20 Celebrities Who've Opened Up About Their Fertility Struggles
Infertility affects one in eight couples in the US. It's super common, but also super misunderstood. For many women, the experience of struggling to conceive can be painful and alienating, and laden with embarrassment and shame. That's why it's so important that women talk about their experiences with infertility — so other women going through similar struggles know they're not alone. Here are 20 celebrities who have been open about their own experiences with infertility. (Photos via Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images + Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images + Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions + Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Chrissy Teigen: The cookbook author and husband John Legend have two kids — daughter Luna and a newborn baby boy — but their road to parenthood wasn't an easy one. Teigen has been open about her infertility struggles, as well as the process of freezing her eggs and undergoing IVF, which wasn't initially successful. "There's no right way to do IVF. You just have to keep hoping that it will happen," she told The Cut. "It's easy for some, and not for others. And that's okay." (Photo via Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Hilarie Burton: The One Tree Hill alum shared her fertility struggles after welcoming her second child with husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan. "It took a long time for Jeffrey and I to have this baby," she wrote on Instagram. "The first time I got pregnant, it took a year-and-a-half. I surprised him on Christmas with baby Seahawk booties. We cried. We celebrated. We picked out names. And we lost that baby." She went on to say that "more losses followed," and that the situation was (and still is) "heartbreaking."
After five years of trying, they welcomed a baby girl, George, in 2018. "I don't want her birth to cause any other woman to weep at her kitchen table," Burton wrote, recalling her own reaction to other people's pregnancies in the past. "If anything, my wish is that she would restore hope for others. Fertility is a fickle thing. And for the other couples out there who have had dark days, we want to introduce our miracle baby to you and send you our love and support in finding yours." (Photo via Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
Lena Dunham: The Girls star has been incredibly candid about the health issues she's faced due to endometriosis. In March 2018, she revealed that she had undergone a total hysterectomy because of it, which means she'll never be able to carry a baby herself. She still hopes to have a child someday, perhaps via surrogate or through adoption. "But I wanted that stomach. I wanted to know what nine months of complete togetherness could feel like," she wrote in Vogue. "I was meant for the job, but I didn't pass the interview. And that's okay. It really is. I might not believe it now, but I will soon enough. And all that will be left is my story and my scars, which are already faded enough that they're hard to find." (Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Gabrielle Union: The Being Mary Jane actress opened up about trying to have a baby with her husband, NBA player Dwyane Wade, in her book We're Going to Need More Wine, where she shared that she had suffered "eight or nine miscarriages." She explained, "For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — I've either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle."
The struggle wasn't just physical, though. "For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, 'Do you want kids?'" she wrote. "A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say 'no' because that's a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause." (Photo via Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
Jaime King: After welcoming her son, James Knight, in 2013, King revealed what she had gone through to conceive him, including "eight years of pain and undiagnosed PCOS and endometriosis, nine doctors until Dr. Randy Harris diagnosed me and saved my life from a severe ectopic, five miscarriages, five rounds of IVF, [and] 26 IUIs, most with no outcome." She later spoke with People about the ordeal, saying in 2015, "I was hiding what I was going through for so long, and I hear about so many women going through what I went through. If I'm open about it, hopefully it won't be so taboo to talk about it." (Photo via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF)
Tyra Banks: In January 2016, Banks and then-boyfriend Erik Asla welcomed a son, York, with the help of a gestational surrogate. But that was only after the America's Next Top Model host had gone through several unsuccessful rounds of IVF. "I've had some not happy moments with that, very traumatic moments," she told People in 2015. "It's difficult as you get older. It's not something that can just happen." (Photo via Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Angela Bassett: Angela Bassett told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that she and husband Courtney B. Vance tried for years to get pregnant before turning to surrogacy to have their twins, Bronwyn and Slater. "It was difficult. It was challenging. It was not happening," she said at the time. "Or it would happen and then it would, 'poof,' go away. It was really rough." (Photo via Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Sarah Jessica Parker: After the birth of her son, James, the Sex and the City star and husband Matthew Broderick turned to surrogacy to have their twin daughters, Marion and Tabitha, in 2009. "We've been trying to expand our family for a number of years and we actually have explored a variety of ways of doing so," she told Access Hollywood. Asked if she had faced "disappointment" along the way, she said, "Yeah, I mean, I couldn't pretend otherwise. … It would be odd to have made this choice if I was able to, you know, have successful pregnancies since my son's birth." (Photo via Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Trista Sutter: When former Bachelorette Trista Sutter decided to start a family with husband Ryan, she didn't realize the challenges she would face. "We struggled with infertility for almost two years. … When you get married you believe, 'Okay, the next natural thing is to have babies.' When that doesn't happen, you start to question your relationship, you start to question yourself, even God," she told Fox News in 2015. "It's a very difficult thing to not be able to do anything about making a dream of yours come true and questioning whether something is wrong with you. So that was definitely a dark time in my life." Now, Trista and Ryan are the parents of two children, daughter Blakesley and son Maxwell. (Photo via Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for WE tv)
