Jaime King: Why I’m Speaking Out About My Struggles with Infertility

01/14/2015 at 03:00 PM ET

Jaime King speaks out about her painful fertility struggle and her journey from wild child to doting mom. Subscribe now to get instant access to her candid interview in this issue of PEOPLE.

Last July, actress Jaime King revealed her long struggle to conceive in an Instagram post.

Now, she’s putting it all out there in hopes to support other women and encourage those who are going through a similar struggle, to start the conversation and talk with one another.

“I was hiding what I was going through for so long, and I hear about so many women going through what I went through. If I’m open about it, hopefully it won’t be so taboo to talk about it,” she told PEOPLE exclusively during a recent interview at her Beverly Hills home.

After seeing many physicians, she met Dr. Randy Harris, an obstetrician-gynecologist, who diagnosed her with polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that affects female sex hormones and fertility, as well as endometriosis.

Jaime King Infertility James Knight
Amanda Marsalis

Finally, after five miscarriages, five rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and 26 rounds of intrauterine insemination (IUI), good luck brought the Hart of Dixie star a bit of unexpected news: She had naturally conceived her first child with husband Kyle Newman.

“When I got pregnant it was the best thing in the whole world. I had never felt so grateful, happy and elated,” King tells PEOPLE.

After a difficult pregnancy and 26 grueling hours of labor, the actress and model gave birth to son James Knight in October 2013. While she and her new son were able to bond through breastfeeding, King admits she didn’t have that “angels singing moment” that so many women dream of and it took some time to adjust to motherhood.

Making matters more difficult, King, 35, says she was asked to return to set on Hart of Dixie just two weeks after giving birth, but ultimately returned after six weeks, still exhausted, struggling to find her balance and suffering from postpartum depression.

“The baby was with me, but my husband was gone [on set]. I was basically by myself. Having to go back to work was very traumatic because I was still breastfeeding and up every two hours. I felt this major pressure,” she explains.

Now blissfully in love with her 15-month-old son, and like most mothers, just taking things day by day to figure it out, she’s still hoping to expand her family. “I don’t know what the future holds,” she says. “All I know is I can’t control it, and I’m okay with that.”

Jaime King Infertility James Knight
Amanda Marsalis

For more on Jaime King’s struggle with infertility and her new life as a mom, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Jennifer Garcia

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Showing 42 comments

Nicci on

I love this article–I too have PCOS and was unable to conceive on my own–I was incredibly lucky by only having to go through one round of IUI with a successful pregnancy! My son is now 3 and I’m so thankful we went that extra step. Infertility is an incredibly difficult thing to go through and it puts your mind and emotions through the ringer! I’m so glad she is sharing her story–I’m so happy for this story!

Christina on

While I do find this to be a “taboo” subject for woman to speak about, I also find it disturbing that Jaime would neglect to inform the readers to her past years of heroin use…probably contributing to her infertility issues. If you’re going to be open, at least be honest.

Leslie on

She probably struggled with infertility because she was an anorexic heroin addict during her early modeling years.

Heidi on

For those who are talking about past drug use, PCOS and Endometriosis has nothing to do with it.

kelli on

You never know what others are going through and who your story will inspire and encourage. I really admire her speaking out. I have PCOS as well and haven’t been able to conceive yet after 3 years of trying, but stories like hers give me so much hope. I appreciate women who have encouraged me to share my story and those who have shared theirs with me. Drawing strength and inspiration from them has brought so much perspective to a really difficult journey. I’m so happy that she was able to conceive and carry her son!

kelli on

And for those unfortunate people saying that her past actions brought this on her – not only are you wildly uninformed about what causes PCOS and endometriosis, but you’re taking someone’s struggle and throwing it back in their face. I hope you never know the pain of infertility, and if you do, I hope you don’t encounter people like yourselves that would ignorantly try to add to your pain. Try to be better people.

Amy on

Amen Kelli. It’s amazing how judgmental women are about other women. Be kind.

Kristi on

As someone who also struggles with PCOS, i don’t understand why it’s acceptable to ask women who hadn’t had children “why not” or “when will you”. Although I find that I respond rather pointedly with a “I have a medical condition that renders it difficult” usually shuts them up pretty quickly.

My husband and I made a decision long ago we were not going to pursue a bunch of medical procedures (though I’ve nothing against those that do) and we would just let nature take it’s course. If it happens for us, then so be it, and if not, then that’s okay too. But congratulations to Jamie, and for those of us struggling to conceive, just remember, you’re complete and wonderful just as you are. With or without children.

Christina on

While I applaud her for talking about such a taboo subject, I do feel however she shouldn’t try empathize with the everyday woman reading this article, as I’m sure 9 out 10 struggling with infertility were past heroin users, nor would the regular woman be able to afford 5 rounds of IVF and 26 rounds of intrauterine insemination.

k on

I can’t help to think that women who took birth control pills when they were younger are possibly a contribution to having trouble to conceive later in life. I waited until later in life figuring things would be more “perfect” then….but biologically I think your mid 20’s is a more ideal time and safer for a girl to think about having babies.-plus you get to still be young to keep up with them. It seemed since I waited until later in life–my body was shut down in a way because with birth control pills-it was taught to shut down the process. So besides the religious aspect, I am NOT a fan of birth control pills because I think they have an affect (even though some doctors may disagree) on a woman trying to conceive later in life.

