According to a recent la Repubblica article (Italian), due to low rates of egg donation, Italy faces a severe shortage of oocytes. Even though the ban on using donated eggs and sperm during fertility treatments in the country, which has a history of restrictive IVF laws, had been lifted in 2014, only about 10 Italian women had donated oocytes during their past two years. Meanwhile, between 500 and 600 egg donations are needed annually to satisfy current levels of demand.
Lack of Information to Blame
According to Andrea Borini, who heads the Italian Society of Fertility, Sterility and Reproductive Medicine, the low rates of egg donation are the result of a lack of information about the procedure – despite promises made by the Ministry of Health, an information campaign is yet to take place, so prospective donors face long waiting times and unclear answers from specialists they turn to.
While authorities launched a campaign to encourage “egg sharing” (where women undergoing fertility treatments donate part of their oocytes) last year, it only resulted in about 100 donations, meaning the majority of Italian patients requiring egg donation are still forced to turn to foreign clinics. This in turn, means higher fees for some patients, as not all regions subsidize the process.