Births involving donor eggs has tripled since 2009


Births involving donor eggs have more than tripled over the past three years, a government survey says.

According to a survey conducted by a health ministry study group, the national birth rate for donor eggs rose to 0.051 percent in 2012, compared with 0.015 percent in 2009.

The survey, carried out by a group led by Keio University professor Yasunori Yoshimura, found that donor eggs were involved in 117 births.

The questionnaire asked 302 medical institutions across Japan about babies delivered between January 2009 and September 2012. Responses were received from 163 hospitals.

“Our survey suggests 300 to 400 babies are born from donor eggs each year in Japan,” Yoshimura said.

The average age of the women involved was 45.2.

A breakdown of the 117 births shows that 65 originated from eggs from the United States, 18 from Thailand, seven from Japan, four from South Korea and one each from Taiwan, Malaysia and Russia.

Women between 45 and 49 accounted for the largest number — 46 — of births from donated eggs. Four were 55 or older.

About 68 percent of the women experienced complications with pregnancy, such as hypertension.

Debate is expected to intensify about the risks older women face when becoming pregnant and the rules that should be established to regulate the egg donation process, observers say.

  • ume

    Im sorry, but there is absolutely no justification whatsoever to be getting a 55 year old, 50 year old, or even a 45 year old, pregnant using donor eggs.

    There is far too much debate about the age of the mother, and far too little about the welfare of the child. A baby is adorable and all, but this baby will grow up and at 10 years old have a 65 year old mother. How is the mother going to cope being a 70 year old with a troublesome teen? How will the 20 year old feel with a 75 year old mom?
    No doubt there WILL be bullying and teasing too, the awkwardness when a friend or teacher asks about “why do you live with your grandma?” and an age and generation gap meaning a child will be out of touch with its parents.

    There is a realistic chance that the childs mother could be dead before he is age 21 (the age of adulthood in Japan) and at the very best the child is going to be a carer for his or her parents, at a time when the child should be going to university and having fun.

    There needs to be far more debate and regulation on this. Yes Japan needs more babies, but at what cost? In this case, the ultimate weight on the child is too heavy on the long run – its unfair at best, a kind of child abuse at worst. There needs to be an age (I would say that 45 should be the absolute upper age limit to conceive a baby through scientific means – most women cannot make babies naturally at this age) at which we say no.