A recent newspaper investigation in China found that women studying in the country's top universities can earn up to 100,000 yuan (RM60,700) by illegally selling their eggs
According to South China Morning Post, the investigation was carried out by Beijing Youth Daily.
Women bearing characteristics such as good academic performance, height, and looks are highly sought after, thus the premium price.
However, "ordinary" donors earn as little as 10,000 yuan (RM6,067) - but still go through with the process so they can buy new smartphones.
The illicit trade is believed to be fuelled by an increased demand for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) services
Following the lifting of China's one-child policy, many couples found they were too old to conceive naturally.
Infertility is also another reason couples resort to such services, one unnamed agent said in the investigation.
Couples usually carry out the transactions through an agent, though sometimes they prefer to meet the donor in person.
Donors have to go through a 10-day procedure of being injected with large doses of hormones
The report also revealed that private hospitals made secret deals with agents to illegally obtain the eggs.
Donors who choose to sell their eggs will be subjected to injections of large doses of hormones over a 10-day period to simulate the production of eggs at a faster rate.
South China Morning Post reported that an ultrasound scan and blood test is then carried out on the donor to determine when the operation to remove the eggs can be carried out.
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