Florida Woman Sets Record for Oldest Eggs Used to Give Birth Through In Vitro

Belinda Slaughter's doctor set her chances at around 1 percent. The 46-year-old Orlando woman still harvested her eggs and fertilized them with her husband's sperm. Miraculously, one of the embryos is now a baby boy.

Jackson Slaughter was born last September. But an article just published in a journal for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine states that the dental assistant is the oldest woman to ever give birth through IV using her own eggs.

The baby was born healthy at three pounds, eight ounces, which makes the case somewhat of a medical marvel. At 30, women's chances for having a baby with chromosomal defects is around one in 385, Slaughter's doctor told the Orlando Sentinel. Five years later, the risk increases by a whole lot -- one in 185. By the time a woman hits 46, she's looking at a shocking one in 16.

Still, many women have defied those odds. The oldest-ever natural birth was performed by a 59-year-old British woman in 1997. In 2006, a 66-year-old Spanish woman gave birth using IVF treatment, according to Guinness World Records. Two years later, a 69-year-old Indian woman bore a daughter with the same type of medical assistance. (Both mother and child are still alive and well.) In 2010, a 58-year-old British woman gave birth to twins using that method.

The number of women who are able to give birth later in life through medical advances is soaring, but it's the not first time it's been so. It was much more common for baby boomers to give birth in their 40s than it is today. The number of women having babies between 40 and 45 is currently the highest it's been since 1967.

Slaughter braved a ten-week hospital stay and a C-section as the final hurdles to her pregnancy. From the time her doctor gave her that 1-percent chance to the last step of the way, the Orlando woman refused to believe the odds were stacked against her.

"I always knew it was going to work," Slaughter told the Sentinel. "Pray for direction, then go for it. Don't live with regrets."

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

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Allie Conti was a fellow at Miami New Times and a staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, where her writing won awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's now the senior staff writer at Vice and a contributor to the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Atlantic.