Fertility concerns about a prospective shidduch
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- This topic has 66 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 2 months ago by Toi.
January 14, 2013 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #607796
Hi, a shidduch has been suggested for my son, the girl has Aleh Mailos and seems a great catch. However I found out that the girls parents only had her after fertility treatment. They then years later had triplets, also through fertility treatment.
The mother of the girl also has just one sister who also needed treatment to have children.
This is really worrying and I’m not sure if to go into the shidduch.
What should I do?January 14, 2013 3:23 pm at 3:23 pm #920412artchillParticipant
The same Hashem that holds the keys to shidduchim holds the keys to children. Don’t make cheshbonos.January 14, 2013 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #920413akupermaParticipant
If you are closely related to both her parents (your cousins), I’d worry and ask.
Hereditary infertility is very unlikely since people with such a trait would quickly vanish from the gene pool.January 14, 2013 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #920414
Well, if she does need them, it seems like the genetic pattern is that they will work…January 14, 2013 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #920415
OOM: I was thinking the same thing.
And apekurma: Good point.January 14, 2013 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #920416MorahRachMember
What in the op’s post suggests that she is related to the girls family at all?January 14, 2013 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #920417wanderingchanaParticipant
+1 ‘Aleh Mailos and a great catch’
+2 If she doesn’t need fertility treatments, how grateful to Hashem will you all be?
+3 Even if she does, not only have fertility treatments clearly been successful in her family, but they have advanced tremendously since she was born. Baruch Hashem!
+4 Her gratitude to Hashem for giving her children will undoubtedly translate into her being a wonderful mother to your grandchildren.
Should you go into the shidduch? I don’t know. Will you son be the supportive, caring husband to her that she deserves?January 14, 2013 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #920418
I would have a converation with my family doctor/ob gyn.
Leaving it up to Hashem is great, but there is a reason you received the knowledge. I would rather go into a shidduch with confidence, than with any concerns.January 14, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #920419
OOM, I don’t know how many times the sisters had to have treatment to end up with the kids they had. I don’t know how many miscarriages and/or stillbirths they had. I don’t know what complications they had with their pregnancies.
I don’t want my son to have to go through a life of constant treatments, stress, the costs of it and possible agmas nefesh.January 14, 2013 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #920420ZeesKiteParticipant
momx4, I concur with you. Just as with any other character trait one does investigation, this should too. All the more so.January 14, 2013 4:53 pm at 4:53 pm #920421mercuryMember
i think this is something your son has to decide for himself.January 14, 2013 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #920422seeallsidesParticipant
hereditary infertility is very rare. i have known several cases where parents that struggled to have children, had children who had large families with no challenges – you can question this, but it is not such a likely problem –January 14, 2013 5:02 pm at 5:02 pm #920424
I’m sorry, that was a very wry comment. I honestly have no idea what you should do. But I do agree with mercury – you should bring this up to your son.January 14, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #920425
MomX, I haven’t seen you here before.
Artiste, I hope you do have that conversation Mom suggested. While it is certainly up to your son to decide how comfortable he is with the information you received, you are probably a better candidate for making inquiries with an ob/gyn. The likelihood your son has a relationship with one is slim. Ditto for the likelihood he”ll have the experience with these matters to know what / how to ask. When you have clear information it will be easier for both of you to work things out.
Wishing you much nachas from your son and, eventually, your daughter-in-law!January 14, 2013 5:14 pm at 5:14 pm #920426KovodHabriyosMember
The MAIN purpose of a marriage is to carry out the halachic obligation of having children by being fruitful and multiplying. So if there ever was any shidduch issue that ought to be investigated prior to going through with a shidduch, THIS is the most fundamental issue to be investigated.January 14, 2013 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #920427NJ_MomMember
My husband was injured at 18 and was told by his doctors that his fertility was now questionable. When he started dating, he went to his rav to ask his advice since he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to reveal such information or not. The rav, a big posek, told him not to say anything. And b”h, a few years later, we became parents to a few wonderful children. All I can say is BH everything worked out well for us.January 14, 2013 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #920428
My understanding is that her father’s genetics play an equal share here. Which, if I’m correct, would reduce her infertility risk by 50% from that of her mother and aunt. I’m not sure so I think you need to discuss this with a geneticist or at least read up on it. There’s also always a risk someone will be infertile, so there really are no guarantees with anybody else either.
