Infertility has become taboo. Often referred to as a silent disorder, it is rarely discussed. An increasing number of celebrities are stepping forward and talking about their battles with infertility. The issue of infertility is being portrayed in the media more and more. For some reason, people are more sympathetic when celebrities are having trouble because it’s in the news. This gives us a window of opportunity to inform the public of our plight. Many people do not think there should be an infertility mandate because they do not know the pain that childlessness could cause. However, people sympathize more for people that come into their homes every week and for people that they idolize.Sometimes the best advocacy is simple exposure.
Meet our unofficial Infertility Spokespersons. Those in the public spotlight who are brave enough to talk about their struggles with infertility.
They literally went around the world to have a baby. Amazing Race winners Uchenna Agu and Joyce Robinson have been trying to have a baby and IVF has been unsuccessful. They plan to use their winnings to cover further in vitro attempts or adopt.
Tom Arnold and ex-wife, Shelby struggled with infertility since 2002 until their divorce in 2007. To compensate for Tom’s low sperm count and poor motility, they have tried IVF with ICSI 5 times with no success. In People, they discussed how difficult infertility has been on their marriage and the cost of IVF (Guess what? They’re insurance doesn’t cover it either.)
David and Courtney Cox-Arquette have had a well publicized battle with infertility. After several miscarriages due to immunity problems and IVF, they finally had a healthy, baby girl, Coco. In a GoodHousekeeping article, she said, “In vitro is a wonderful thing that people can do in this day and age,and I’m lucky enough to be able to afford it.” She and her husband hope to try IVF one more time. If unsuccessful, they hope to bring Coco an adopted sibling.
After 7 years of TTC, actress Angela Bassett and her husband, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” starCourtney B. Vance welcomed twins, Bronwyn Golden and Slater Josiah carried by surrogate.
Actress Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon gave birth to twins, Jaid and Jax, conceived after three miscarriages and failed IVF, according to People magazine.
Christie Brinkley sought in vitro fertilization treatment and had three miscarriages before giving birth at44 to her third child, daughter Sailor Lee, with soon-to-be ex-husband Peter Cook.
LeVar Burton of Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow and his wife Stephanie Cozart Burton had a daughter Michaela, born in July 1994. LeVar and his wife were very outspoken advocates for infertility.
Helena Bonham Carter and director, Tim Burton welcomed a baby girl in December 2007. After trying Clomid, IVF, and several alternative treatments, the baby was conceived naturally.
Marcia Cross skipped her honeymoon to start IVF and successfully conceived twins Eden andSavannah. Even Marcia, as an actress on a high-rated show, acknowledged the high cost of IVF,telling USA Today, “it’s very expensive and (requires) a lot of needles and shots.”
Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, Christopher Guest adopted their children after realizing that infertility prevented them from conceiving. Jamie has written a book, Tell Me Again About The NightI Was Born. The book was “written to let children who joined their families through adoption know that their own birth stories were exciting, too”.
Robert De Niro and his former companion model-turned-restaurateur Toukie Smith gave birth to twin boys via surrogate on Oct. 20, 1995.
Due to a rare, painful auto-immune disorder, sarcoidosis, Karen Duffy, MTV VJ, actress, and Revlon model was worried about exposing a child to her prescribed medications. She was able to have a child through a surrogate.
Former Mrs. International, Michelle Fryatt and her husband had multiple infertility diagnoses and triedIUI and IVF before adopting their baby.
Peri Gilpin, of Frasier, has two little girls, born May 7, by surrogate. She and her husband tried to conceive for 7 years. After many years of pain and failed IVF attempts, they were able to have two daughters, Stella and Ava.
Nancy Grace and her new husband had twins, Lucy Elizabeth and John David, reportedly conceived via IVF. Her babies were born two months early and then Nancy was rehospitalized days later to treat blood clots.
Kelsey Grammer and his wife, Camille used a surrogate after her Irritable Bowel Syndrome prevented her from carrying to full term. The couple welcomed Jude Gordon on August 28, joining sister MasonOlivia.
Melanie Griffith and her husband, Antonio Banderas struggled with secondary infertility for years and had some unsuccessful fertility treatment. Reportedly, the emotional pain caused by failed treatment ispart of the reason why she entered rehab.
Deidre Hall, star of Days of our Lives, and husband Steve Sohmer suffered through several treatments for 20 years before turning to a surrogate.
Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness struggled with conceiving a child. After several miscarriages and failed IVF, they were able to adopt their children.
Actor/Comedian, Penn Jillette and his wife, Emily conceived their first child, Moxie through IVF.ThanksKathleen!
Leila Kenzle, best known for her role as Fran Devanow, Jamie Buchman’s (Helen Hunt) best friend forsix years on the Emmy award winning “Mad About You,” has co-founded FertilityLA in Sherman Oaks, California, a psychotherapy program for people who are struggling to get pregnant.