Kim Kardashian West: During the birth of her first child, North, Kardashian West suffered some complications that made subsequent pregnancies difficult and potentially unsafe. "I had this condition called placenta accreta. There were a couple little operations to fix all that, so that created a little hole in my uterus, which I think made it really tough to get pregnant again," she told C Magazine in 2015. She eventually conceived a son, Saint, but opted to use a gestational carrier for her third child, Chicago. (Photo via Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Khloé Kardashian: Before she got pregnant with daughter True in 2017, Kardashian wasn't sure if she'd be able to have biological children. During her marriage to Lamar Odom, she sought medical help to try to conceive. "It's more about my hormones being off," she explained to Redbook in 2013. "I was taking hormone shots to stabilize them, and you have to take those shots consistently and they have to be done by a doctor. You can do it yourself, but I couldn't." (Photo via Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
Mariah Carey: Prior to welcoming to their twins Moroccan and Monroe in April 2011, Carey and husband Nick Cannon suffered a miscarriage of a previous pregnancy. The singer also confirmed in a 20/20 interview after her kids' birth that she had sought out fertility treatments. "The main thing I did that was tough was to go on progesterone, like, every month," she said at the time. "And then when I was pregnant, I had to stay with the progesterone for 10 weeks. It minimizes the chance of miscarriage by 50 percent." (Photo via Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Celine Dion: Having grown up with 13 (!) older brothers and sisters, the Canadian singer wanted her own children to experience the same kinds of sibling bonds. But after undergoing IVF treatments to conceive her first son, René-Charles, Dion struggled to have a second child, even losing one pregnancy just days after it was reported by the media. "It's not, 'Oh, poor Celine,' but it's a lot," she told People in 2010. Later that year, the family welcomed twins Nelson and Eddy. (Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for NARAS)
Courteney Cox: The Friends alum has suffered multiple miscarriages, in part due to an MTHFR gene mutation. "I get pregnant pretty easily, but I have a hard time keeping them," she told People in 2003. "I don't say it's a walk in the park. But what are you going to do? We just try again." Thanks to IVF treatments, Cox and her then-husband David Arquette had a daughter, Coco, on June 13, 2004.
Nicole Kidman: The Big Little Lies star has four children — two she adopted with ex-husband Tom Cruise in the '90s, and two from her marriage to Keith Urban — but her journey to motherhood hasn't been an easy one. After giving birth to daughter Sunday Rose in 2008, she and Urban struggled to conceive a second time and chose to use a gestational carrier to welcome daughter Faith in 2010. "Anyone that's been in the place of wanting another child or wanting a child knows the disappointment, the pain, and the loss that you go through trying," she told Australia's 60 Minutes in 2011. "Struggling with fertility is such a big thing, and it's not something I've ever run away from talking about. I've had a very rollercoaster ride with fertility. It's never been easy for me." (Photo via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Banks: When the Pitch Perfect actress announced the birth of her son, Felix, in 2011, she also shared what she had gone through to have him. "The one true hurdle I've faced in life is that I have a broken belly," she wrote in a blog post at the time. "After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy: We make a 'baby cake' and bake it in another woman's 'oven.'" (Photo via Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Halsey: The musician has been candid about her health, first going public about her multiple surgeries to relieve endometriosis symptoms, and then bravely opening up about her experience of miscarrying onstage in Chicago. "I found out I was pregnant," she recalled in an interview with The Doctors in 2018. "Before I could really figure out what it meant to me and what that meant for my future, for my career, for my life, for my relationship, the next thing I knew, I was on stage miscarrying in the middle of my concert."
She also spoke about her decision to freeze her eggs, saying in the same interview, "I need to be aggressive about protecting my fertility, protecting myself. Reproductive illness is so frustrating because it can really make you feel like less of a woman. Taking these measures to make sure that I get to have a hopefully bright future and achieve the things that I want to achieve by doing the ovarian reserve is really important." (Photo via Jesse Grant/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Jordana Brewster: The Fast and the Furious star and her husband, Andrew Form, used a gestational surrogate to carry their two sons, Julian and Rowan. But it wasn't a decision they took lightly. "For me it wasn't a choice, I needed to use a surrogate," she told Yahoo! Parenting in 2015. "Sometimes I feel a little left out when other moms talk about what their birth experience was like, and I feel the loss of not having carried or having been able to carry. But luckily I keep my circle tight and close, so I never feel judged." (Photo via Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Kate Walsh: The Grey's Anatomy alum told Maria Menounos in 2015 that she had gone through early menopause and wouldn't be able to have biological children. "My older sister called and was like, 'By the way, you should go and get yourself checked because I'm going through menopause early,'" she recalled. "I'm like, 'You're just scaring me.' And then, yeah, sure enough, I went and they were like, 'You have one egg.'… It was bleak." (Photo via Theo Wargo/Getty Images for AHA)
Maria Menounos: In May 2016, Menounos posted an Instagram photo of herself posing on a beach, with a caption detailing her private fertility struggles. "After months & months of IVF treatments and not feeling myself...I am happy to be able to post this picture & say I feel like me again," she wrote. "It takes its toll on you physically & emotionally. Hell, I spent an entire episode of my @siriusxmstars show crying one day [because] of it all! Anyone going through IVF knows what I'm talking about." (Photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)