Additionally, if you’re concerned enough to drop the shidduch, find a way to confirm more details instead of assuming the worst. Besiros tovos!January 14, 2013 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #920429gebentchedMember
forgive me, while I understand your need to inquire and investigate, I am aware of too many couples who are experiencing primary and secondary infertility due to the husband’s issues which could not have been known or ascertained before the shidduch was made. Hkbh runs this world and holds the keys to children, not shadchanim or prophetic parentsJanuary 14, 2013 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #920430
Is this something that can be ascertained by genetic or other testing?
If so, it probably makes sense to make an informed decision.January 14, 2013 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #920431
Artiste -“This is really worrying and I’m not sure if to go into the shidduch. What should I do?”
Your question intrigued me from a medical point of view. So I dusted off my Ob/Gyn book and took a look.
This is my answer: I don’t even think that if you asked the Ob/Gyn of these women (if they even have the same one) how much risk it is for this girl to be infertile that he/she could give a definitive answer. The only definitive answer would be a work-up on this girl. The girl would never agree to this.
So what can you do? Well, IMHO, most Frum people live in their own little utopia. They think it’s normal to have 10-15 kids biologically and not normal if you can’t. The reality is at every age there is a certain percentage of women who are infertile. The percentage just increases with age until the golden age. (This is another Pet Peeve of mine. S/o suggested asking their Doc. A lot of people expect their Docs to be Neevim and they get angry when they say “I don’t know”. This in turn pressures the Med practitioner to lie. I obviously don’t agree with this, but it works. The most popular Docs that I’ve seen, esp. in the Frum community, a lot of them have almost never said a true word out of their mouth.)
I never heard of any Rov requiring testing before marriage. So all this hereditary business does is possibly up the percentage a bit. Is this enough not to consider marriage to this person? This is something that you’d have to ask your Rov. I know what I’d answer to this question and probably most people – that in No way can you throw out the Shidduch because of this.January 14, 2013 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #920432
health- I agree with you. I just think having the boys mom talk to her doctor will give her information she can trust- even if there may be no answer.
fyi- I know plenty of really young girls, myself included that have gone to an ob/gyn to rule out infirtility issues. I do not think every girl should go, but in most situations it was due to the fact that infirtility is not a taboo subject anymore.January 14, 2013 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #920433Torah613TorahParticipant
Ask. There are certain conditions like endometriosis which do have a genetic correlation and do affect fertility, but they are halachically required to tell you the truth about it. If the mother and aunt has it, but the daughter doesn’t, there shouldn’t be any issues. If the daughter does have it, it is a concern.
OTOH, I know a person who was at high risk for fertility issues, and so far has 9 children Ka”h. Hashem runs the world.January 14, 2013 9:39 pm at 9:39 pm #920434MorahRachMember
Infertility is not hereditary. Many things are but this is not. My mother had had some issues with this and when I got married I asked my Dr about it and he said one thing has nothing to do with the other. BH I got pregnant quite easily and am a mom.
Unless an injury has occurred there is no way to tell unless she has a work up which is not going to happen. It’s all in Hashem’s hands. Even if c’v she needs fertility treatments, bH medical advances are getting better by the day and what they have already accomplished is amazing.January 14, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm #920435
I am so glad we have now tied the value of a woman/wife to the functionality of her ovaries/Fallopian tubes/uterus. Congratulations!!! Mazal Tovs all around!!! I think I’m gonna be sick.January 14, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #920436
I am so glad we have now tied the value of a woman/wife to the functionality of her ovaries/Fallopian tubes/uterus. Congratulations!!! Mazal Tovs all around!!! I think I’m gonna be sick.
I don’t understand your reaction. It is very natural to want to have children, and it is very natural to be concerned if a potential spouse does not have that ability. And it applies just as much to men as to women.
The rav, a big posek, told him not to say anything.
