Priyanka Chopra recalls ‘freedom’ she felt when she froze her eggs: ‘The best gift you’ll give yourself’
Priyanka Chopra has spoken candidly about her decision to freeze her eggs and how the choice left her with so much “freedom”.
The 40-year-old actor opened up about her husband, Nick Jonas, and their one-year-old daughter, Malti, during Monday’s episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. During the conversation, Chopra also recalled how, before she’d met Jonas and become a parent, she’d decided to freeze her eggs, and that it ultimately shaped her personal and professional life for the better.
Egg freezing, or oocyte cryopreservation, is a process in which a woman’s eggs are “extracted, frozen and stored as a method to preserve reproductive potential in women of reproductive age,” according to hospital UCLA Health, which notes that the process is carried out in the same way as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
“I felt such a freedom. I did it in my early thirties,” the Love Again star said of her decision to freeze her eggs. “I could continue on an ambitious warpath that I wanted to achieve. I wanted to get to a certain place in my career.”
According to Chopra, who married Jonas in 2018, her single relationship status at the time of the procedure was also one of the factors that influenced her decision.
“I also hadn’t met the person I wanted to have children with or I didn’t see that,” she added. “That’s anxiety-inducing. [I was] 35, and my mom’s an OB-GYN who’s like: ‘36, just do it.’”
During the conversation, Shepard’s co-host, Monica Padman, also shared that she recently froze her eggs and that it hadn’t gone well. In response, Chopra encouraged her to “do it again,” before noting why she feels the “biological clock is real”.
“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 our lives. But science is at such an amazing place right now,” she said, while acknowledging that one downside of the procedure is that it is expensive.
However, the actor noted that, although freezing your eggs can be costly, women can opt to do it as a “gift” to themselves.
“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. Your eggs will still be the same age as when you froze them,” she said.
Although prices vary by fertility centre, a single cycle of egg freezing can cost between $4,500 and $8,000, according to Dr Mindy Christianson, medical director of the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center, who spoke to The New York Times.
While Chopra said that she “always knew” she wanted children, she wasn’t sure how Jonas, who she began dating officially in early 2018, felt about being a parent, as he was still in his twenties.
“It was one of the big reasons I didn’t want to date Nick at that time because I was like: ‘I don’t know if he wants kids at 25,’” she explained. “But I’ve always wanted kids. I love kids.”
Last year, Chopra and Jonas welcomed their daughter, Malti Marie, via surrogate. In May 2022, the couple revealed that their newborn was finally going home from the hospital, after spending “100 plus days in the NICU”.
During an interview with British Vogue earlier this year, Chopra also opened up about her motherhood journey and experience with surrogacy.
“I had medical complications,” the Quantico star said. “[Surrogacy] was a necessary step, and I’m so grateful I was in a position where I could do this. Our surrogate was so generous, kind, lovely and funny, and she took care of this precious gift for us for six months.”
The producer went on to address online trolls who questioned her decision to use a surrogate. “You don’t know me,” she said. “You don’t know what I’ve been through. And just because I don’t want to make my medical history, or my daughter’s, public doesn’t give you the right to make up whatever the reasons were.”
She also pointed out how “painful” it was to see people on social media criticise her daughter, after she and Jonas announced their baby’s arrival.
“I’m like: ‘Keep her out of it.’ I know what it felt like to hold her little hands when they were trying to find her veins,” she added. “So no, she’s not going to be gossip. I’ve been really protective of this chapter of my life with my daughter. Because it’s not about my life only. It’s hers too.”