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China's first frozen egg baby born
Updated: 2004-05-12 07:50

China's first baby conceived from frozen germ cells has been born in the Chinese capital, reported Tuesday's Beijing Youth Daily.

The paper quoted Dr. Li Xiaohong with the No. 1 Hospital affiliated with Beijing University as saying that the boy weighed 4.2 kg when it was born on April 29.

"After a medical check, all of the baby's indices showed he was healthy," Li said.

The 38-year-old mother chose a Caesarean section to avoid a difficult birth, Li said. She came to Beijing from east China's Jiangsu Province in July last year and Dr. Li used one-year-frozen germ cells for her. She became pregnant just one month later.

According to earlier reports, the No. 1 Hospital is brewing a plan to build the country's first human germ cell bank.

Married women, aged between 22 and 35 and free from infectious and congenital diseases, can apply to freeze and store germ cells for future impregnation, according to Dr. Li. As of May 10, some 50 women have done so in the germ cell bank.

"The germ cell freezing and storage technology is mature enough in China, but it's only for trial use now," she said. "Wider clinical use has to wait until relevant laws are made, because after all, pregnancy and birth are big issues and have to be protected by law."

China has set up several sperm banks to help men achieve fatherhood. Chengdu city in the southwestern province of Sichuan is now seeking volunteers to donate healthy germ cells for future impregnation by women who suffer from congenital sterility or ovarian failure.

The Chinese Ministry of Health has ruled that germ cell donors must undergo a strict medical checkup and each donor can only provide germ cells for five women. Germ cell sales are banned.

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