This story is astounding. I’m not sure I believe it, and it certainly is impossible to understand.January 15, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am #920437
Ctrl Alt Del, are you aware that the Torah says that men have to have children whereas us women don’t? I also don’t want my son to have to go through agmas nefesh which could have been prevented. At the very least, if we do decide to go ahead with it, I’ll definitely bring up the subject before I let him propose if it gets to that!January 15, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am #920438
Um, no offense…but if you you through with it, you should let him know about this right away. Otherwise, you will be the one “withholding information.”January 15, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am #920439
Who says you have to unilaterally disclose a safek? Bear in mind that the gemara is mechalek between a man and a woman – a man doesn’t need a taanah and a woman does (although she has a legitimate taanah).January 15, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am #920440
Artiste, don’t worry about CAD, he’s being ridiculous. You’re not obsessing about whether or not the girl is a size 2; your concern is legitimate.
On the other hand, you just had a really bad idea. “… before I let him propose” ?? First of all, it sounds funny to hear that a grown man, about to embark on building his own home, needs to wait for you to let him propose. You’re his parent, I’m sure he loves & respects you, and there’s nothing wrong with discussing a shidduch proposal before he gets started; once he’s gone out already I would think you can trust him to base his decision to propose on his own intelligence, judgement and feelings. Second of all, when he’s ready to propose, there is already an emotional involvement on his part. This is not a good time to “bring up the subject.” This subject, or any other reservations you may have, can be discussed early on before there’s a chance you’re going to hurt anyone by mixing in.
Once your son is serious enough about someone to want to propose, you can keep your thoughts to yourself. This will be excellent practice for you in becoming a perfect mother-in-law in case the proposal is accepted.January 15, 2013 1:18 am at 1:18 am #920441
PBA, I’m sorry you don’t understand my reaction. Perhaps its because you are “incorrigible, semi-retarded, and eccentric”. Sorry, all joking aside. Don’t you find it just a little disconcerting that the entire value of this girl is being distilled down to the fact that her mother and her aunt had fertility problems?
Artiste: First, men do not “have to have children”, it is a positive commandment that if fulfilled results in gaining a mitzvah. Not having children is not a transgression of this. Its merely non commission. Second, do you think it is within your power to prevent agmat nefesh? I truly, truly wish you had that power. But you dont. Does hashem not play a role in this? If you truly believe in bashert this should have no bearing. (sp?)
And what about the agmat nefesh of this girl who is rejected because her mother had fertility problems.
Now you can say that this is just an unfair world and well, that’s what she has to live with. I can agree with that. Its terribly unfortunate, but I would agree with that assessment. The only difference between us is I am not participating in the craziness.
Don’t worry though, I’m sure we can find 9 or 10 cats that will live with her.January 15, 2013 1:30 am at 1:30 am #9204422scentsParticipant
I understand that it might be hard for the girl. And I would feel very sorry for her.
However if is hereditary, then yes, she would somewhat lose her value to those that want to marry and have children.January 15, 2013 1:35 am at 1:35 am #920443
Ctrl Alt Del,
No, it’s a mitzvah like taking an esrog, which one must put in effort to do. Bitachon doesn’t exempt one from putting in the proper effort to do a mitzvah. I spend time and money looking for a nice esrog, I don’t rely on Hashem finding my basherte esrog.
I don’t necessarily think that there’s a strong indication that she can’t have children, but the issue is a legitimate one.
Your reaction is indeed overblown. Nobody is reducing this person’s value to her relatives’ fertility. Her prospects as a wife, not her value as a person, is being evaluated.January 15, 2013 1:42 am at 1:42 am #920444KovodHabriyosMember
The Chazon Ish married his wife knowing she couldn’t have children.January 15, 2013 1:51 am at 1:51 am #920445
You can’t tell boys potential problems like that before they even meet up or it could effect the shiduchim. When boys and girls first meet, unless they know the family anyway, IMO they shouldn’t know much more than the name of the other side. Let them get to know each other and see if they like each other without any side issues clouding the meeting.
