Infertility doesn’t discriminate based on fame or talent. For the ten celebrities listed below, infertility came as an unwelcome surprise. Many of them suffered through heartbreak in silence, feeling that infertility was a shameful secret to hide. However, thanks to their candidness, people everywhere now have a greater understanding of this common struggle as well as the options available for medically-assisted pregnancy.
- Brooke Shields
– The former model and actress first tried to have children in her mid-30s but began to suspect something was wrong after a year without success. As it turns out, scar tissue from a prior cervical surgery was preventing pregnancy. She and husband Chris Henchy tried artificial insemination, then switched to in vitro fertilization (IVF), only to go through a miscarriage. It took two years to have baby girl Rowan. Grier came three years later. Shields says she was often bitter and frustrated during the ordeal, and recommends couples visit a doctor immediately if they suspect fertility issues.
- Courtney Cox
– In a strange twist of fate, Cox, who played Monica on R.I.E.N.D.S., ended up struggling with infertility just like her character. She and ex-husband David Arquette would get pregnant time and time again only to lose each baby to miscarriage. Doctors discovered that Cox has a rare MTHFR gene mutation, which caused her body to attack each fetus, preventing her from carrying to term. After injecting a blood thinner and going through two rounds of IVF, Cox welcomed baby girl Coco into the world.
- Jaime King
– The former model and Hart of Dixie actor suffers from endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), both contributing to her infertility. She went through an ectopic pregnancy, five miscarriages, five rounds of IVF and 26 rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI) before conceiving naturally after seven years of trying. After a difficult delivery, she also experienced postpartum depression. King now has two sons, James and Leo, with husband Kyle Newman. She decided to open up about her struggles so others don’t feel the shame and loneliness she once did.
- Jimmy Fallon –
The former SNL star and current host of The Tonight Show tried to conceive with his wife, Nancy Juvonen, for five years before turning to surrogacy. They succeeded with daughter Winnie, keeping her a surprise to avoid any letdowns if the pregnancy was unsuccessful. They now have a second daughter, Frances. Fallon offered some advice in an interview on TODAY: “If there’s anyone out there who is trying and they’re just losing hope … just hang in there. Try every avenue; try anything you can do … It’s so worth it. It is the most ‘worth it’ thing.”1
- Mark Zuckerberg –
The famous Facebook founder went public with the fertility struggles he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, experienced with their first child. In a Facebook announcement, he shared that they had gone through three miscarriages.2 He believed his post would bring hope to those still trying for children and encouraged a dialogue about fertility issues. They are now parents to two children, Max and August.
- Hugh Jackman
– In an interview with Katie Couric, theater and film actor Hugh Jackman revealed that he and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, tried to have biological children before adopting. They always wanted to adopt at some point, but they also wanted to try on their own. However, they soon ran into troubles. They attempted IVF and went through a few miscarriages before deciding it was the right time to adopt. They now have two beautiful children, Oscar and Ava.
- John Legend & Chrissy Teigen
– In an unplanned moment, model Chrissy Teigen mentioned her infertility struggles on her talk show FABLife. She had wanted to share the secret for years, and was becoming increasingly frustrated with interviewers bombarding her with the baby question. Teigen’s admission prompted a tearful response from Tyra Banks, who also wants to have kids but has difficulty getting pregnant. Legend and Teigen now have little Luna, conceived through IVF, and are trying for a baby boy with the last viable frozen embryo from previous fertility treatments.
- Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman
– This Australian singer-actor power couple brought their second daughter, Faith, into the world with the help of a gestational carrier. Kidman describes her journey with fertility as one filled with “disappointment, pain and loss” but is incredibly thankful for her family now.3 Faith is Kidman’s fourth child, as she adopted Connor and Isabella with ex-husband Tom Cruise after an ectopic pregnancy and conceived daughter Sunday Rose naturally with Urban.