US woman gives birth to baby from world's first frozen donor egg bank

Jan 03, 2006

Wendy and Jared Kennedy find it hard to take their eyes off their new daughter, Avery Lee, born in the early morning hours of Dec. 31 at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. Avery is special to them for many reasons, but she’s also special to the world. The 8 pound, 2 ounce baby girl is apparently the first baby born after being conceived with a frozen donor egg from a commercial egg bank.

Wendy, a 41-year-old nurse at the UK Markey Cancer Center, and Jared found they were unable to conceive on their own. Lab tests revealed that they would need to use a donor egg. The couple learned about a new technology in which women’s eggs can be frozen and stored in much the same way as donor sperm, which has been available for infertile couples for decades.

The Kennedy couple turned to the first commercial donor egg bank in the world, Cryo Eggs International, which has offices in Lexington and in Phoenix, Arizona. James Akin, M.D., a voluntary member of the clinical faculty research team at the UK College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology, is medical director for CEI.

The new technology to successfully freeze women's eggs allows women to select a familial "match," or someone with similar characteristics, from the donor eggs in the bank. The eggs may be shipped anywhere in the world to be thawed, fertilized and transferred as an embryo to the waiting woman who wishes to experience the pregnancy and birth of her baby. Wendy and Jared chose a donor with a similar ancestoral background—German—and who closely resembles Wendy. They also were able to plan when to conceive—something they might not have been able to do with unfrozen eggs harvested from a donor, who would have been required to travel to the same facility as Wendy and the menstrual cycles of the two women coordinated.

Egg donors are tested as required by the FDA for infectious diseases within 30 days of egg collection. The eggs are then frozen and quarantined for six months. After the donor tests negative again for HIV and other infectious diseases, the eggs released.

"She's a little miracle," Wendy said a little more than 24 hours after the birth of their daughter. "I kept looking at her all night telling myself, 'She's really ours.'"

Wendy and Jared said they hope other infertile couples will gain hope by hearing their story.

“We don't want anyone to be as sad as we were. We want to talk about it. We want them to know that there are options available to them," Wendy said.

Source: University of Kentucky

Explore further: How were fossil tracks made by Early Triassic swimming reptiles so well preserved?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Lost frog DNA revived

Mar 15, 2013

As part of a "Lazarus Project" to try to bring the Australian gastric-brooding frog back from extinction a UNSW-led team has succeeded in producing early stage cloned embryos containing the DNA of the frog, ...

Uterine health more important than egg quality

Feb 02, 2011

For women seeking pregnancy by assisted reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), a new study shows that the health of the uterus is more relevant than egg quality for a newborn to achieve normal birth ...

Researchers improve zebrafish cloning methods

Aug 30, 2009

A team of Michigan State University researchers has developed a new, more efficient way of cloning zebra fish, a breakthrough that could have implications for human health research.

Recommended for you

Predicting human crowds with statistical physics

Feb 27, 2015

For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

Broken windows thesis springs a leak

Feb 27, 2015

The broken windows theory posits that minor misdemeanors, like littering or graffiti spraying, stimulate more serious anti-social behavior. LMU sociologists now argue that the idea is flawed and does not ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.