Celebrities are breaking their silence about infertility – which affects 10% to 15% of couples.
Infertility is defined as when couples are unable to conceive after having unprotected sex for at least a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends that women over the age of 35 should undergo infertility screening after six months, as the quality and quantity of eggs decline over time, markedly between the ages of 30 and 39.
Infertile people need support for grief that is not always recognized. “Although infertility doesn’t carry the same stigma it did decades ago, a lot of people still feel a lot of shame,” Jennifer Meyers, a midwife, certified nurse and Mayo Clinic spokesperson, told TODAY Parents . “There is societal pressure to have children, and it can be confusing to hear, ‘When do you get pregnant? “
Many celebrities have been open about expressing their reproductive challenges, which Myers says “can help the average person realize that they are not alone.” During National Infertility Awareness Week between April 24 and April 30 this year, here are some of the celebrities who have spoken out about struggling to get pregnant.
Jordana Brewster’s children, Julian, 8, and Rowan, 5, were born through gestational surrogacy, complicating the actress’ desire to take maternity leave the first time. “I was like, ‘I can’t hold my baby, so why would I get that? I have to go straight to work,” Brewster, who initially tried to get pregnant with IVF, told TODAY Parents in 2021. I was punishing myself for something I couldn’t help. Over time, the Fast and the Furious Star reached the place of recovery. “I left the baggage. “It just left the noise in my head,” she told TODAY. “I have put in so much work to create this beautiful life and I will enjoy it.”
Today, Dylan Dreyer welcomed her third son Russell in 2021, little brother to Calvin, 5, and Oliver, 2, after experiencing secondary infertility (which occurs when a person can’t conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after a previous pregnancy without problems.) and miscarriage.
While Dreyer and her husband Brian Fischera initially felt sad alone, in 2019, she opened an article for TODAY Parents. “Why do women (and their partners) have to go through all these ups and downs in the dark?” Dreyer Books. “Smiling on TV when I want to burst into tears, playing it cool on TV when I want to jump up and down in excitement… I’ve been dealing with a lot of intense emotions and it’s time to put it all in there.”
Dreyer said, by honesty, “it might just give another woman the motivation to keep the blockage going.”
Sarah Jessica Parker
Sex and The City star Sarah Jessica Parker gave birth to her first child, James Wilkie, in 2002, but when planning their second, the actress and her husband, Matthew Broderick, tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant, but she told Vogue magazine in 2010 “It wasn’t like that, the way traditional”.
The couple used surrogacy for twins Marion and Tabitha in 2009. Before giving birth, Parker thought about the disappointment of trying to conceive. “Yeah, I mean I can’t pretend otherwise,” she told Access Hollywood that year. “It would be complicated—it would be strange to make that choice if, you know, I could have had successful pregnancies since my son was born.”
Whitney Port and her husband Tim Rosenman share a son named Sonny, who was born in 2017, however, the Hills alum has since had two miscarriages. Porte wrote on Instagram for the first time: “The amount of different emotions I’ve had in the past two weeks has been intense…from shock to sadness to relief, which then lead to feelings of guilt for feeling such relief.”
In 2021, when Porte had her second miscarriage, she hesitated to post about it. “I wasn’t sure I wanted the pain relief all over again,” she explained in another post, adding, “I also have a lot of grief in my heart for anyone who has to go through this or has gone through this.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama said in her 2018 memoir “Becoming,” that she and former President Barack Obama used IVF to conceive their daughters Sasha, 20, and Malia, 23. “We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” she wrote, according to the Associated Press. “We did one pregnancy test which was positive, which made us forget all the anxiety and faint with joy, but two weeks later I had a miscarriage, which made me feel physically uncomfortable and sparked any optimism we feel.”
Tyra Banks and partner Eric Asla used gestational surrogacy for their son York in 2016. “I think I’m lucky, you know, I’ve done it for about a year and a half of IVF and some women do it for years and years and years,” the former ANTM judge told Entertainment Tonight two years later. “Unfortunately, I don’t have frozen embryos because I want three kids. I think that was the end. I think I might have been able to go on, but I think it wasn’t healthy for my body because fewer eggs and fewer eggs and fewer eggs, you know, every month. But I’m so happy. “.
Kim Kardashian used fertility treatments to give birth to four of her children after they developed preeclampsia, which causes organ damage, while pregnant with her first child North, now eight, she explained in a 2019 Instagram post. Kardashian also suffered from placenta accreta, a potentially dangerous condition when the placenta remains inside the womb.
At the time, Kardashian and her now estranged husband, Kanye West (who filed for divorce in January 2021), wanted more children, so she froze her eggs and became pregnant with their son Saint, who was born in 2015. However, the reality star had a complicated second birth. She also underwent surgery to repair her organs. To bear her two subsequent children, Chicago and Psalm, born in 2018 and 2019, respectively, the SKIMS co-founder used two different surrogates. “I am so grateful for my two beautiful children,” Kardashian said. “No matter how they came to me, they came to me. I am very grateful for the alternatives.”
“Girls” star Lena Dunham wrote in a 2018 article for Vogue that her diagnosis of endometriosis led to a hysterectomy, a hysterectomy. “I only feel that the womb that was given to me is defective,” she wrote, adding that her grief did not prevent her from celebrating her friends’ pregnancy. “Don’t the sonograms and Instagrams break my heart like they did when I still had a non-functioning uterus,” she wrote. “Children who would have been mine break my heart, and I walk with them, with the potential lost, and I walk sad and wobbly as I regain my position.”
Dunham, who is married to musician Louis Felbert, says she is optimistic about her reproductive options, which include adoption. “But I wanted that stomach,” she wrote of pregnancy. “I wanted to know what nine months of full teamwork would feel. I was supposed to get the job, but I didn’t pass the interview. And that’s fine. It really is. I may not believe it now, but I will very soon.”
Before her daughter Kavya was born via a surrogate in 2018, actress Gabrielle Union and husband Dwyane Wade, a former NBA player, went through “eight or nine miscarriages” she wrote in her book We’ll Need More Wine, according to an excerpt they posted People. “For three years, my body was a prisoner of trying to get pregnant – either I was about to go into my IVF cycle, I was in the middle of my IVF cycle, or I was out of my IVF cycle.”
And strange questions from others can offend. “For many women, not just women in the spotlight, people feel entitled to know, ‘Do you want children? “A lot of people, especially people with fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about everything that’s really going on,” Union told the outlet. People mean well, but they have no idea what damage or frustration it can cause.”