Chiba municipality to offer young women subsidies to freeze their eggs
CHIBA – A city in Chiba Prefecture plans to help young women freeze their eggs in the largest publicly funded project of its kind and one of the first aimed at healthy women rather than those facing sterility from chemotherapy.
The Urayasu Municipal Government will cooperate with Juntendo University Urayasu Hospital to extract eggs and freeze them to help address the nation’s declining birth rate.
The two organizations will formally announce the initiative on Thursday, sources said Friday.
In March, the hospital’s ethics committee approved freezing eggs from four women who are the first to take part.
Explorative work began last July to determine how such a program might work, and whether a publicly funded campaign might help address Japan’s low birthrate.
It is rare for a government body to subsidize the freezing of women’s eggs. Urayasu is budgeting \90 million over the three years to March 2018 to help potential mothers preserve eggs for future use.
The subsidies are available to female residents of the city aged 20 to 34, and the frozen eggs are intended to be used by the time they are 45.
A woman would typically pay \500,000 to \600,000 to have her eggs removed, frozen and preserved. The city will subsidize most of that sum, leaving women to cover about \100,000 of the total, a sum that includes the costs of injections and medication.