THE BLOG

Why Celebrities Have A Responsibility To Tell Us When They've Undergone IVF

09/11/2017 11:15 GMT | Updated 09/11/2017 11:15 GMT

There's a great myth surrounding the Hollywood elite. And that's the myth of fertility.

Each week it seems like a new middle-aged celebrity is gracing the cover of a glossy magazine and telling the world about falling pregnant.

And while they're usually fit and fabulous, A-listers are - statistically speaking - no more fertile than the rest of us.

A study this week revealed how high-profile mums were "glamourising" pregnancy in later life.

Fertility in women declines rapidly from the age of 35, making it hard to get pregnant naturally.

The research, by the New York University School of Medicine, found that of 240 celebrities who featured in stories about pregnancy, just two talked about using assisted reproductive therapy (ART).

That was despite 56 per cent of the female celebrities studied being 35 or older - so statistically speaking many more may have had help.

Researchers said their findings reflected "continued stigma surrounding the use of ART".

Make no mistake, infertility isn't an easy subject to talk about. And I'm not saying celebrities should feel obliged to disclose their deepest, darkest fertility struggles. I know what an intensely personal subject it is.

But there is still such a lack of open discussion that by failing to talk it, this simply fuels the stigma.

One in six couples will experience difficulties conceiving. It's only right we should talk openly and honestly about these problems in a meaningful way.

Imagine being sat in a doctor's waiting room, anxiously waiting to talk about difficulties you're facing getting pregnant, and being faced with a glossy magazine proclaiming the arrival of a baby by a 40-year-old celebrity mum without any reference to reproductive medicine they may have called on.

These 'miracle' pregnancies not only make hopeful parents increasingly anxious, but they also raise expectations.

For women aged 35 to 37, the success rate of IVF in the UK using their own eggs is around 27 per cent.

For women aged 40 to 42 this drops to 13.6 per cent. Over the age off 44, success rates drop to 1.9 per cent, according to figures from the NHS.

Chances can be greatly increased by the use of donor eggs - and it's often the only way women over the age of 45 can get pregnant.

In the last year IVF Cube carried out 395 fresh cycles using eggs from young, healthy donors.

Research carried out by the clinic this year revealed one of the main reasons patients from the UK and Ireland travelled to the Czech Republic for treatment is because of the availability of donor eggs.

Donors have revolutionised getting pregnant for older women and should be celebrated, not swept under the carpet.

I truly want women to feel comfortable to share the challenges they have encountered on their fertility journeys, in the hope it might how others how there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Celebrities like Chrissy Teigan, who used IVF to welcome her daughter Luna, and E! News host Giuliana Rancic, who has been incredibly open about her fertility struggles, demonstrate how infertility can affect anyone, regardless of wealth and status.