Fertility treatments like IVF aren’t only challenging, but also mentally. They’re accompanied by a host of uncomfortable symptoms, and can be emotionally draining, especially when unsuccessful. For many years, fertility issues were a taboo topic that was left untouched. But people have become more open about discussing reproductive assistance, and celebrities are no exceptions.
The following famous faces have all opened up about their experience with IVF. While it was successful for some, for others this wasn’t necessarily the case.
Kourtney naturally conceived the three children she shares with her ex-partner Scott Disick – Mason, 12, Penelope, 10, and Reign, 7. But when she wanted to start a family with her new husband, Travis Barker, the reality star ran into difficulty.
Kourtney has undergone IVF in hopes of conceiving a baby with Travis, which has been documented for The Kardashians. She’s referred to the process as “awful,” and says the fertility medication put her into early menopause.
Chrissy Teigen is all too familiar with IVF. The cookbook author used the fertility treatment to conceive her two children Luna and Miles in 2016 and 2018, respectively, with John Legend.
In 2021, she conceived a baby naturally, but the pregnancy resulted in a still birth. This past March, the former model revealed she was trying IVF again in hopes of having a third child.
The former First Lady consulted the help of IVF in the ’90s when she and Barack Obama were trying to start a family. They went on to welcome two daughters; Malia in 1998 and Sasha in 2001.
Michelle has previously said she felt “lost and alone” when trying to naturally develop with no success. She added that she felt like she “failed” after experiencing a miscarriage, since she knew so little about the often-taboo subject.
Before becoming a mom, Khloe admitted pregnancy would be challenging for her. When she was only 28, for example, she revealed on an episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami that her uterine lining wasn’t thick enough to handle a pregnancy.
The reality star ended up naturally conceiving her daughter, True, 4, with Tristan Thompson. But after delivering in 2018, her doctor advised her against going through pregnancy again.
Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, Khloe revealed she was undergoing IVF and freezing embryos to keep her options open. This month, it was revealed Khloe and Tristan are expecting baby no. 2 with the help of a surrogate.
Only a year after giving birth to her son Gene, Amy Schumer revealed she and her husband Chris Fischer were beginning IVF to welcome baby no. 2. However, the treatment was unsuccessful.
In 2022, the comedian revealed she’d stopped fertility treatments and had her uterus removed after deciding they were happy as a family of three.
Kristin and her husband Avi Rothman welcomed twins via surrogate in 2020. But the couple spent many years trying IVF to expand their family. Kristin has revealed she spent three years undergoing treatments with no success. The process was so challenging, she refused to talk about it.
“It was just part of my life,” the comedian said. “I gave myself [hormone] shots in airplane bathrooms and at restaurants — and those shots are no joke.”
The America’s Next Top Model host is currently a mother to 6-year-old son York, whom was born via gestational surrogate. She shares her son with her ex-partner, photographer Erik Asla.
However, Tyra has revealed she tried to get pregnant herself. She went through a year of unsuccessful IVF attempts before turning into surrogacy.
“It hurt me so much to watch her struggle through that,” her mother, Carolyn London, recalled of her daughter’s IVF experience.
Actress Brooke Shields decided to become a mom later in life. So, when she and her husband Chris Henchy started trying to conceive when she was 36, her doctor suggested using IVF.
The Blue Lagoon star got pregnant after her first cycle, but it resulted in a miscarriage. After more attempts, Brooke gave birth to her daughter Rowan in 2003. She conceived and delivered a second daughter, Grier, without reproductive assistance.
Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade welcomed a daughter, Kaavia, via surrogate in 2017. But Gabrielle tried for years to get pregnant, and she even did three years of IVF treatments.
The actress has revealed she suffered 8 to 9 miscarriages before being diagnosed with adenomyosis (a form of endometriosis), which can make fertility and pregnancy difficult.
The Friends actress shares one daughter, Coco, with her ex-husband David Arquette. Their child was born after Courtney underwent several rounds of IVF. She’s admitted to suffering multiple miscarriages in her lifetime while trying to conceive.
“I get pregnant pretty easily, but I have a hard time keeping them,” she said in 2003.
Kim was the first of her sisters to use IVF. After she and her then-husband Kanye West conceived their first child, daughter North, naturally, Kim turned to IVF to get pregnant with their son Saint, born in 2015.
However, doctors later told Kim they wouldn’t perform IVF on her again since it was too risky for her to carry another pregnancy.
“They were like, ‘We won’t even put an embryo in you — that would be malpractice,’” Kim explained on Instagram.
Kim and Kanye ended up using gestational surrogates to welcome their two youngest kids, Chicago and Psalm.
With her husband Hugh Jackman, Deborra-Lee Furness has become a parent through adoption. The couple adopted a son, Oscar, in 2000, before adopting their daughter, Ava, in 2005.
However, Deborra tried to get pregnant via IVF before turning into adoption. In 2013, she referred to it as a “precarious” process and called miscarriage a “massive let down.” “[It’s] much harder for the woman,” she added.
Canadian singer Celine Dion grew up with 13 children, so it was understandable she wanted a big family with her husband Rene Angelil. They conceived their eldest son, Rene-Charles, in 2001 after one IVF cycle.
However, Celine had a more difficult time trying to conceive more children. After reportedly undergoing 6 IVF cycles and having a miscarriage, the singer became pregnant with twin boys. She delivered Eddy and Nelson in 2020.
The Girls actress revealed in an essay for Harper’s Magazine that she underwent IVF in hopes of starting a family. Unfortunately, through the process, she discovered none of her eggs were viable.
“We were unable to fertilize any of the eggs,” she wrote, explaining that five “did not take” and the sixth have a “chromosomal issues.”
Alongside her partner Greg Wise, the actress used IVF to welcome her daughter, Gaia, in 1999. Emma was 39 years old at the time of her birth however, she referred to the process as “very emotional.”
The couple eventually adopted a son, Tindyebwa Agaba, a former child soldier from Rwanda, in order to expand their family further.
The television personality underwent three rounds of IVF. She got pregnant after the first round, but it ended in miscarriage. Later, Giuliana discovered she had breast cancer, and the necessary treatment derailed her ability to carry a pregnancy to term.
After going into remission, Giuliana and her husband Bill Rancic used a gestational surrogate to deliver their son, Edward Duke.
Sources: PEOPLE Magazine, PEOPLE Magazine, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, Fertility Plus, Harper’s Magazine, Insider,