After an ectoptic pregnancy and miscarriage with ex-husband, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and
country musician, Keith Urban are expecting a baby, allegedly conceived after eight months of fertility
Alex Kingston, of ER tried to have a child for 6 years before finally giving birth to a baby girl. She states, “It didn’t surprise me that women were trying IVF so many times; there’s that need, and it ultimately overrides everything else.” She is now supporting HER trust, a charity dedicated to investigating unanswered questions about infertility. As well as funding research, the charity will provide information for women on reproductive issues.Although never confirmed, Jennifer Lopez allegedly conceived her baby (babies??) via IVF after trying for 3 years.
Joan Lunden was able to have twins (twice!) with a surrogate mother.
Cindy Margolis- Supermodel/actress discusses her struggle with infertility and her desire to have a baby. She had her first child, Nicholas through IVF/GIFT in 2002. Her two daughters, Sabrina andSierra were born prematurely by a surrogate on July 17, 2005. VH1 ran a special highlighting Cindy’s career and struggle with infertility. Cindy recently published a guide about navigating infertility diagnosis and treatment.
According to People, Chris Meloni (Law and Order: SVU) and his wife Sherman Williams conceived their two children, Sophia and Dante, through surrogate. His wife remarked, “That someone would’ve up that much of themselves for somebody else. Its the greatest gift ever.”
Laurie Metcalf, formerly of Roseanne and another Desperate Housewives,and her husband are new parents to a baby girl, born by surrogate in July 2005.
‘Will and Grace’ star Megan Mullally, has been trying to have a baby and admits that conceiving naturally will be very hard. Rather than turn to IVF, she is considering adoption.
Actress Valarie Pettiford and her husband, Tony Rader have been trying to conceive for over 5 years.She told Ebony magazine, “I felt so isolated and alone. It’s difficult to talk about, but I want other women out there to know that they are not alone; there is support.”
Dennis Quaid and his wife, Kimberly had twins, Thomas Boone Quaid and Zoe Grace, born November2007 via surrogate. Their faith was tested again when their babies were accidentally given a near-fataloverdose of Heparin.
Not a movie or TV celebrity, but a political celebrity. New Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts and his wife, Jane had difficulty conceiving. Her Catholic faith prohibited the use of infertility treatments.After a lengthy and emotionally draining process, they adopted Josephine and John. Our political sympathizer?!?
Julia Roberts gave birth to twins, a girl named Hazel Patricia Moder and a boy named Phinnaeus Walter Moder. It is rumored that she conceived through IVF, but her publicist denies it.
Katey Sagal, best known for her role as Peggy on Married with Children had a daughter in January2007 born via surrogate.
Jane Seymour had multiple miscarriages and painful infertility treatments. She has also written a book”Two at a time” to describe her and her husband’s ordeal.
Sherri Shepherd, of The View had a son through IVF. Her son was born at 25 weeks, at 1 lb. 10 oz.At last report, her son was doing well, but still in need of regular support. Thanks Brigitte!
Brooke Shields gave birth to baby, Grier (conceived naturally) on April 18, 2006. She had her daughter, Rowan after many IVF cycles. Brooke now speaks out on infertility (and yes, postpartum depression). Her book Down Came the Rain chronicles her struggles with infertility and postpartum depression.
Alexis Stewart, daughter of Martha Stewart, has been very open about her fight to become a mother.In an interview with Oprah, she remarks that she is “lucky” because her Mother pays for her$28,000/month treatment.
Sharon Stone reportedly suffers from recurrent early miscarriages and recently adopted her second child.
Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young- Desperate Housewives) wrestled with infertility and turned to the practice of yoga to manage and alleviate the associated stress brought on by the diagnosis. She released a Yoga 4 Fertility DVD in 2004. She will serve as the first national spokesperson for TheAmerican Fertility Association (AFA).
Former Bachelorette, Trista Sutter conceived her son, Max naturally after trying for two years. She reported that they were considering IVF, but “it really is expensive.”
Oscar-winner, Emma Thompson suffered a miscarriage in 1997 and was subsequently diagnosed withPCOS. She was able to have a daughter, Gaia in 1999 at the age of 40. Later IVF attempts failed.She is happy with her daughter, but notes that “there are thousands and thousands of women like me who can’t have children.” In 2006, Emma and her husband adopted a teenager from Rwanda.
Nia Vardalos, the genius behind “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” has been ttc for eight years. She is currently undergoing infertility treatment.
Actress Jo Beth Williams suffered from infertility and recurrent miscarriages. She stated, “You do become desperate. You go through periods where you cry for no reason and you want someone to help you.” She and her husband finally adopted.
Trinny Woodall - one half of BBC’s What Not To Wear team – is celebrating the birth of her first child. Trinny, 39, and husband, Jonny Elichaoff have named their daughter Lila and they couldn’t be happier. Trinny said: “I’m so happy, I can’t tell you how overjoyed I am.” The couple previously suffered years of baby heartbreak; Trinny suffered nine failed attempts at IVF and two miscarriages before falling pregnant last year.