have all the surgeries and 3 IVFs only for his family to taunt me that I could never become a mother and he sided with them.

    I also refused because I loved him and could not bear the thought of sharing him and would have been very jealous and hurt if I had allowed him for 2nd marriage and she become pregnant. It would have killed me. So we got divorced. I have never regretted that decision. I wanted to give him the freedom of what he wanted. I kept myself with my feelings or we would have been 3 very unhappy people (me, him and 2nd wife)

    SO as someone above suggested - look in your heart what you want. If as you say you love her then stick with her. Only Allah knows why he made you both childless and only He knows whether you will have a 2nd wife you would love - what if you ended up divorcing this one who you love and who has gone thru so much only to marry someone who you do not get along with? SO be happy with what Allah has given you.

  7. Dear Sisters & Brothers
    I would like to thank each one of you for considering my post. Thanks for sharing your experiences and giving your valuable opinion. My special thanks to Ayat, Amy,Hamida & siahus.
    But, we are still in the same situation.

    Dear Sister Ayat,
    I never think of leaving my wife to get another one. If she agrees then only i will go for it. i know how hard it is to accept for second marriage for a girl. That too after going thru this much of pain. She had gone thru enough pains in her life i don't want to give her more.
    I didn't mention in my post that she had to remove her both tubes due to the sever adhesion. One by laparoscopy and one surgically, even in the open surgery doctors were unable to remove the last one completely due to the sever adhesion. There is no chance of having child naturally. IVF is the only solution if she gets some good eggs. In which hope we shell live our rest of life. There is no meaning of our leaving and earnings.
    Thanks for your suggestion i will share your advice with my wife to do regular exercise and take some BCPs.

    Dear Amy,
    At one point we thought of going for a hysterectomy to get rid of the pain. I know she has to undergo hysterectomy at some point in her life. Once we get a baby we won't have any problem going for a hysterectomy if the condition worsens.

    Dear Sister Siahus,
    My wife's condition was critical last time due to the hyper stimulation. The cysts were in bursting condition.
    You have taken a bold decision which we can't expect with all muslim women. My wife is also in your situation, she has gone thru so many painful procedure to give me a child. i can stand in her place and can feel her situation. i will never side line her. I will definitely share your reply with my wife.

    Dear Midnightmoon,
    Thanks for your reply. I will contact you when we decide to go for an adoption.

    Thank you all. Please do remember in your valuable duas.

  8. Simple: Answer to all your questions is "NO". And you do NOT need permission from your first wife to marry another woman. But not her sister. If your wife dies, then you can marry her sister.

  9. give all the details of egg donation and donor eggs. is there any condition where islam allows it

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