02/26/2015, 00.00
JAPAN
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Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology against freezing eggs because of harm on health

A panel under the society tells young and healthy women not to preserve their frozen eggs for use by age 45. Japan's low birth cannot be solved this way. The need for women to take drugs is also harmful for their health.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) - A panel under the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology will not recommend that young and healthy women preserve their frozen eggs for future pregnancies.

This comes a few days after Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, decided to become the first municipality in the country to subsidise women who have their eggs frozen for use by age 45.

The city plans to invest ¥90 million (US$ 750,000) into research and technology to freeze and store eggs. It will also cover 70 per cent of medical expenses for women who wish to undergo the treatment.

Urayasu's decision comes as the average age of women in Japan who gave birth for the first time stood at 30.4 years in 2013.

More and more people choose to marry late and have children later in life, for social and professional reasons, without taking into account the risks associated with later pregnancies. This also leaves little room for having more than one child.

According to the panel, the pregnancy rate with frozen unfertilised eggs is lower than that with frozen fertilised eggs.

The process of collecting eggs also imposes a burden on the body because women have to take drugs to stimulate ovulation.

Late births using frozen eggs also carry the risk of complications such as hypertension, whilst the possible effects on the health of babies born from frozen eggs remains uncertain.

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