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Fertile grounds for allowing procedure

Currently, there is a severe shortage of egg donors for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments.

This can be overcome if the Ministry of Health (MOH) were to allow social egg freezing ("More single women freezing their eggs overseas"; last Sunday).

Excess and unused eggs can be donated for IVF treatments.

Currently, one major problem is that most single women choose to freeze their eggs when they are too old. This leads to greatly reduced chances of conception in future, owing to the sharp decrease in the quality of the eggs of women above the age of 35.

Younger women tend to be reluctant to undergo the procedure because of its high cost.

Perhaps the Government could subsidise the costs of egg freezing.

Alternatively, infertile couples may directly subsidise egg freezing costs for younger women in return for egg donation, as permitted and practised in Britain.

Undergoing the procedure at a younger age would greatly improve women's chances of future conception, as the quality of the eggs is better.

This would allay the MOH's concern about the procedure not being a reliable path to future parenthood.

Alexis Heng Boon Chin (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 25, 2016, with the headline 'Fertile grounds for allowing procedure'. Print Edition | Subscribe