Like a lot of women who choose to freeze their eggs, Priyanka Chopra was in her early 30s, focused on her career and worried she’d never find a partner to marry and with whom to start a family.
“I hadn’t met the person I wanted to have children with,” the 40-year-old Indian actor shared on Monday’s episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast, Page Six reported. Chopra always knew she wanted to have children but also was aware that she was reaching the biological threshold of age 35, when a woman’s fertility takes a steep dive. That’s before she met and starting dating future-husband Nick Jonas in 2018.
In the interview, Chopra said she decided to freeze her eggs after her mother, an OB-GYN, told her to “just do it.” When Chopra finally met her Mr. Right, she admitted she was initially worried about the 10-year age gap, thinking that Jonas, only 25 at the time, would be too young to consider starting a family.
“I always knew I wanted kids, which was one of the big reasons I didn’t want to date Nick at that time,” Chopra said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if he wants kids at 25.’”
Despite Chopra’s initial hesitation, she and Jonas enjoyed a whirlwind romance that culminated with an engagement in August 2018, three months after they began dating. Four months later, in December 2018, they married in a spectacular wedding at Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, India, which included both Hindu and Christian ceremonies.
Chopra and the singer waited another four years to become parents to their daughter in January 2022, and they were upfront about using a surrogate. At the time, the Daily Mail cited sources who said the couple’s busy schedules “had gotten in the way of their family planning,” so they went the surrogacy route.
In the “Armchair Expert” podcast, Chopra acknowledged that she was pretty focused on her career in her 30s, which is why she was grateful she had the option to freeze her eggs. “I felt such a freedom,” she said, Page Six reported. “I could continue on an ambitious warpath that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to get to a certain place in my career.”
In the past couple of decades, a growing number of women have seized on the option of “oocyte cryopreservation” to widen the window of time for starting a family. Reproductive services in the Bay Area and nationally offer the procedure for women who delay starting families in order to pursue advanced degrees, build their careers or meet a suitable partner.
About half of all women over 40 have fertility problems, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and older eggs carry increased risks of chromosomal abnormalities that can cause miscarriage and birth defects. For this reason, women in this age group have much more success using donor eggs when undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), the Centers for Disease Control reports.
IVF and surrogacy also can help women become mothers to kids they are biologically related to in their 40s and even early 50s, but it’s also known that rates for a successful pregnancy directly correlate with age of the egg. As Chopra said, “Your eggs will still be the same age as when you froze them for people who want kids.”
Chopra acknowledged in the podcast episode that advanced reproductive technologies can be expensive, but she urged women who want to have children one day to save up for egg-freezing.
“I tell all my younger friends, the biological clock is real,” Chopra said, Page Six reported. “It gets so much harder to get pregnant after 35 and to carry to term and all of that, especially with women that have been working all their lives.”
Chopra also said that the technology has come a long way in recent years.
“Science is at such an amazing place right now,” Chopra said. “It’s the best gift you’ll give yourself because you’re taking the power from your biological clock, and you can work until however long you want.”
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