Celebrities who have struggled with Fertility Issues

02/11/2007 at 10:00 PM ET

Like any other normal couple, celebrities struggle with infertility at times. A variety of couples have struggled for years to conceive. Here we bring to you a round-up of couples who have admitted or are rumored to have used fertility treatments and welcomed healthy, beautiful babies. Please share your stories in the comments if you wish to!

Perhaps one of the most open high profile celebrity couples that struggled with infertility is Courteney Cox-Arquette of Friends and her actor husband David Arquette. The couple underwent many IVF attempts and suffered several miscarriages, with Courteney being open about "being able to get but not stay pregnant" before welcoming daughter Coco Riley Arquette in May 2004. Coco is now 2 1/2 and a thriving, gorgeous girl.

To see who else suffered with infertility, click Continue Reading.

ShieldsBrooke Shields and her husband Chris Henchy were also public about their use of fertility treatments to conceive for the first time. The result, after a rumored seven IVF attempts? Their stunning daughter, Rowan Francis, 3 1/2. Unfortunately Brooke then suffered postpartum depression, but recovered to naturally conceive second daughter, Grier Hammond, now 9 months. Her book, Down Comes the Rain, chronicles Brooke’s struggles with PPD and infertility.


78_3A-List actress Julia Roberts and her husband Danny Moder also reportedly used IVF to conceive their twins Hazel and Phinnaeus, now 2. Her publicist denies this, however, the infertility community questions the denial, as Julia announced the sexes of the twins only 9 weeks into her pregnancy, and was spotted at an infertility center. In December, the couple announced that they are expecting their third child, rumored to have been conceived naturally.


Marcia_1Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross, who is currently expecting twins, is reported to have used fertility treatment to conceive. She has often spoken of the troubles and reality of becoming pregnant after 40, saying,

I don’t like the average woman being misled into thinking that fertility is something that goes on forever. When a woman gets older, they get a donor egg, which doesn’t make the baby any less beautiful or perfect. One’s own eggs only last so long, and sometimes at 43 or 44 you can have your own baby, but statistically it’s very difficult and expensive. You don’t want to wait that long.

Marcia was also previously open about her desire to adopt if she was unable to conceive.


Bassett_1Actors Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance struggled with fertility for years and finally welcomed twins via a surrogate in January 2006. The boy/girl set were named BronwynGolden and Slater Josiah. While the couple would not get into specifics regarding the birth (the surrogate mother wishes to stay private), they would say that the babies were born by c-section, and that the babies are the biological children of both parents, putting an end to rumors that they had used an egg donor.


Story_dixie_chicks_apDixie Chick sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have been open about using IVF to conceive their two sets of fraternal twins, as well as Emily’s son. Martie has daughters Kathleen and Eva, while Emily has son Gus, 4, and twins Henry and Julianna, 21 months.


0151007_21Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra Lee Furness tried multiple times to have a baby, but it did not happen for them. Instead, they adopted Oscar, 6 1/2, and Ava, 19 months. Of his son, Hugh has said,

We still wanted to adopt. That was our plan: we’ll have two and we’ll adopt one. Anyway we didn’t have children. We tried and that was tough. But the moment Oscar arrived, it just felt like he was always meant to come that way. I forget he’s adopted; he’s just my son.


Simplelife5Celine Dion went through numerous fertility treatments before conceiving son Rene-Charles, 6. She and husband Rene also have discussed a usable embryo that they keep frozen for future use.


Cindy_margoliscleavage_02Cindy Margolis, known as "The Internet’s most downloaded woman," suffered from unexplained infertility. After 3 unsuccessful IVF attempts, Cindy became pregnant using the GIFT procedure, and son Nicholas, now 4 1/2, was born. When it came time for more children, Cindy and her husband went the surrogate route, welcoming twin daughter Sierra and Sabrina, now 18 months.


