Parliament has agreed to pay women who donate their eggs far more than they currently get in a bid to shorten the long waiting list of childless couples in Denmark.
The payment, which will be increased from 2,400 to 7,000 kroner, will be introduced from July 1, and this autumn a campaign targeting women under the age of 36 will encourage them to become egg donors.
“I’ve met several women who are in the unfortunate situation that they cannot have children and need help from other women,” Sophie Løhde, the health minister, told Politiken.
“I hope more eggs will be donated as a result of the new initiatives, because they are needed.”
More eggs needed
Every year, there is a need for 600 egg donations in Denmark, but last year only 233 donor eggs were available despite the fact the payment increased from 500 to 2,400 kroner.
Childless couples have to wait up to four years for an egg donation, and in the meantime, some exceed the upper age limit of 45 years, while others give up altogether.
Some infertile women travel to countries like Spain, Greece, the Czech Republic or Russia and pay up to 100,000 kroner to undergo an egg donation treatment.
“Seven thousand kroner is much more reasonable compared to the effort it takes to donate eggs,” Elisabeth Carlsen, the chief physician at Rigshospital’s fertility clinic in Copenhagen, told Politiken.
An egg donor has to undergo five one-hour medical tests and scans and then she needs to take a full day off for the egg collection, which is a minor operation, and follow that with hormonal treatment for 10-12 days.
Based on experiences in the UK and Spain, where egg donors receive about 7,300 kroner per donation, and in Scania in southern Sweden, where they get 9,000 kroner, the long waiting list of childless couples in Denmark could soon be eliminated.
“It’s everything we’ve worked for since we started the association in 2012,” Rikke Vestenbæk, the president of the Danish association Bliv Ægdonor (become an egg donor), told Politiken.
“It’s amazing. I almost don’t know what to say. I’m super, super happy.”