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Egg trade draws desperate girls

By Ji Beibei (Global Times)

08:22, December 09, 2011

It sounds like an easy way to make a quick buck: Selling something you produce naturally to those in desperate need of it - but experts say the phenomenon of women selling their eggs carries risks that far too few people are aware of.

"It is hard to say what might happen," Liu Jiayin, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics studies with Nanjing Medical University, told the Global Times. "But the risks - both physically and psychologically - can last a lifetime."

Human egg-trading agencies, despite being technically against the law in China, have nevertheless been making formidable inroads among college students desperate for money, with online posts offering as much as 200,000 yuan ($31,000) for the eggs of girls whose score on the national college entrance examination, or gaokao, exceeds 500.

Risks and rewards

According to an employee at the Beijing-based Yangguang Surrogate Agency, who refused to give her name, female students at top universities can earn 30,000 to 40,000 yuan for each egg donated, while those from other colleges usually rack up about 10,000 yuan, Donor candidates need to report their personal data, including blood type, age, birth place and educational background to the agency, the employee said.

Some clients (egg recipients) may ask for a face-to-face meeting - usually in order to inspect the donor's physical qualities, including superficial characteristics as double eyelids.

Qualified girls will then go onto receiving injections for eight to 10 days in a row in order to stimulate ovulation.

"When it comes to having injections to stimulate ovulation, the risks are formidable," Liu told the Global Times.

Cui Yugui, director of the lab of reproductive medicine of Nanjing Medical University, echoed Liu's assertion.

"Egg donation is much more complex than sperm donation as it involves a very invasive procedure," Cui said.

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