Donor Conception and Surrogacy

Is Celebrity Infertility Relatable?

Eloise Edington  |  4 Jan 2023


We understand (in)fertility doesn’t discriminate.  But are celebrity infertility stories relatable?

Words by Poppy Millar-Maher, featured images credit: Shutterstock.com.

Shared Stories

Opening up about difficulties conceiving, maintaining a pregnancy or sharing news of a miscarriage is admirable and takes a lot of courage, whether you’re in the limelight or not.

Recently, Idina Menzel opened up about her unsuccessful IVF journey, saying “It just wasn’t meant to be”, while Jennifer Aniston revealed her own fertility struggles and regrets at not freezing her eggs. Both are moving stories that help to humanise these otherwise inaccesible women, but are the fertility struggles of the rich and famous relatable?

Whilst celebrities are in an incredible position to raise awareness and reduce stigma around various causes, are their experiences comparable to our own?

Resources

In the world of fertility treatment, more money can mean more options to find a path to parenthood.

Celebrities have access to a wider pool of fertility clinics, specialist doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists to help them optimise fertility success. Funding fertility treatment is extremely costly and with no guarantee of a pregnancy, assisted-conception’s huge price tag can be crippling for many of us. And it’s not just the treatment or the testing or the medication that tallies up the bill: travelling to and from our clinics, storing eggs, sperm or embryos for a later date costs money, too. For some, taking the time off work is an altogether different story and struggling with infertility in the workplace is something we’re passionate about advocating for in the FHH community.

This isn’t to say that A-listers have it easy, as Amy Schumer’s well-documented IVF story illustrates, but without the added weight of financial worries, it’s easy to feel disconnected from their TTC experience.

As women, we’re regularly advised that fertility preservation is best undertaken sooner rather than later (when there is good ovarian egg reserve) but many young women find that egg collection or donor-conception for freezing embryos is just too costly.  When you’re a celebrity raking in millions each year, it’s not quite the same, is it?

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by @amyschumer

Secrecy?

But perhaps there’s another side to this. We’re wondering: does being in the public eye actually mean celebrities are less inclined to open up about their fertility struggles? If Meghan Markle’s heartbreaking miscarriage story is anything to go by, fame makes daily human experiences that should be personal into a public event.

Might they feel ashamed and wish to keep their fertility journey a secret?  Perhaps some celebrities share the joys of pregnancy after years of TTC yet decide not to be honest about the emotional and financial cost of fertility treatment, particularly whilst they’re going through it.  Does this secrecy result in false hope for people having difficulty TTC?

The Right to Privacy

People’s personal struggles are exactly that: personal.  Like the rest of us, when celebrities open up about their reproductive difficulties, they’re at risk of judgement from others.  Perhaps what we need to remember is to praise anyone who feels willing to share their experiences and offer support where we can.

Celebrities are out of reach for lots of us, but by reading stories of celebrities who struggle with fertility and by listening to their experiences, we can be in a better position to support loved ones experiencing similar challenges.

If you’re seeking support from a comforting community, follow us on Instagram or download our free FHH app here.

Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Subscribe to our mailing list

SUBSCRIBE

Follow Us


WIN