The economic crisis has led an increasing number of Greek women to donate their eggs for pay to the point that some of them are exported, according to the Greek National Authority of Assisted Reproduction.
The GNAAR says that the supply of ova in Greece is so great that many fertility clinics export ova of Greek women to Europe, the United States and Australia.
Greek law says that an ovum donor would receive 1,200 euros for a complete fertility cycle and the interested couple has to cover all examination expenses. The accepted age for ovum donors is 19-35, while at the same time they have to be healthy, non-smokers and have no family history of illnesses. Also, they cannot donate fertility eggs more than 10 times.
According to the reproduction authority, most assisted reproduction units advertise the sale of ova by praising their high success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF). The number of couples — Greek and foreign — with infertility problems who resort to domestic IVF units grows continually, shaping accordingly the demand for borrowed fertility eggs from other women.
The legal framework for ova donations and the competitive prices that many IVF clinics advertise have opened new markets abroad. GNAAR says that there are no official data for the ova market because donor anonymity is protected by law.
However, the extraction of ova is conducted in certified assisted reproduction units. GNAAR says that currently there are 44 official assisted reproduction units in Greece. The assisted reproduction authority says that the next big step would be to create a national registry for ovum donors.