Former Miss World Has Baby from Frozen Egg
At 35 and single, the 1997 Miss World pageant winner Hayden decided to have her eggs frozen.
“I’m a practical person. I’m also a diehard romantic. The dichotomy here is evident. So, when I hit my thirties, and hadn’t found the right person to settle down with, I decided to opt for egg freezing.”
Fertility Declines with Maternal Age
More and more women around the world are delaying childbirth due to health reasons, career aspirations and/or not finding the right partner. The consequence of this is that these women will find it more difficult to conceive the “natural” way because infertility increases with age.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs— 1 to 2 million, states the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). By the time a girl reaches puberty, she is left with about half a million eggs. A woman’s best reproductive years are in her 20s.
Over time, her ovarian reserve and fertility continues to decline, and does so more rapidly in her 30s, especially after 35. A healthy 30 year old woman has about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant each month. That means that for every 100 fertile 30-year-old women trying to get pregnant in 1 cycle, 20 will be successful and the other 80 will have to try again.
By age 40, a woman’s chance is less than 5% per cycle, so fewer than 5 out of every 100 women are expected to be successful each month.
Egg Freezing A Growing Trend
Hayden states in an interview, “I [froze my eggs] to protect myself. I knew that someday I would want children…. After having resolved my 10,000 questions [with the doctor], I had two runs at the procedure, and got my eggs frozen just before I turned 35.”
Egg freezing technology have existed for several decades. However, only until 2012 did the ASRM remove the “experimental” status, in large part due to CHA Fertility Center’s technological advancements in the flash freezing process known as vitrification.
Since then, egg freezing has become more popular and accepted in wider culture. Major companies such as Facebook and Apple announced in 2015 that they would cover egg freezing for their female employees. Having babies with a woman’s previously frozen egg is a growing trend, especially as more women are delaying having families.
Egg Freezing Offers Women Options
I am a very private person, but I felt the need to speak about this issue to let women know that they have a choice. We are always under so much pressure — our biological clocks are ticking, we need to marry the right person, and our careers need attention. Among all this, to know that we do have a choice makes a big difference.
Even the U.S. government has realized the importance of fertility preservation. U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter publicly stated in early February 2016 he would launch a pilot program to cover sperm and egg freezing for military members.
Fertility preservation via egg freezing is a personal choice for women. In an otherwise uncontrollable situation, these reproductive options allow women to feel some semblance of control and hope.
Frozen Egg Leads to Birth of Baby Girl
I met Collin (Dick, husband) two years back, and he turned out to be everything I had dreamed of. We decided to have a baby through IVF [using my frozen egg]. I attempted IVF quite calmly, although many tend to get emotional during this procedure because here, unlike freezing eggs, you are expecting a baby. But I do not fret over things that one has no control over. Today, we are hands on parents [of Arya Renee Hayden], with no help, and we’re enjoying every minute of it.