The Seoul city government has initiated a financial assistance program for single women interested in egg freezing, garnering significant attention from unmarried women, officials said Sunday.
Starting Sept. 1, the Seoul metropolitan government began offering financial aid of up to 2 million won ($1,500) for fertility preservation, in the latest of a series of measures introduced by Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon in March to address the city's alarmingly low birthrate of 0.59.
"The number of egg freezing procedures performed on unmarried women has nearly doubled over the last three years," said an official on condition of anonymity. "The overwhelming response to this assistance program demonstrates that more women are willing to freeze their eggs, regardless of their marital status."
According to a survey conducted by a local medical institution, 69.8 percent of unmarried women and 64 percent of married women expressed their intent to preserve their eggs.
However, the cost of the procedure typically ranges between 2.5 and 5 million won per session, and it is not covered by the national health insurance for single women.
Women aged between 20 and 49 are eligible for the project, and it covers 50 percent of the preliminary examination costs before egg retrieval, the freezing process and storage, for one session, the city government said. (Yonhap)