Not everyone has an easy time becoming pregnant, including some of our favourite celebrities. From Chrissy Teigen to Ola Jordan and Courteney Cox, several stars have bravely opened up about their fertility issues over the years, detailing their decision to undergo IVF or try surrogacy in order to conceive a baby.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of several techniques available to help people with fertility problems have a baby. The process involves removing an egg from the ovaries and fertilising it in a laboratory with sperm, before being returned to the mother's womb (or the womb of a surrogate) to grow into a baby.
Not being able to conceive a child naturally is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, several celebrities have been open and honest about their IVF journeys. Let's take a look...
Paris Hilton is undergoing IVF with her husband Carter Reum, following advice from friend Kim Kardashian. "[Kim was the one] who told me about that. I didn't even know anything about it. I'm happy that she told me that advice and introduced me to her doctor," the socialite told The Trend Reporter with Mara podcast.
"We have been doing IVF, so I can pick twins if I like. I've already undergone the egg extraction procedure. It was tough, but I knew it would be worth it. I did it a couple of times."
When she announced she was pregnant with her second child, Anne Hathaway captioned her photo: "For everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love."
The Devil Wears Prada actress - who welcomed her son in November 2019- later revealed that she went through "infertility hell" and was left feeling "broken" and "devastated".
In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said: "Each time I was trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going my way, someone else would manage to conceive. I knew intellectually that it didn’t happen just to torment me, but, to be honest, it felt a little bit like it did."
Following a three-year fertility struggle, James and Ola Jordan welcomed baby Ella in 2020.
The former Strictly stars previously revealed that doctors had told them a natural pregnancy might never happen, so they underwent IVF. "When the doctor explained the only route for us to get pregnant would be IVF, it was tough to process. It's not something any couple ever thinks will happen to them," James said.
"I'm so glad I get to see her become a mum because it's all she's ever really wanted. To me, she was the best dancer in the world. Now she will be, without doubt, the best mum."
Kim Kardashian used a surrogate to carry her third child and fourth babies, daughter Chicago and son Psalm.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was unable to carry any more children after experiencing complications and developing placenta accreta during her first two pregnancies.
Kim has been open about her experiences with the condition, saying it had been "the most painful experience of my life" having the placenta removed following the birth of her daughter North in 2013. Writing in a blog post shortly after, Kim explained: "Right after delivery, the placenta usually then comes out. Mine did not. My placenta stayed attached inside my uterus, which is a condition called placenta accreta.
"My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!!"
Paloma Faith underwent six rounds of IVF before becoming pregnant with her second child. The singer already shares one child with Leyman Lahcine, and revealed her journey to becoming pregnant the second time was not an easy one. The Voice Kids coach penned a brutally honest post on Instagram to announce her happy news, writing: "This child is so wanted, it's my 6th round of IVF and was a struggle to get here. I had a very traumatic first birth and I am also prone to postpartum depression."
Chrissy Teigen previously revealed she underwent IVF to conceive her daughter Luna, and son Miles. Her husband John also opened up about their struggle in Mr Porter's The Journal, explaining: "We figured eventually we'd have to go into the doctor and see why it wasn't happening naturally. You know, sometimes it's just harder for some people than for others.
"We're just happy that we were able to do it with our doctor. He's [doctor] never really told us that there was something specific that he could identify was the reason why it just didn't work out naturally. We did what we had to do."
The Big Little Lies star once said she had a "rollercoaster ride with fertility", explaining that she and former husband Tom Cruise chose to adopt their children Isabella and Connor after struggling to conceive.
Nicole was later able to conceive her daughter Sunday Rose naturally, but had difficulty falling pregnant again, so used a gestational surrogate to carry her daughter Faith. "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 and struggling with fertility," Nicole said in 2011.
"Fertility is such a big thing, and it's not something I've ever run away from talking about."
McFly drummer Harry Judd and his wife Izzy also had IVF to conceive their first child, Lola, who was born in January 2016. However, they were later able to conceive their second child, Kit, naturally.
"Every baby is a miracle but we do feel so very lucky," Izzy told HELLO! when she announced her first pregnancy. "I never wanted to stop believing that we would have a family. But you do feel like someone has pressed pause on your life and you can't go anywhere."
The mum-of-two has since written a book, Dare to Dream, about her experiences.
Friends star Courteney Cox revealed she suffered a few miscarriages before conceiving her daughter Coco through IVF. Speaking to People magazine in 2003, Courteney said she and her former husband David Arquette would "bounce back pretty quickly" after each miscarriage, adding: "I don't say it's a walk in the park. But what are you going to do? We just try again."
Dancing on Ice star Caprice Bourret is mum to two adorable boys Jax and Jett. The former model welcomed her sons back in 2013 – one born via a surrogate and the other carried by herself and delivered just weeks apart.
She told HELLO! of her struggle to conceive with her US multimillionaire financier partner Ty Comfort. The couple met when Caprice was 39 but they struggled to start a family, suffering a miscarriage followed by several failed rounds of IVF.
"The doctors told me to forget getting pregnant," she said. "They discovered that the lining of my womb is so thin that no embryo could attach and grow. I was devastated."
Ty found a fertility agency in the US where they hired a surrogate to carry and give birth to their child. Shortly after their 32-year-old surrogate became pregnant with two of their embryos, Caprice realised she was also carrying a child.
Caprice said: "I didn’t dare believe that I could be pregnant. I took ten pregnancy tests, one after the other, to make sure. When every result was positive I was flabbergasted." Their surrogate sadly lost a baby girl, however Caprice and Ty welcomed two boys, Jax and Jett in 2013. The pair decided never to reveal which baby she and their surrogate had carried.
Emma Thompson suffered a miscarriage before welcoming her daughter Gaia in 1999 but was unable to conceive again, even with IVF. She later went on to adopt a son, Tindy, a former child soldier from Rwanda.
"I couldn't have more children, and that was hard; but perhaps if I had [had more], I'd have missed out on this extra act of mothering that I've had with Tindy. Because there was space in my life for him, and I don't think there would have been space if I'd had another young child around," Emma said in 2010.
Hannah Vaughan Jones
Hannah Vaughan Jones and husband Lewis told Lorraine Kelly how they welcomed a baby boy named Sonny after spending £80,000 on 15 rounds of IVF, which spanned six years.
"I still can't believe it's actually real, it's absolutely amazing," said Lewis. "At first I didn't want to count my chickens, I just didn't believe it was going to happen because we had so much heartbreak and so many things went wrong for so many years. It wasn't until I actually saw him face to face, I just burst into tears."
The pair started trying for a baby in 2013 and embarked on their first round of IVF on the NHS in 2015, which wasn't successful. Following a diagnosis of Hannah's polycystic ovaries and a tilted womb, the couple went private and underwent another 14 IVF rounds. Fortunately, one frozen embryo finally implanted and little Sonny arrived in December 2019 – born Matheson Calon Tallett Vaughan Jones.
Tyra Banks welcomed her son York via gestational surrogate in 2016, after experiencing fertility issues and having difficulty with IVF.
She previously opened up about her experiences in a chat with Chrissy Teigen, saying: "It's so funny when I was 23 years old, I used to tell myself, 'In three years, I’m going to have kids.' Then I turned 24. 'In three years, I'm going to have kids,'" she said. "Every single year I kept saying that. And then after a while it's like, 'Okay, now I want to.' And it's not so easy."
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