More and more Chinese women freeze their eggs abroad

A growing number of single Chinese women going abroad for their eggs frozen to keep their options open and control their pace of life, reported Wednesday an article in the New York Times .

Over the last three years, demand for such services has recorded an annual growth of 10-15% in the US.

Most clients are relatively wealthy Chinese women, educated and having thirty years. In the US, the oocyte freezing costs between $ 11 000 (€ 9,800) and 16,000 dollars. And storage costs cost between 450 and 600 dollars for the year.

Increasingly boards of companies have begun to capitalize on this trend, providing services to “help clients with their visa applications, the welcome at the airport, accommodation, translators and even Chinese speaking drivers” .

Some US clinics have even opened offices in China. Six doctors now work for HRC Fertility, a chain of clinics based in California, which now has offices in a dozen Chinese cities.

However, the New York Times estimated that the growing popularity of this procedure in women is not yet up to the results.

The article cites figures from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology: between 2009 and 2014, the number of cycles of freezing oocytes in the US increased from 568 to 6165. During this same period, the birth rate for “thawed” eggs was just under 24%.

“The quality and quantity of oocytes in women decline with age, especially after 34 years. And this procedure can have side effects. ”

While this option freezing of oocytes was unknown to most Chinese women until last year, a heated debate on access to treatment against infertility and reproductive rights was triggered when the actress Xu Jinglei said on its Sina Weibo account, she went to the United States to freeze her eggs in 2013.

China bans against infertility treatments for unmarried women, and assisted reproductive technologies are not available for single women and couples, who are not in compliance with national regulations for family planning and population.

Reproductive medicine is highly regulated in China for ethical reasons. For over 30 years, the national family planning policy has limited most couples to have only one child, in a culture where boys are favored over girls. Surrogacy and trade in ova are also prohibited.