New Delhi: In a trend that seems to be catching on, many Delhi college girls and single-working women are coming forward to donate their eggs at fertility clinics in order to make a quick buck even as they help childless couples in the process.
Fertility specialists here are regularly getting requests for egg donation from girls studying in renowned Delhi colleges. About 10 to 12 eggs are extracted from each girl and they are paid somewhere between Rs.20,000 and Rs.50,000 for it.
"This is a new trend and more and more young girls are coming to us for egg donation," Shivani Sachdeva Gour, consultant fertility specialist and gynaecologist with Pheonix Hospital in Greater Kailash I, told a news agency.
"In the first week of January, we got four girls from a college on South Campus. Most of them stay in hostels and need money to maintain their expensive lifestyles," she said.
Agreed Indira Ganeshan, consultant in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) expert with B.L.K Memorial Hospital in west Delhi: "Girls in the age group of 22 to 25 years do come to us for egg donation.
"A majority of them are single and working and want to donate eggs to get some extra money to maintain a good lifestyle."
Shivani said the trend is catching up among girls in the 18 to 22 age group and usually the girls keep their parents in the dark.
"These girls get 10 of their friends who are also interested in donating eggs but they are kept on waiting as we have enough stock of eggs at present to meet the demand of our clients," she said.
The Phoenix Hospital receives 15 demands for eggs on an average basis per month from across the world. The majority of clients are foreigners and each egg is sold somewhere between Rs.60,000 and Rs.100,000.
"Almost 80 percent of our clients are foreigners from the US, Britain and Australia. We do get some request from Indian couples settled abroad and a few from India also," said Shivani.
There has been an increasing demand for eggs from young, intelligent girls with fair complexion and these girls perfectly meet our clients` requirements, she said.
"Women these days are postponing motherhood for their career and they plan to start their family in the mid-40s. In this age group, the fertility is low and they have to undergo IVF. Young intelligent girls are most sought after as most of the foreign clients want their baby to be fair and with a high IQ level," said Shivani.
According to doctors, there is no harm in egg donation and it`s a minor procedure. And donors can donate eggs after every two months.
"A woman produces one egg per month and they all get wasted. So in a way these girls are helping childless couples and in turn are getting a handsome amount," she said.
Explaining the procedure, Shivani said donors have to undergo some medical tests and counselling before egg donation.
"The girls first meet a counsellor who tells them about the procedure of egg donation. They are then sent to a fertility expert for a complete medical checkup and finally to a psychologist," she said.
"On the first day, a fertility hormone is injected which increases the production of eggs. The hormone helps in the production of 10 to 12 eggs. Egg extraction takes place on the 14th day and in this period they have to visit the doctor on any three days for medical tests," said Shivani.
The girls are expected to stay in the hospital for four hours on the day the eggs are extracted.
"There is a minor procedure for extracting eggs from the ovary which requires no cuts or operation and donors are required to stay in the hospital for four hours," she said.
There are no major side effects of egg donation, but nausea, giddiness, constipation and headache remain for a few days.
Ganeshan said: "It`s a safe procedure and there are no risks if done by expert doctors. We have expert teams and donors have to undergo several tests for egg donation."
Caracas: Over 4,000 hectares of woodland have been destroyed by wildfires in Sierra de Perija, in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, as a result of a prolonged drought, which specailists say is probably due to El Nino climate phenomenon.
El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a climate pattern that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean on average every five years, but over a period which varies from three to seven years, and is therefore, widely and significantly, known as "quasi-periodic."
ENSO is best-known for its association with floods, droughts and other weather disturbances in many regions of the world.
Local authorities also reported that various water sources are drying out in the Venezuelan bordering zone with Colombia, where wildfires have been raging over the last 10 days.
In Merida state, neighboring Zulia, local tourism authorities and security bodies have also reported wildfires in the surroundings of Chorros de Milla Park, where 15 hectares of woodland were devastated.
Due to the severe drought, President Hugo Chavez decreed a power emergency on Monday, as the water resources are in critical situation, chiefly El Guri reservoir, the biggest in the country.
According to authorities, this is the worst drought in the last 100 years and there are no guarantees that rains will start in May.