Celebrities Who Struggled With Infertility
The Tonight Show host and wife Nancy Juvonen struggled with infertility for five years. "We've tried a bunch of things," he told the Today Show. "Anyone who's tried will know, it's just awful." But finally, and kind of secretly, they opted for a surrogate. Voilà! Daughter Winnie was born. "I know people have tried much longer [than we have], but if there's anyone out there who is trying and they're just losing hope … just hang in there," he said.
“I always say how I chased my career instead of chasing guys. And everybody was patting me on the back,” Rancic told Health. “No one ever told me, ‘Oh, by the way, your eggs change when you reach a certain age.’ I didn’t think 35 was old!”
Rancic went through two rounds of unsuccessful IVF before her breast cancer diagnosis. After that, the couple decided to try using a surrogate. And then the real star of Giuliana & Bill — Duke! — was born.
Law and Order’s Elizabeth Röhm spoke with The Bump about her struggle with infertility. IVF helped her conceive daughter Easton August at age 34. She encourages women to have their FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone, responsible for egg development) levels checked by age 30, so they can determine their “ovarian reserve,” or age-related fertility potential. A high FSH level is associated with lower fertility potential, so she may want to start considering infertility treatment.
Superstar Celine Dion went through several rounds of IVF before she and husband Rene Angélil had son Rene Charles in 2001. In a 2010 interview with People, she said she would continue getting treatments and hormone injections until they worked, and she’d become pregnant again. She welcomed twin boys later that year.
Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross knew it could be tough to get pregnant when she didn’t marry until 42. She and her husband, stockbroker Tom Mahoney, actually skipped a honeymoon to start IVF treatment. “Before I hit 30, I was already longing for kids. But for years, love and marriage eluded me,” she told Health. “In my early forties, I considered adoption, and I tried getting pregnant on my own through a sperm donor, but neither worked out… It’s very, very difficult to get pregnant in your forties.” But it worked; Cross is now mom to two daughters, Savannah and Eden.
Actress Nicole Kidman adopted two children when she was married to Tom Cruise, and later had two biological children with current husband Keith Urban. The pair’s second daughter together, Faith, was born via “gestational carrier,” a term Kidman and Urban use to indicate that baby carried by the surrogate is biologically theirs. Kidman told Australia’s 60 Minutes: “Struggling with fertility is such a big thing and it’s not something that I would run away from talking about. We were in a place of desperately wanting another child. I couldn’t get pregnant. I get emotional just talking about it, because I’m so grateful.”
It took seven rounds of IVF and multiple daily injections of ovulation stimulants, but Brooke Shields and husband Chris Henchy now have daughter Rowan. Shields told People that humor helped them get through the hardships of infertility, along with a positive attitude. “In a way, it was a blessing that I'd started with a positive result," she said in regard to her earlier conception from IVF, which ended in a miscarriage. "I told myself it happened once, it can happen again.”
Fertility treatments coupled with acupuncture helped Mariah Carey conceive twins Moroccan and Monroe at age 40. In a 20/20 interview with Barbara Walters, Carey explained she took progesterone every month. “Then when I was pregnant, I had to stay with the progesterone for 10 weeks. It minimizes the chance of miscarriage by 50 percent.”
This Dixie Chicks instrumentalist has four kids now, and admitted to ABC that “when they're climbing all over me, it's bizarre to talk about infertility problems. But thank God for science.” IVF treatment helped her conceive all of her children. She also discussed the guilt and stress she had over her inability to become pregnant: “I think you go through almost every emotion. I know my husband felt guilty. I know I felt guilty. For a moment you sit there and think, if this doesn't happen, will he love me any less?”
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