CurtisActress Jamie Lee Curtis and husband Christopher Guest, revealed that theyadopted after struggles conceiving. Jamie wrote a book, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born to "Let children who joined their families through adoption know that their own birth stories were exciting too."


StoneSharon Stone apparently suffers from recurrent early miscarriages and instead adopted son Roan Joseph with Phil Bronstein, in 2000. After their divorce in 2004, Sharon went on to independently adopt Laird Vonne in May 2005 and then Quinn Kelly in June 2006. All three boys are gorgeous, with blonde hair and blue eyes.


AlleyActress Kirstie Alley also struggled with infertility. Openly mentioning her struggle to become pregnant, her miscarriage(s) and the toll that it took on her marriage. Eventually Kirstie and her husband adopted. They are now divorced, but their children
are William, 14, and Lillie, 12. 


BrinkleyModel Christie Brinkley suffered three miscarriages in the process of IVF, in order to eventually conceive her daughter. At 44, she gave birth to her and husband, Peter Cook’s daughter, Sailor Lee.


JayneJane Seymour went through IVF to conceive her twins, after having two miscarriages. Jane was almost 45 when she welcomed John Stacy and Kristopher Steven in 1995. John is named for family friend Johnny Cash, who was his godfather and Kristopher for Christopher Reeve, who was also his godfather. Their father is James Keach.


GraceThe View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck was open about the difficulty that she and husband, Tim, experienced in their efforts to become pregnant with Grace, now 22 months. Elisabeth has had troubles with secondary infertility and they have not yet conceived, but have been trying for a second child since Grace was about 6 months old. Read more about it here.


BecksThe Beckhams may also have faced some obstacles in conceiving their children. Victoria suffers from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) like me. This can affect being able to become pregnant (many females with PCOS don’t ovulate) but many are also able to conceive easily and go on to have healthy children, like Victoria, who with David has three sons; Brooklyn, 7, Romeo, 4 and Cruz, almost 2. They are rumored to be trying for a girl to join their boys.


GillianGillian Anderson also struggled with infertility, apparently suffering from a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy after not having a child for 12 years. She welcomed her son, Oscar, November 1st last year.


Further couples which have also struggled with fertility include:

  • Peri Gilpin
  • Kelsey Grammer
  • Robert De Niro
  • Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith
  • Joan Lunden
  • Sherri Shepherd
  • Emma Thompson

For more information on fertility struggles experienced by celebrities, visit NoBabyOnBoard.com.

Are there any celebrities that you know of that have struggled with infertility that we have not mentioned? If so, please let us know via email or comment below.

FILED UNDER: Babies , News

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Showing 38 comments

Mo on

Don’t forget the Dixie Chick’s Emily Robison and Martie Maguire. Both have spoken publicly about using IVF to have their children.

Sarita on

Hugh Jackman and his wife also had fertility issues. I think she miscarried a couple of times before they adopted a son and a daughter (Oscar and Ava).

tink1217 on

I just wanted to say I like knowing I am not “the only one” that suffers from miscarriages and that celebrities are being more open about their own struggles is an inspiration to keep going. Although they have all the money in the world to go into treatment after treatment, it does give me hope that maybe I will be able to conceieve AND stay pregnant again. I just suffered my 8th miscarriage and it doesn’t get any easier. Its like a cruel joke, “Okay you can get pregnant but you cannot keep this baby”. I know so many women cannot even get pregnant, and sometimes I wish I couldn’t. Because finding out you are pregnant and then a few weeks later having that precious life taken away is so extremely distressing and devastating. I’m not saying anyone has it harder than anyone else, just my own feelings from my own experiences!

Lissette on

thanks for posting this! As someone who is struggling with infertility, I like to read all I can on it. Cindy Margolis is someone who has also struggled with infertility.

polarea on

How ’bout Celine Dion?

SY on

Didn’t Joan Lunden conceive her three older daughters naturally? I think that the only reason she used a surrogate is because she was almost 50 when the first set of twins were born. Not sure if I consider this infertility as opposed to growing older!

