Is the Celebrity Pregnancy Craze Shaping Our View of Fertility?

Is the Celebrity Pregnancy Craze Shaping Our View of Fertility?

Celebrity Pregnancy and FertilityIt seems celebrities can’t even pop to the corner shop for a bag of chips without drawing the attention of the world’s media, so it’s no wonder their reproductive status is seen as news. Some celebrities find themselves the victims of pregnancy rumor after pregnancy rumor, without ever falling pregnant. As soon as a celebrity pregnancy is announced, magazines and tabloids across the world are filled with expert opinions on whether the baby was conceived naturally or with a helping hand from a fertility specialist.

As many celebrities choose to delay pregnancy until they have established careers, having babies later in life is making its way into the mainstream. This trend is replicated in real life too, and this could be in part to the number of celebrities making late motherhood look easy. Glossy magazine spreads showing celebrity moms cradling their newborn babies make motherhood over 40 look easy -­ even glamourous.

In reality, however, many of these celebrity parents have experienced the heartbreak that often accompanies conceiving through assisted reproductive technology. Some celebrities open up to the press about their fertility issues, seeing it as a chance to help other couples experiencing fertility problems. Other celebrities, however, prefer to keep their private lives out of the public arena, although the press still speculate about whether fertility issues were at play.

Famous Couples in the Fertility Spotlight

The trend of celebrities delaying motherhood is probably, at least in part, responsible for the number of famous parents with twins. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie welcomed twins Vivienne and Knox in 2008. The couple are rumored to be expecting another child now, and there are even rumors that this may be another twin pregnancy, which would give the celebrity couple a grand total of eight children.

A higher maternal age increases the chance of twins. Where IVF and other fertility treatments are used, the chance of twins can be as high as 40 percent. This rise in celebrity twin babies could be making twins a more desirable choice for some women. The average pregnant woman has around a 0.25 percent chance of carrying twins, but fertility treatments can increase the odds.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are one celebrity couple who had twins with the help of fertility treatments. After suffering from a devastating miscarriage after a natural conception, the couple were advised to try fertility treatments. Mariah and Nick conceived with the help of progesterone fertility drugs and later announced their pregnancy to the world. In a heartfelt interview, Mariah and Nick also spoke of the miscarriage and fertility treatments. The couple welcomed twins Monroe and Moroccan Scott in 2011.

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed their daughter, Sunday Rose, in 2008. Nicole spoke openly and honestly to the press about her struggles with fertility, and the issues she faced trying to conceive. Nicole suffered from an ectopic pregnancy, a number of miscarriages, and used a variety of fertility treatments before giving birth to Sunday Rose. The couple welcomed a second child in 2010, Faith Margaret, who was born via gestational surrogate.

Courtney Cox and David Arquette are another celebrity couple to welcome a child with the help of IVF. The couple suffered a number of heartbreaking miscarriages before deciding to try IVF. The couple welcomed their daughter, Coco, in 2004 after a long struggle with infertility. Courtney has spoken openly about her struggle to have a child.

Inspiration, Hope and Reality

These celebrities are inspiring mothers, and great role models for couples trying to conceive in the face of reduced fertility. These women have brought fertility treatments into the public sphere, and have allowed an insight into the lives of couples struggling with fertility. Their stories undoubtedly give hope to women across the world, though it is important to remember that these celebrities have the money to fund a greater number
of IVF cycles than the average couple.

Each of these celebrities suffered from different issues, and had a unique situation, but all understand the emotional journey that can accompany conception. Each woman has a unique experience, and what works for one may not work for another. The glossy spreads in the magazines, and the candid television interviews, act as a reminder that couples struggling with fertility can, and do, go on to become parents.

References:
1. http://blogs.babycenter.com/celebrities/10052012-nicole-kidman-on-infertility-i-tried-failed-failed-failed/
2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1038578/Angelina-Jolie-conceived-twins-IVF-race-babies.html
3. http://chealth.canoe.ca/channel_health_features_details.asp?channel_id=2048&relation_id=36843&health_feature_id=378&article_id=1198
4. http://celebritybabies.people.com/2007/02/11/celebrities_tha/
5. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/what-causes-twins.aspx#close

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