Julie on

Darling baby boy!!!

Sandra on

I admire Jaime King for the generosity to share with other women her struggle to have a child. These problems such as polycystic ovarian or endometriosis has nothing to do with other external or youth issues, which would be just an offensive way to talk about the situation after this beautiful act to share the painful process and fight to be able to have a child. Brave as Angelina Jolie who shared her preventive fight against cancer with double mastectomy surgery.

nolanite on

I’m glad she was also so honest about how tough the early days were. Because they are, even if you wanted the baby very badly.

Jes on

I have PCOS as well and after years of failed attempts and many tubal pregnancies the DR’s pressured me to have a hysterectomy. That was 11 years ago I wish I hadn’t done it. Biggest mistake of my life!!!!!

I’m Standing Right Behind You on

Sending love and prayers to the women and their families as they journey through their infertility…I applaud those who are open and honest and therefore, give others hope.

crystal on

If anorexia and heroin use contributed to PCOS then women who never abused drugs or had an eating disorder wouldn’t have it. Anyone with PCOS knows that past transgressions such as those have nothing to do with being unfortunate enough to have both endometriosis and PCOS. It has been proven to be hereditary though. Instead of being so catty about her past or the fact that she can afford to do 25 rounds of IUI and 5 rounds of IVF be happy for her. Conceiving while having PCOS is huge. For many it never happens.

journeytotwopinklines on

Thank you for being so open about it…

Julia on

Infertility is incredibly painful, heart-wrenching, actually. In some cases (like mine) the causes of infertility are unexplained. In addition, research has shown that women with infertility have the same levels of anxiety and depression as do women with cancer, heart disease and HIV+ status. Compassion and empathy are what women like Jamie King need (whether or not they are able to finally give birth).

Kudos to her for talking about her problems–may it give other struggling women strength.

allisonhazen on

Thank you for sharing and what a lovely baby! This article is making me feel bad for ever complaining about the nausea or moodiness I’ve been going through with my pregnancy. It’s amazingly easy to forget how fortunate we are sometimes.

SloJo on

I appreciate Jaime sharing her struggle. So many women in Hollyweird lie about having fertility treatments to keep up their perfectionistic image.

I, too, struggled with infertility and after 5 failed IUI’s and 2 failed IVF’s, was told by doctors that I would be unable to get pregnant. The very next month, at age 37, I conceived naturally. I conceived again naturally at age 40 and again at age 45. I definitely believe that the stress and pressure of trying so hard and being so focused on that one thing takes a toll on a woman’s body and mind.

To all you women out there struggling with infertility, please don’t ever give up hope!

Nat on

I can’t believe how catty and ridiculous some of these comments are. The people making those comments obviously know nothing about PCOS. It’s a shame when people speak about things when they don’t have the proper knowledge. I think it’s great that Jaime is trying to bring awareness to the subject. Comments like these are why it’s such a taboo subject. No one wants to speak out and get bashed by ignorant people.

Anonymous on

I am happy she shared her story, I understand that all too well!!

Jillian on

I have to say the comments about heroin use, birth control use and gaining weight must be made by people that have little to no knowledge of PCOS. I have struggled with this condition most of my life and have never used drugs and am a healthy weight. My biggest symptoms are facial hair, abnormal periods and chronic acne (even after Accutane) and Metformin. In fact my doctor had me go on birth control for a bit to regulate my hormones. It’s heredity for the most part. My mom had it and I have several cousins with it.

Please get educated before making comments like that. This is a devastating enough disease without dealing with ignorant comments to boot.

Theresa on

I am happy for her! Baby is adorable. But I do feel women in Hollywood need to be more honest about anorexia and the pressures to be thin. This wreaks havoc on your hormones and periods! It always seems like there is a pattern to some ultra thin, cosmetic dentistry (yrs of vomiting) and infertility in famous actresses and models. Guiliana Rancic? I am happy for her happy ending!

Deb on

Christina needs attention. If you have nothing nice to say or can contribute to the conversation in a decent matter dismiss yourself. I hate people who hide behind computers..

Ryan on

Geez Deb….arent people allowed to express their own opinions in the comment section? Not everyone has to agree on the subject.

Lida56 on

I applaud her opening up about something that can be a very private and painful ordeal. I hope she has the good fortune to have another baby if that’s what she wants. As someone who has suffered through “unexplained” infertility and was finally able to conceive my heart goes out to those who have not been so fortunate — and those who are still struggling.

↑ Also Julia — your comment was beautifully written!

nikki on

fertility problems isnt taboo just sad to admit and feel bad for the ppl that dont get pregnant easy

Katie on

Some people seriously think that heroin and other drug use caused PCOS and endometriosis?!?!? How ignorant can you be!?! Women are born with it. Around puberty there are signs of something being off. Lack of periods, excess periods, beards, cysts in ovaries etc. Adult women with PCOS deal with male pattern baldness, infertility, beards like men, acne, painful periods, no periods or excess periods, greater risk of miscarriages, etc. Birth control doesn’t cause PCOS or endometriosis. Birth control is just a stamp on a problem. It’s not a cure.