If it then gets more serious but before it gets very serious, say after 4 dates, then IMO it’s the correct time to let him know of any potential possible issues. That way he can make an informed decision regarding this particular girl rather than just about ‘an issue’.
CAD, I guarantee you that if we decide not to go ahead with this Shidduch we will not let them know it was because of this concern. We’ll tell them that the boy and girl aren’t suited, so some other parev excuse. We wouldn’t cause them Agmas Nefesh.January 15, 2013 2:13 am at 2:13 am #920446Ima2manyMember
Rav Elyashiv was an only child, with many descendents. Ask you Rav if this is pertinent for your son to know. Just because her mother and Aunt have issues does not mean she will have any. There are many “female” issues that are a common theme in my family. All have had children without issues, even when the doctor predicted that there would be no more.January 15, 2013 2:16 am at 2:16 am #920447
golfer -“Artiste, don’t worry about CAD, he’s being ridiculous. You’re not obsessing about whether or not the girl is a size 2; your concern is legitimate.”
Being skinny is Not an obsession, maybe only if you insist on size 2. Concerning yourself about whether s/o can have kids is an obsession. Why? Because until we start a trend like MomX4 did and work-up every girl before marriage – every girl has a possibility of being infertile. So maybe before e/o starts dating -both the guys and gals need to come with pedigrees from their Docs that they are Fertile?!January 15, 2013 2:29 am at 2:29 am #920448frumnotyeshivishParticipant
control-alt-del: Are you sure of what you are saying? I was (and still am) definitely under the impression that pru urvu is a mitzva chiyuvis…January 15, 2013 2:55 am at 2:55 am #920449
Well, I think some of the posters were a bit overboard, but they are the same posters who are always trolling. I think generally nobody was distilling her value down to that, and I didn’t understand the question–or any of the normal answers–that way.January 15, 2013 3:02 am at 3:02 am #920450oomisParticipant
“Artiste: First, men do not “have to have children”, it is a positive commandment that if fulfilled results in gaining a mitzvah. Not having children is not a transgression of this. Its merely non commission”
I thought that the mitzvah to have children, being incumbent on the men, comes with the LO SAASEH of not using any male form of birth control (as opposed to women, who can get a heter for certain forms of birth control under certain circumstances). It therefore stands to reason that men DO have to have children. They might not get an aveira for being unable to, but they surely are not permitted to prevent themselves from doing so.January 15, 2013 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #920451
Health- I did not say to work up every girl.
I know a few young girls that have gone to an ob/gyn. They had a medical reason for going and parents who care about their health. At that visit they were reassured that they can have kids. I do not think people should go to any doctor without a medical need.
golfer- I love reading the CR. It is sometimes better than any book. No one can ever come up with such creative characters. I dont usually post cuz I dont want to mess up the plot 🙂January 15, 2013 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #920452
momX4 -“Health- I did not say to work up every girl.”
I never said you did. Reread my post. I personally think it would be ridiculous to work e/o up. But I also think it’s ridiculous what the OP is advocating. Why is she treating this girl differently than e/o else? There is no guarantee on anyone that they will be fertile -so why is she jumping on this girl? Because there is a few more percent chance that she might be infertile over s/o else? Such a small % difference and she wants to throw out a good Shidduch – to me this is absurd!January 15, 2013 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #920453
I don’t think the OP has on the different %; I thought that was part of the question.January 15, 2013 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #920454
Health: Maybe you can help her out with the percentages, based on the vague information given. Hypothetically, if her mom and aunt are infertile (medically speaking, not ultimately) but her father’s family is ok, how would you gauge her chances of needing treatment to have kids? Again, just an educated percentage guess, I’m aware we’re not dealing with all the facts here.
Now what’s the percentage in general society for both men and women? I would define infertile as trying naturally for two years with no success, I think the real definition is after one year, which is kind of too soon imho.
Thanks either way.January 15, 2013 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #920455akupermaParticipant
While we are often skeptical of Darwinian theory – part of it is non-controversial. Survival of a group is based on reproductive ability, and a hereditary (genetic) trait that prevents reproduction means you won’t have any children, meaning the trait won’t be passed on. Infertility can not be the result of inheritance since if your parents had the trait, you wouldn’t be here. Hereditary infertility is an oxymoron.