Michelle on

The Beckhams had fertility issues too, Victoria Beckham has PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and I thought Jennifer Aniston had fertility issues too?

Allison on

UK singer/tv presenter Louise Redknapp and her husband Jamie (ex-footballer) tried for 4 years for a baby before Charley arrived in 2004. Louise suffers from severe endometriosis and had 2 laparoscopies and drug treatment before she became pregnant.

Mary on

Gillian Anderson also said in a recent interview that she had a miscarriage and a ectopic pregnancy before get pregnant for the second time, after 12 years.

gabriella on

Elisabeth Hasselbeck had a hard time getting pregnant with daughter Grace, and now she has been trying for a 2nd baby, and seems to be having trouble too.

Marisol on

The only fertility issues Jennifer Aniston has is her choice to use birth control. The rumors of ‘fertility issues” conveniently became fact when her ex-husband started a family of his own.

How about Julia Roberts?

Anna on

What exactly is the GIFT procedure?

Sarah, CBB News Editor on

Marisol, Julia Roberts is the 3rd person mentioned in the post. 🙂

Mo, Sarita, Lissette and Polarea, I’ve added your suggestions.

We’ll add more later. Thanks!

GIFT is gamete intra-fallopian transfer. You can read more about it here:
http://www.ivf-infertility.com/gift/index.php

Lorus on

It took me 17 months and finally with the help of fertility drugs to conceive my daughter. I knew very early on, from charting, that I wasn’t ovulating on my own. However the doctors were VERY condescending towards me because of my age (early 20s). “Technically because of your age you should have perfect fertility. Go home and keep trying on your own.” was the response I got!!! I asked him how he expected I get pregnant if I wasn’t ovulating and he said the same thing again.
Like Julia and Brooke, my pregnancy “restarted” my body and I’m now ovulating on my own. This is such a huge relief knowing I won’t have to deal with insensitive doctors again.

Anna on

Thanks for explaining, Sarah. 🙂

Elizabeth on

Jane Seymour also had to go through IVF to conceive her twins after having two misscarriages. She wrote about it in her Two at a Time book.

ang on

christie also has her daughter with billy joel, alexa ray, who’s about 21,i believe. not sure if she was ivf or not though.

sara on

This is kind of a bummer post!

My sister just suffered her 2nd miscarriage this year after getting her tubes untied last year. She already has 2 kids, and got them tied. Then she suddenly wanted another baby and got them untied. I was so excited to learn I was going to be an aunt again, then all this bad news ensues. I can hardly handle my sisters miscarriage, I am so scared to have one myself!!

Heavenly_hibiscus on

I think Madonna has also had trouble conceiving.

Christina on

What about Jennifer Lopez? She’s been rumoured to be starting IVF, as well. It was posted on this site some months ago.

British actresses Alex Kingston, Imelda Staunton, and Emily Watson struggled with infertility, too.

Emily even mentioned in an interview that journalists always asked her if she wanted to have children, and when she was planning on becoming pregnant, especially as she’d been married 10 years: “Yeah, I was asked that every single time, and it did feel quite personal. Especially if you say that yes, you do want children. You have to say if you’re actually trying for them. And you don’t always especially want to tell the whole world how that’s going.'”

Christina on

Didn’t Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton have trouble conceiving, too?

Lilybett on

Jamie and Jools Oliver went through treatments to conceive Poppy Honey, then she fell pregnant almost immediately and naturally with Daisy Boo…

Also Nicole Kidman has had trouble conceiving. She and Tom Cruise tried for ages, then she suffering a miscarriage as they separated. Is she undergoing fertility treatment now with Keith?

atsirk17 on

I before E, except after C… Conceive is spelled incorrectly throughout your entire post. It’s C-O-N-C-E-I-V-E.