Erin on

It’s always sad to hear women go through that. Having children is something no woman should have to fight for. Her baby boy is an adorable little thing, I wanna sqeeze him lol.

Mandy on

Glad she is open and honest about her story and happy for her to have a happy ending.

mommytoane on

Some people are so cruel. Its sad to see ho quickly others are to point out someone’s faults. I suppose being perfectly and Godly must be hard.
Its great Jaime shared her story. Quite inspirational really.

Katie on

I love this article and I love her for speaking out. I’m not only unable to conceive on my own, due to endometriosis and PCOS, I can’t carry a baby past 9 weeks. I just had my second miscarriage from IVF. It has left me devastated! This gives me hope and I have hope this is the year I’ll get pregnant, stay pregnant and have a baby. I don’t care what month my baby is born in or gender. I just want a baby!! Thanks Jamie. I wish you all the best. And all you ladies struggling like me.

K on

My good friend just had surgery for endometriosis after seven years of trying, and I am suffering from secondary infertility. Those who can have that fertility help are very blessed, too often insurance will not cover anything fertility related. Thankfully my state covers IUI and limited IVF, so I can keep trying, while my friend will have to pay for everything following her surgery out of pocket. I hope she will also be blessed with a surprise too after all her struggle.

J on

in response to ‘k’….just because having kids in your 20’s is what you think is the ‘best’ age, perhaps that isn’t best for all women. I had my first at 36 and that was the BEST decision for me. If I had my children in my 20’s, I would have been a crap mother. I was selfish and a completely different person than I am now – yes, still my core values, but my priorities are now my family – they would have been different then. I also wanted to travel, stay out late, have movies nights with my girlfriends. Now, I am a happy mommy of two fabulous boys and, at the ‘old’ age of 42, I get down on the floor and play with them daily – throw them in the air, run around like a lunatic. You’re only as old as you feel (unless you have some major illnesses), and they KEEP ME YOUNG. Please don’t judge other women and their choices. I’m not pro or against birth control pills – whatever floats each individual’s boat – but unless you have medical proof that this is a cause – which, it very well could be – please don’t lump it in to the ‘safer’ category. Women, let’s try to be supportive of each other – it is sad to me how so very often we are not…..

Hana on

A wonderful, inspiring story from Jaime.

Cat on

I don’t agree with the comments stating infertility is her own fault because of her drug use. She has medical issues that are not at all related to her past behavior and what she weighs or does not is none of our business. I can agree that in HOLLYWOOD not being perfect is a disease in and of itself and so her discussing infertility is HUGE. She even said they wanted her back at work 2 weeks after her son was born and that is placing an enormous amount of pressure on any new Mom – even a Hollywood Mom who can afford the extra help if she chose. I applaud Jamie for talking about her issues and putting a human face on the perfection plague in Hollywood. We put these people in a separate category because of their lifestyle, their career choices and their money but they are human just the same as we are. The pressure must be incredible to be “on” all the time and though I understand that is her chosen career it doesn’t make it any easier on her than it would on anyone else.

kad on

I have PCOS too, I just learned about it 4 months ago, I’m 26 years, I’m not married yet so I haven’t started with the fertility treatments yet (I’m a Muslim, you have the baby after the marriage :D). I wish all women out there trying all the best. You’re complete and perfect and it is an uncontrollable thing. I’m so sorry for your pain, it will get better one way or another. I hope my chances are good and available where I am when I start trying the treatments. All the best ladies.


I have NEVER done drugs or was anorexic and i suffered from PCOS & Endometriosis and by the grace of god and GOOD Dr’s i was able to have 2 BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS who are now 21 & 18. Women we NEED to stop putting each other down…..STOP AND THINK BEFORE YOU HIT THE ENTER KEY!! How would you feel if we were talking about Y O U!

Aboz on

Wow some people are just wow! She stopped using heroin at age 19. She is now 35. How dare a woman be happy we must remind everyone that she was a junkie 16 years ago.

Anonymous on

My daughter struggles to the same issue she has PCOS and has been trying for about 8 years to have a baby. She’s been pregnant 4 times. 1st time conceived naturally and had a miscarriage. 4rounds of in-vitro 3 resulted in pregnancy 1 did not. She miscarried each time. She wants to be a mom and really would be a great one. Hearing your story makes it real and it could happen for her. We pray she one day will be a mom.

Vicky on

In response to K’s comments about birth control pills, you should educate yourself about the mechanism of action of birth control pills and your own body’s physiology before putting false statements and unfounded opinions on a public forum. Do you have a science or medical background? Have you taken the time to find credible sources and educate yourself about your body and your exposures? Are you in a reproductively optimal age range? Are you medically healthy? Obese? A smoker? Spend your time on educating yourself about factors that could be truly impacting your fertility and stop wasting yours and other readers time making uneducated, unfounded, and downright harmful statements.