Hollywood Celebrities Who Have Talked About Their Fertility Struggles
Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce Knowles, Nicole Kidman and more have spoken openly about challenges they endured while trying to get pregnant.
Chrissy Teigen and Tyra Banks recently spoke about their respective fertility struggles in a preview clip from FABLife. They join other women and men in Hollywood who have opened up about the trouble they've had conceiving with their significant others.
Teigen said she and husband John Legend have seen fertility doctors. "And then once you open up about all those things to other people, you start learning that a lot of other people in your life are seeing these people, and they have this shame about it," said Teigen.
Banks said that in her 20s, she constantly said she would have kids "in three years." She added, "And then, after a while, it’s like, 'OK, now I want to, and it’s not so easy.'"
Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed he and his wife Priscilla Chan had three miscarriages before getting pregnant with their daughter. "You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child," he wrote. "You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience." He added, "In today's open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn't distance us; it brings us together."
Here are ten other celebrities who have spoken about their fertility issues, often explaining they hope their candid discussion will help other people facing similar challenges feel less alone.
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban
Kidman said she and husband Keith Urban have endured a "rollercoaster ride with fertility." She told 60 Minutes, "Anyone who'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. We were in a place of desperately wanting another child. I couldn't get pregnant."
Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z
Beyonce spoke about the miscarriage she had before Blue Ivy in her HBO documentary Life Is But a Dream. "I picked out names," said Beyonce, of when she was first pregnant. "I envisioned what my child would look like." After she lost the baby she said she wrote "the saddest song" she's ever written in her life. "And it was the best form of therapy for me, because it was the saddest thing I've ever been through."
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
"I had a really bad experience when I was pregnant with my third," Gwyneth Paltrow told the Daily Mail's You magazine. "It didn’t work out and I nearly died." At the time of the interview, the actress said she was "missing [her] third" and thinking about having another child. She and her Martin have since divorced.
Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman
Elizabeth Banks has spoken multiple times about how she and her husband used a gestational surrogate to help them have children. “It was a womb issue for me. Embryos wouldn’t implant,” she said in an interview with Lucky magazine. Of her surrogate Banks said, “It’s a big leap, inviting this person into your life to do this amazing, important thing for you,” Banks explains. “And it’s hard losing that kind of control. But our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.”
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil
Celine Dion spoke with Oprah Winfrey about the various failed IVF attempts she endured while trying to give her son Rene-Charles a sibling. "They said that I was pregnant, and a couple of days after, we were not pregnant again. We didn't want to feel like we were playing yo-yo. 'I'm pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I'm pregnant. I'm not pregnant.' So we didn't want to do this thing. But we did have a miscarriage." She added, "I never gave up. But I can tell you that it was physically and emotionally exhausting.” Dion and her husband went on to have a pair of twins.
Courteney Cox and David Arquette
"I get pregnant pretty easily, but I have a hard time keeping them," Courteney Cox told People magazine in 2003, before giving birth to her daughter with David Arquette, Coco, in 2004. The couple admitted they suffered miscarriages "quite a few times" and went on to try in vitro fertilization. Arquette said he felt "terrible that [Cox had] to go through so much."
Brooke Shields and Chris Henchy
Brooke Shields spoke about the multiple failed IVF attempts she endured in her memoir Down Came the Rain. "The whole process was quite an ordeal, and we became slaves to the time of day and to little vials of liquid," she said. "We'd find ourselves out at dinner with friends, and then we'd have to sneak off to a coat room, where we'd huddle over syringes and a travel-size cooler filled with small bottles of drugs." The couple now have two daughters.
Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness
“It is a difficult time. The miscarriage thing — apparently it happens to one in three pregnancies — but it’s very, very rarely talked about,” Hugh Jackman said on Katie when speaking about the miscarriages his wife suffered after undergoing IVF treatments. “It’s almost secretive. But it’s a good thing to talk about. It’s more common and it’s tough, there’s a grieving process you have to go through.” The couple went on to adopt two children and Jackman said "all the heartache melted away."