There’s absolutely nothing glamorous about going through infertility. It’s a giant mess of runny mascara, ultrasound wands and PIO shots.
That’s why there is something so inspiring about knowing that even the world’s richest and most successful people weren’t free from the pain and fear that infertility can trigger. Infertility is an incredible equalizer. It’s such a lonely, isolating, painful experience that hearing the stories from strong, successful women and men can make us feel more seen. More understood. Less like some anomaly or failure or troll sitting all alone with a belly full of injection pricks…
Below are our favorite 20 actresses, musicians, politicians and changemakers who have openly shared their stories of conceiving.
- Brooke Shields – Shields went through seven IVF treatments before giving birth to her and Chris Henchy’s daughter in 2003. They naturally conceived their second daughter three years later.
- Gabrielle Union – Actress and activist Union opened up about her struggles with miscarriage and IVF. This year she and her husband, basketball player Dwayne Wade, welcomed their long-awaited daughter via gestational surrogate, later sharing their story with Oprah.
- Chrissy Teigen – Teigen and husband John Legend used IVF to have both of their children. The supermodel has always been open about her emotional struggles during IVF and afterwards, dealing with postpartum depression.
- Michelle Obama – In her new book, Becoming, released in 2018, Obama revealed that she and husband, President Barack Obama, used IVF to conceive and carry both of their daughters.
- Tyra Banks – Supermodel Tyra Banks spoke out alongisde Chrissy Teigen, saying that she too struggled with fertility issues.
- Jimmy Fallon – Fallon and wife Nancy Juvoven have two daughters, born via gestational surrogate. His advice to those struggling with infertility? “I know people have tried much longer than we have, but if there’s anyone out there who is trying they’re just losing hope…just hang in there.”
- Celine Dion – Dion gave birth to all three of her sons thanks to IVF. “IVF is difficult emotionally,” Dion told Hello! Canada magazine. Oh, Celine…we know…
- Mariah Carey – Carey suffered a miscarriage before undergoing IVF treatments with her husband Nick Cannon to get pregnant and deliver her twins in 2011. Maybe “All I Want for Christmas” is actually about wanting babies, after all!
- Nicole Kidman – Kidman and Keith Urban went through various rounds of fertility treatments before the birth of their daughter in 2008. Their second daughter was born via gestational surrogate in 2010.
- Courtney Cox – After struggling to conceive, Cox and David Arquette pursued IVF to have their daughter who was born in 2004.
- Giuliana Rancic – Rancic and her husband Bill were already struggling with infertility when she was diagnosed with cancer. Unable to carry the embryos from their third round of IVF due to cancer medication, the couple enlisted a gestational surrogate.
- Emma Thompson – The British actress’ daughter was conceived with the help of in-vitro in 1999. Thompson and her husband attempted a second pregnancy by IVF, but the treatment was unsuccessful.
- Maria Menounos – The E! News host has been open about her struggle using IVF with longtime fiancé Keven Undergaro.
- Angela Bassett – The American Horror Story actress and husband Courtney B. Vance opened up on Oprah about their years-long journey to conceive their twins via surrogate. They went through seven years of failed ART treatments before a friend mentioned the idea of surrogacy to Bassett.
- Kim Kardashian West – Reality star, Kim K, experienced severe complications during her pregnancy with her first child. After trying for 8 months with husband Kanye West, the couple began working with fertility specialists, which resulted in their second child. The couple had their third child with the help of a gestational surrogate.
- Khloé Kardashian – Speaking of Kardashians, Kim’s little sister Khloé also mentioned using medical assistance to try and get pregnant with her ex-husband Lamar Odom.
- Elizabeth Banks – After welcoming her son in 2011, Banks blogged “The one true hurdle I’ve faced in life is that I have a broken belly. After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy.”
- Hugh Jackman – Hugh and wife Deborra-Lee Furness now have two adopted children, but revealed that they first tried having children the old-fashioned way. He said, “Until you go through it, you realize [infertility is] not talked about a lot…we always wanted to adopt, so that was always in our plan. We didn’t know where in the process that would happen but biologically, obviously, we tried, and it was not happening for us.”
- Sarah Jessica Parker – While Parker delivered her and Matthew Broderick’s oldest child, their twins were carried via gestational surrogate.
- Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook founder Zuckerberg went public with he and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan’s fertility struggles sharing they had gone through 3 miscarriages.
Who are your favorite actors, musicians, artists, politicians, entrepreneurs and other superstars who have shared their fertility stories? Who are we forgetting?