Sterilization - Vasectomy

Abstract: Destruction of reproductive organs is prohibited by Jewish law. Therefore, vasectomy is not a permissible form of birth control.

Discussion: There is a distinct commandment, based on Leviticus 22:24, forbidding sterilization of both people and animals. This is considered a biblical commandment for men. Thus, destruction of male reproductive organs, as with a vasectomy, is absolutely prohibited by halacha on a biblical level. This remains true despite the availability of vasectomy reversal surgery [1]. Performance of a vasectomy may even, according to some opinions, lead to a prohibition on remaining married.

Implications for Care: Vasectomy is not an acceptable form of contraception in Jewish law. Other methods of contraception should be used when pregnancy must be avoided.

Medical References

[1] Practice Committee American Society for Reproductive Medicine.Vasectomy Reversal. Fertility and Sterility 2008; 90:S7882.

Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under

Other Articles Contraception and Jewish Law
  Halachic Considerations in Contraception

Barrier Methods
  Combination Estrogen and Progesterone
  Fertility Awareness Method
  Intrauterine Device
  Lactational Amenorrhea Method of Contraception
  Post Coital Contraception
  Progestin Only Contraception
  Sterilization - Tubal Ligation

Related Articles Expulsion of Semen (Hotza'at Zera Levatalah)
  Hormonal Cycle Manipulation
  Hormonal Cycle Manipulation for Brides
  Inter-Menstrual Bleeding

Cases Post cesarean contraception
  Rabbinic permission for contraception