A Chinese university student has revealed how she sold 29 of her eggs to illegal fertility agencies to repay a US$9,000 debt.
The student from Wuhan, Hubei province, who requested anonymity, described how she underwent two surgical procedures in a voice recording provided to China’s state-run media outlet, The Paper. For each procedure, she was given drugs over 10 days to stimulate her ovaries before the eggs were removed in a procedure conducted without anesthesia.
“The first time I felt like I was dying. The second time was alright,” said the student.
The student said these agencies place a strong emphasis on whether the women are healthy, their height, appearance, and academic performance.
“The first time I think 24 of them [the eggs] matured, and they removed 17. The second time in Wuhan not as many matured—I think it was 15. In the end they removed 12.”
A woman naturally produces one egg each month. Taking fertility drugs carries a wide range of health complications including increased risk of miscarriage, nausea and unstable moods.
According to the student, these procedures were not performed in hospitals; illegal agencies have their own private operating theaters and offices. In addition, some girls traveled to Thailand to undergo these procedures, where anesthesia is provided.
“We aren’t allowed to bring mobile phones into the facility. We can’t bring anything. We have to undergo checkups every day,” she said.
It is illegal in China for medical practitioners to perform surrogacy procedures, and for women to sell their eggs.
On March 19, a staff member of the Party Committee Propaganda Department at the Central China Normal University told The Paper that advertisements from illegal agencies aimed at cash-strapped college students were found on campus. While the university has removed these advertisements whenever they are reported, and lecturers have advised students away from these activities, entirely ridding the campus of these advertisements has been an exercise in futility.
The staff member pointed out that the open campus makes it easy for advertisers to enter and place their materials in the school grounds.