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Private group plans ‘ovum bank’ for fertility treatment

Kyodo

A private entity soliciting egg donations for fertility treatment said Monday it will start recruiting women willing to donate them for free to help launch an “ovum bank.”

It is in the first such endeavor by a private-sector group in Japan.

The Oocyte Donation Network, made up of doctors specializing in fertility treatment and patients’ representatives, has already registered 20 women with ovarian defects as prospective recipients, but does not plan to add any more for the time being. The group said it will start soliciting volunteer donors on Tuesday and that their identities will not be released.

Five private institutions that conduct fertility treatment will be in charge of harvesting eggs from donors and conducting in vitro fertilization for recipients using the donated eggs and their husbands’ sperm. Donors will not be paid. Recipients will be required to cover the medical costs of the donors if they suffer any adverse effects from the removal of their eggs.