The above refers to dominant traits. Recessive traits can interfere with having children, but these require both parents to have the “recessive” trait, and then there is typically only a 25% chance of a child having the trait. Dor yeshorim addresses this with prenatal testing for the more common recessive traits that need to be avoided (again, both have to have the same gene). To minimize the chance of two people sharing a recessive trait, try to avoid marrying a close relative. Your first cousin may share a lot of your recessive traits, a total stranger won’t.January 15, 2013 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #920456
Mammele – I wouldn’t even attempt percentages without knowing what the medical prob of the mother is. Maybe her problem isn’t even genetic. That’s why I think this whole topic and speculation is ridiculous.
But just for the fun of it, because I haven’t done Mendelian genetics in a long time. E/o should know this from high school. Let’s say the mother has a genetic defect on her recessive gene -what is the chance to pass it on to her kids?
We will represent the mother with Bb and the defect could just be on the small b or the mother might need two recessive genes for this disorder to affect her and she would be bb and the father Aa, So the combinations that are possible are this if the mother is Bb: AB, Ab, aB & ab. This would be a 50% chance that kid could come down with the infertile problem. If the mother is bb then the combinations are: Ab, Ab, ab, ab. In this situation there is 0% chance that the kid will have any problems. But to know whether this is 100% accurate you’d actually have to test the father whether he has the recessive gene of the mother that carries her medical problem. I assumed he didn’t and therefore classified him as Aa instead of Ab.
Now back to real medicine:
1 year without conception is Infertile.
Rates in the general pop. of women who are infertile:
20 -24 years: 7%
25 -29: 9%
30 -35: 15%
35 -40: 22%
40 -44: 29%
Don’t ask me to combine the bottom with the top, because the top is just fun based on speculation.January 15, 2013 9:12 pm at 9:12 pm #920457
True akuperma, hereditary infertility sounds like an oxymoron or a logical impossibility. But there are in fact inherited syndromes that do decrease fertility in both males and females. I am hardly pretending to be an expert on these problems, and it would seem none of the other posters know much about them either. MomX wisely suggested that the OP speak to her ob gyn or family doctor. I’m not sure why there is so much offense taken at the suggestion that someone educate themselves a little before making a decision regarding a shidduch.January 15, 2013 9:42 pm at 9:42 pm #920458ToiParticipant
My personal opinion- people love dishing out on bitachon and emunah; on how not to judge people, and what Hashem wants, when its another poster’s kid who gets redd the shidduch. Get a grip; most people would turn and run. Funniest thing is, people feel the need to justify what the other would do if the situation came up. I dont wish this nisayon on anyone, but who the hey edited are you people to talk like this?January 15, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #920459
“when its another poster’s kid who gets redd the shidduch. Get a grip; most people would turn and run”
My whole point earlier was that arriving at the above statement is just incredibly sad. Its not about judging, bitachon, or emunah. Its just a commentary on what I see as a sad state of affairs. My wife and I struggled for years to have children. Go ahead, ask me if time travel were possible would I the shidduch. I’ll save you and the mods some time; no. Simple because IMHO the purpose/meaning of a wife and getting married is more than having her pop kids out like a Pez dispenser. there is no judgement here. I was just commenting on where we find ourselves today.January 15, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm #920460
I appreciate your work Health. We may be talking about more than a few percentage points though, so I’d still say more research is warranted.
The difficulty is she’ll need to get firsthand info., which means they might get defensive/hurt. Which is more hurtful though, rejecting the shidduch out of hand off the bat, or giving it due diligence?January 15, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #920461
Its very simple. I’m not judging people as breeders or being overprotective. If it was just the girls parents who had to have treatment, it probably wouldn’t even be a question. But when there are only two sisters and both of them needed treatment, I think it’s likely that the reason why they both needed treatment is because of the same issue.
All I’m trying to find out is if this issue is likely to be hereditary. Obviously I can ask the shadchan to find this out but I don’t think that that would be a decent thing to do.
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