Nicole Kidman, Celine Dion and 6 Other Celebrities Who Chose IVF or Surrogacy
June 12, 2018
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These stars have been open about their fertility struggles and experiences with IVF.
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According to a recent
study02449-1/fulltext), nearly one out of every six couples struggles with infertility. But thanks to surrogacy and advances in fertility treatments, people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have children are able to start their own families. In fact, a whopping 1 million babies have been born in the United States with the help of fertility treatments since 1985. A surprising amount of celebrities have been transparent about their fertility struggles and experiences with IVF, detailing everything from their successes and failures to heartache and joy. Here are eight celebrities who have opened up about choosing IVF or surrogacy.
Chrissy Teigen has been totally transparent about her fertility struggles and IVF experiences.
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Chrissy Teigen and husband John Legend
struggled to get pregnant for nine years before turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF) — a two step process in which a woman's egg is fertilized with her partner's sperm in a laboratory and then the resulting embryo is implanted in her uterus — first for daughter Luna in 2016 and later for son Miles in 2018. Teigen was open about how tough the experience was for her: "The first round I did IVF, when it didn’t work I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I was on my feet too much, and that’s why,’” she told The Cut. “You just look for anything to blame, especially yourself.” It's quite common for women to blame themselves for infertility, but most of the time it isn’t their fault. “If you find yourself spiraling after a failed IVF cycle, stop,” cautions Gunce Arkan, head of research at the Glow Fertility Program. “Yes, there are things that can be done to improve your chances of a successful IVF cycle, but even a woman who does every single thing right will not get pregnant over half the time.”
Nicole Kidman struggled to get pregnant for several years, carrying just one of her four children.
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Nicole Kidman struggled with fertility for most of her life before she and husband Keith Urban conceived daughter Sunday Rose, who was born in 2008, and used a
surrogate to carry their second daughter, Faith Margaret, who was born in 2010. “I had tried and failed and failed and failed,” Kidman told Who magazine in 2008. "Every woman who has been through all those ups and downs knows the depression that comes with it.” Arkan suggests those dealing with the trauma of infertility seek emotional support, either through therapy or a support group. “ Studies have shown that infertility can have the same emotional impact as a cancer diagnosis or divorce,” she says. “The treatment of infertility can likewise be overwhelming.”
Celine Dion spent many years trying to add to her family.
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All of Celine Dion’s three children with late husband Rene Angelil were born via IVF, which she underwent seven times. Her son was conceived during the first round, but having her other two children proved more challenging. “I needed to protect myself a little by thinking that I already had one child. I couldn’t make all my life, my spirituality, my strength, my happiness dependent on the next pregnancy,” Dion told
The Daily Mail. “For the twins I did IVF six times, one after the other.” According to a recent study, only 29.5 percent of couples get pregnant during their first round of IVF, with that percentage staying consistent through the fourth cycle. However, by the sixth cycle, 65 percent of couples achieve a live birth. As Dion learned, patience can be key when it comes to IVF.
Kim Kardashian documented her fertility struggles on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
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Kim Kardashian became pregnant with her first child, North, less than six months after she started dating now-husband Kanye West. However, during the pregnancy the reality star struggled with two high-risk conditions,
placenta accreta and preeclampsia. Conceiving baby number two wasn’t quite so easy. After eight unsuccessful months, she conceived the couple’s son, Saint, via IVF. She and Kanye welcomed their third child through a gestational carrier — a surrogate who carries an embryo created from the couple's egg and sperm — after doctors told her pregnancy was no longer a safe option. “Having a gestational carrier is definitely different, but anyone who says or thinks it’s the easy way out is completely wrong,” Kardashian wrote on her blog.
Courteney Cox had trouble carrying a pregnancy to full term until trying IVF.
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Courteney Cox and then-husband David Arquette suffered several miscarriages before learning a rare antibody in her blood was preventing her pregnancies from reaching full term. After two IVF cycles, (in which her embryos likely underwent a
series of genetic screenings), the former “Friends” star was successful in conceiving her daughter Coco. How does IVF help someone with preexisting conditions get pregnant? “The latest advances in infertility treatment are nothing short of miraculous,” says Arkan. She explains that IUI (intrauterine insemination) treatments are effective in helping with ovulation issues, while IVF helps couples with other fertility issues, such as Cox's. “Now, with preimplantation genetic screening, doctors can test embryos for many genetic diseases, lower miscarriage rates and help women become pregnant with a single healthy baby.”
Sarah Jessica Parker hired a surrogate to carry her twin girls.
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Sarah Jessica Parker
The “Sex and the City” star conceived and carried her first child, James, with Matthew Broderick. However, the couple unsuccessfully “tried and tried and tried and tried and tried to get pregnant, but it just was not to be, the conventional way,” she told
Vogue about their many failed attempts to add to their family. SJP ultimately decided to use a surrogate to carry her twin daughters, an experience she described as both “different and equally extraordinary.” “Secondary infertility affects more than 3 million women in the U.S. alone,” explains Arkan. “You may be fertile at 35, but not as fertile when you try for your second baby at 39.” Which is why family planning is so important. “Our Glow Fertility coaches always ask women about their complete family plan. It’s not about just this first baby. It’s about the one after that. And the one after that.”
Read more: This Is How Sarah Jessica Parker and 12 Other Celebrities Keep Their Relationships Healthy
Giuliana Rancic struggled with fertility for many years before being diagnosed with breast cancer.
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Giuliana Rancic and husband Bill unsuccessfully attempted IVF three times. “My first IVF I did get pregnant — that was the miscarriage,” Rancic told
CNN. “But the second one, I did not get pregnant, and that was the biggest kick in the stomach.’” Luckily, the couple had frozen embryos left over from their previous attempts. After Rancic discovered she had breast cancer and couldn’t carry a baby herself, this enabled them to welcome their son through a gestational carrier. “When a young woman chooses to freeze her eggs, she gives her older self a gift. The gift of time,” says Arkan, about how egg freezing can be a great insurance policy not only against potential illness, but also age. The couple attempted to have more children, but their surrogate suffered two more miscarriages, tragically losing their final embryo in 2014.
Read more: 20 Celebrities Who Have Battled Cancer
Elizabeth Banks used a surrogate after trying a range of fertility treatments.
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years of trying to get pregnant on her own and “exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful,” Banks and her husband, Max Handelman, decided to use a surrogate. But it wasn’t an easy choice. “It helps that other moms had said that once they had their babies, they forgot they were ever pregnant,” Banks, who had two sons with the help of her surrogate, told Women’s Health. “So once my focus became the baby and not the pregnancy, it was a very easy decision.” Struggling to bond with a baby can a common issue — even for women who birth their baby naturally. “When that baby comes home, not every parent immediately falls in love,” explains Arkan. “Some parents bond instantly with their babies. Some do not. But no matter what, love is strengthened through time and effort.”
Are you surprised that so many celebrities struggle with fertility?
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What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised so many celebrities struggle with fertility? Have you ever tried IVF? What was your experience with it? Tell us in the comments!
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