Lisa Faulkner opens up about her heartbreaking fertility battle

The star is married to Masterchef judge John Torode

Lisa Faulkner has spoken openly about her experience with fertility drugs. The TV star, who is married to Masterchef judge John Torode, detailed her struggle to fall pregnant during her first marriage in her first memoir Meant To Be: My Journey to Motherhood. And while she ultimately made the decision to step away from the fertility route, she still has a regular reminder of her attempts to have a baby. Thanks to the drugs she took to stimulate ovulation, Lisa revealed she still experiences hormonal highs and lows every month.

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Lisa, 48, endured three unsuccessful rounds of IVF and suffered an ectopic pregnancy before she adopted daughter Billie with her then-husband Chris Coghill in 2008. She further shared that she used to take the fertility drug Clomid, but admitted it had a "horrific" effect.

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Lisa and Masterchef star John were married in October 2019

"Clomid is very interesting, it works for loads of people but it made me mental," Lisa wrote in an excerpt shared by the Mirror. "Within three days of taking it I turned into a different person. One minute I was crying, literally sobbing, on the bathroom floor, then I was high as a kite, then I was angry. It felt like the worst PMT, but with no period pain… it was horrific, with no end in sight even though you only take if for a few days at a time." Though she hasn't taken the drug for years, Lisa said: "I never quite got back on track after that. Ever since, I’ve always felt very hormonal, and been very aware of my cycle as it happens. I'm an actress, I'm an emotional person, but I did definitely notice that after taking the Clomid I stayed like that for a long time, experiencing very big highs and big lows."

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Lisa pictured with her daughter Billie in 2015

Lisa was married to Chris Coghill from 2005 until 2011. The former couple adopted Billie in 2008 when she was 18-months-old. In a previous interview with HELLO!, Lisa recalled the exact moment she fell in love with her daughter. "We were singing Incy Wincy Spider and she wouldn't stop singing it, saying: 'Again, again!'" said the actress. "And then she put her dummy on my nose and I remember thinking: 'Here I am. I will be everything you need me to be.' And that was it.

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"The first week was: 'Oh, wow.' The second week was: 'Oh my God.' And the third week was: 'Okay, I've got to step up,'" said Lisa of those first few weeks of parenthood.

Almost 12 years on, she's married her partner, BBC MasterChef judge and restaurateur John, who has four children from two previous relationships, and is enjoying a "blended" family life with the daughter for whom she waited so long. "We're like a little team. John must look at us sometimes and think: 'What are you on about?' or: 'What are you watching?' if we’re loving some rubbish on TV. But he's a very patient, generous-hearted man, my John. There are good days and bad days, as with all families, but it's great."