Causes & Treatment

Rebel Wilson’s Fight for IVF Success and Hope

Eloise Edington  |   1 Oct 2021

Particularly when it comes to healthcare, professionals endeavour to give impartial advice but this isn’t always the reality.  Unfortunately, some people – including celebrity Rebel Wilson – experience medical bias which can impact treatment pathways and results.

Read on to find out how Rebel Wilson overcame medical bias on her fertility journey…

By Holly Pigache

Featured image credit: Shutterstock


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A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson)

Photo credit: @rebelwilson Official Account 

Spotting Medical Bias

We’ve all had a bad day at work.  Missed meetings, wrong things said and rash judgements leading to errors.  And like us all, medical experts can come to work with biases which may impact their professional judgement.  Yet some patients are more susceptible to medical bias than others.  Research has shown that medical professionals are more likely to expect older patients to be helpless and demanding than younger patients, elsewhere there have been reports of implicit bias towards heterosexual patients… (the list goes on).  Body-shaming attitudes can also be at play in the fertility community; assumptions may be made about a person’s health on account of their body size, as actor Rebel Wilson recently experienced.

Wilson’s Fertility Struggles

Over the past year, the Australian actor has talked openly about her efforts to freeze her eggs.  Through an Instagram video, she noted that “getting to 40 is kinda leaving it even a little too late and it’s better to do it a bit earlier if you can” but she wasn’t deterred.  Speaking on Australian news show, Sunrise, Wilson said a fertility specialist advised her fertility treatment would turn out “better if [she] was healthier.”  Specifically, if she “lost some excess weight, it would give [her] a better chance of freezing eggs and having [better quality] eggs.”

Perhaps the doctor missed Wilson’s diagnosis of PCOS, made an assumption of her health based on her body size and passed an unprofessional comment.  Or perhaps the professional drew on their experience and advocated a healthier lifestyle.  Either way, a judgement was given to Wilson based on her weight which she admits to feeling “offended” over because she felt she was healthy.  We can’t be sure whether the actor discussed her ovarian diagnosis with the fertility specialist but Wilson says she took onboard the medical advice. 

She met with various practitioners (a luxury she acknowledges not everyone has) and recommends others struggling with fertility “learn bits from different places and see what works for you.”  Spurred on by her fertility appointment, Rebel Wilson chose to take actions to improve her health by “attacking [it] from all different areas” – fitness, diet, nutrition and mental health.  Not everyone has access to personal trainers and nutritionists; something recognised by Wilson.  However, she claims walking has been her most effective way to metabolise fat: “Listen to a podcast, listen to motivational books…” to pass the time, she suggests.

Related: If you feel weight loss is the right course of action for you, always do it in a healthy manner (read our tips for losing weight well). 


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A post shared by Rebel Wilson (@rebelwilson)

Photo credit: @rebelwilson Official Account 

No Question is a Silly Question

The advice to Wilson to lose weight was her own to receive and she made a personal choice to heed it and improve her health.  You can ask your fertility specialist why they recommend a particular course of treatment or tell them the medication they suggested isn’t working for you.

Medical appointments seem harder to come by these days so don’t feel afraid to ask questions of your medical professional whilst you’re with them.  This counts for NHS treatment in the UK, too!  You’re not “wasting” your doctor’s time, you’re finding out what’s best for you for your fertility treatment.

If you’re not happy with your experience, seek out a second opinion.  We have an incredible network of fertility experts ready to help you, wherever you are on your journey.  Try our quiz to be matched with a personalised expert.

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