Lauren on

I agree with Sara. This post has become little more than a forum for speculation about which celebs had trouble conceiving or not. Who cares whether Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts have trouble getting pregnant? It’s nobody’s business whether they do, and I think the fact that people feel the need to speculate about a bunch of celebrities’ fertility issues is kind of immature.

Sarah, CBB News Editor on

Lauren,
Thanks for the comment. We tried to be careful to keep speculation to a minimum – Julia Roberts is the only person listed here who has not commented on troubles conceiving or fertility treatments. The celebs listed have been open about their struggles. Of course, if people want to speculate in the comments, that may happen, but we won’t be including it in the main post.

Lauren on

Sorry Sarah, I wasn’t trying to be critical. I know the post you created had to do with celebs who have been open about their fertility, and that’s fine. I was referring to the posts saying, “Well, I think so-and-so and so-and-so and so-and-so might possibly have fertility issues also!” It started to seem like every celeb who has and hasn’t had a baby is automatically suffering from infertility! Sorry for any confusion.

Carla on

I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have tried reading up on it and consulted a physician once a few years ago. I just got married a couple months ago and I’m now interested in having a child. We’ve actually been trying for some years now, but to no avail. Does anyone familiar with PCOS have any advice for me? Please email me at caymimi@yahoo.com.

KF on

Carla, I also have PCOS so I am familiar with this. Schedule an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist (for you AND your spouse), and they will be able to run the appropriate tests and treat you accordingly. When I was trying to get pregnant with my daughter I took the drug Metformin while trying to conceive and througout my first trimester. Our daughter ended up arriving 6 weeks early (the doctors weren’t sure why, but it wasn’t necessarily due to the PCOS), but she’s now a happy, healthy toddler and we feel very blessed and lucky to have her in our lives! Good luck to you, and I hope that info will help you…

Carly on

Kylie Minogue had 2 IVF cycles before her diagnosis of cancer. Now she is single 😦

lyn on

Hi everyone, I hope this post will be relevant in a general way to the topic being discussed. It appears that supplemental vitamin D and calcium may have a normalizing effect on your cycle, and could improve chances of conceiving. In a study at Columbia University, 7 of 13 women were able to normalize their cycle within 2 months. You can see more details about this at the Natural Solutions for PCOS website

Maria on

Gordon Ramsay has spoken about their infertility issues. They conceived 3 out of 4 of their children through IVF. Apparently the hot stove affected his sperm.

Stephanie on

So, what are these celebs doing to further the research, insurance coverage, knowledge about infertility? NOTHING! Come on people! Help us infertiles out! With your celeb status we could move mountains in fertility-related issues!

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monique on

as i read the article it still frustrates me that most cant admit that they needed assistance….smh

Amy on

Hey I was wondering if there are any stars out there who will help other couples financially becoming and staying pregnant. Or maybe provide adoption help if they are unable to do it themselves. I am not talking about the life of the child taking care of it. I am asking about additional cost when their is a problem. I am completely able to raise a child but the cost of getting there is the problem. And yes 40 g’s later I did try it myself first!

Anna on

Granted admitting that you have PCOS or infertility might shed more light on the disease and may make normal women with PCOS feel better; however, these celebrities are “normal” women too. They too have insecurities and therefore probably do not want to go around telling everyone about there condition. I hardly think we can blame them, and cite them as not being courageous enough–when most women with PCOS or infertility don’t exhibit their diagnosis with everyone either. Furthermore having PCOS is a medical concern that celebrities have the right to keep to themselves without being termed as “lacking courage”.That said, it would be nice to see more celebrities admitting to the disease–so as to make normal women feel better and know that they are not alone. However if a celebrity would like to keep their PCOS to themselves I completely understand their viewpoint. They do not hold any obligation to tell everyone.

Amanda on

I’m glad I’m not the only one. It seems like everywhere I look someone is pregnant or some celebrity is on the tabloid pages talking about their latest. I’ve been married for nearly 8 years and still have to wait for my first child.

Dorothy Nelson on

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