Thousands Of Taiwanese Women Are Freezing Their Eggs. Here's Why
The demand for egg freezing in Taiwan has increased; women aged 35 to 39 are opting for the technology, up 86% over the past three years, as per the National Taiwan University Hospital research study.
New patients have surged 50% year-on-year
Single women are allowed to freeze their eggs in Taiwan but can only legally use eggs to conceive if in a heterosexual marriage.
According to a Reuters report, the Founder of Taiwan's first egg bank- Stork Fertility Centre, Dr Lai Hsing-Hua, pointed out that new patients in its two clinics have surged 50 % year-on-year, and the clinic helped over 800 women freeze their eggs.
The surge also came after two local governments, Hsinchu and Taoyu, started subsidising egg freezing this year. Approximately 8% of women used their eggs after being frozen, compared with around 38% in the United States, as per doctors in Taiwan.
Cost of treatment
Egg freezing is difficult for a woman having an average annual salary of less than $19,000. The treatment costs $2,600 to $3,900 for the extraction, medication and clinic visits and $160 to $320 in annual storage fees. Taiwan has a fertility rate of 0.89 children per woman, less than half the replacement level of 2.1.
In a Reuters report, a policy specialist at the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Chen Li-Chuan, claimed, "Taiwan plans a comprehensive evaluation before deciding whether to expand access to artificial reproduction, given it is a complex ethical, medical and legal issue involving many stakeholders."
Law of freezing eggs in Taiwan
Single women in Taiwan can freeze their eggs. But it’s only legal to use the eggs if you are in a heterosexual marriage, which excludes unmarried women and homosexual married couples.
Doctors in Taiwan said the restriction has contributed to only around 8 per cent of women using their eggs after they have been frozen, compared with around 38 per cent in the United States.
Taiwan plans a comprehensive evaluation before deciding whether to expand access to artificial reproduction, given it is a complex ethical, medical and legal issue involving many stakeholders, said Chen Li-Chuan.
Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019 and, in May, granted same-sex couples the right to adopt a child jointly. But only about four per cent of children in Taiwan are born out of wedlock, compared with about 40 per cent in the U.S., where it is more accepted.
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