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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Egg trade draws desperate girls (2)

By Ji Beibei (Global Times)

08:25, December 09, 2011

Wounds often take time to heal and side-effects include bleeding, infection and blocking of the oviduct. Infertility may even arise in serious cases.

The psychological cost is equally high. Liu conducted a survey in 1998 on women who donated eggs and found that many grow intensely curious about whereabouts of their donated eggs over time.

"It may just be some kind of human instinct that kicks in regarding mothering a child," Liu said. "Our survey found that 'psychological disturbance' tops the reasons why women are reluctant to donate their eggs."

Demand runs high

Though no official data on egg donation is available, according to Cui, demand far outstrips supply.

According to the Ministry of Health, only women who are trying to have a baby via in-vitro fertilization can donate their spare eggs. Any other forms of egg trading are illegal.

But China has been troubled by a growing rate of infertility in recent years. According to an article on the website of the 309th Hospital of Chinese PLA in Beijing, every one in eight couples of child-bearing age in China has difficulties conceiving or giving birth. Twenty years ago, the rate was only 3 percent.

China has no regulated market that can supply infertile women with eggs, though some reproductive centers at universities and hospitals have established their own for research purposes.

But Zhang Qingxue, a professor of reproductive studies at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangdong Province, said that freezing eggs, a sophisticated medical skill, is not easily implementable for even modern hospitals in China.

A few countries, including the US, have a flourishing egg-donation market with sound regulations to protect donors' interests, though many other countries, including France, ban egg trading.

Li Yinhe, China's foremost sexologist, said that she thinks girls shouldn't rush headlong into such unknown territory.

"It would be wise to wait until our country establishes normal channels and sound legislation [to protect donors' interests]," Li said.

Song Qi and Ling Yufeng contributed to this story.

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