13 Celebrities Who've Shared Their Struggles With Infertility

So many women have fertility issues, but it's still taboo to discuss.

Roughly a million women in the United States struggle with infertility, broadly defined as the inability to get pregnant after a year of trying. And yet women and couples who are in the thick of struggling to have a baby tend to talk about how isolating and all-consuming it can be.

Thankfully, infertility isn’t the taboo topic it once was, and celebrities have played an important role in changing the narrative.

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week ― a time to help tear down yet more of the secrecy and misinformation that surrounds fertility difficulties ― here are 13 famous men and women who have opened up about their own challenges and heartbreak to help remind others they’re not alone.

Angela Bassett
Steve Granitz via Getty Images
"I was devastated when it didn’t happen [again and again]. I had to remain hopeful and resilient and [say], "OK. Let’s do it again.'" (via People)
Brooke Shields
Matthew Eisman via Getty Images
“After a while, when you’re not successful, you start to associate the word 'failure' [with] every time you pee on a stick and it doesn’t come out the right color. What starts out as a dream becomes a project that’s all consuming — everywhere you look, women are pregnant, and every song on the radio seems like it’s all about being pregnant! It becomes a very frustrating, frightening place." (via NYMetroParents)
Chrissy Teigen
PA Wire/PA Images
"I can’t imagine being that nosy, like, 'When are the kids coming?’ because who knows what somebody's going through? Who knows if somebody’s struggling? I would say, honestly, [that] John and I were having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened, but my gosh, it’s been a process." (via FABLife)
Mark Zuckerberg
Bloomberg via Getty Images
"We want to share one experience to start. We've been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way. You feel so hopeful when you learn you're going to have a child. You start imagining who they'll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they're gone. It's a lonely experience." (via Facebook)
Jaime King
Valerie Macon via Getty Images
"Nobody knew how long it took me to get pregnant, that for seven years I had so many losses, I'd been trying for so long and I was in so much pain. I felt like a part of me was broken because the fact is let's be real: the only difference between men and women that we grow up with is that we're able to carry a child. Somewhere in our subconscious when someone tells you, 'Oh, you might not be able to do that,' you feel like it's the one thing that you have ... I feel like it's detrimental for me as a woman to not be honest about that and that it's detrimental that women don't talk about these things because when you go through it you feel like you're suffering in silence by yourself." (via Fit Pregnancy)
Martie Maguire
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images
"I really have a problem with the fact that insurance companies don’t see infertility as a medical condition requiring coverage. I do want there to be some pressure on the insurance companies. It’s such a strong drive for women, knowing you were meant to be a mom. We would have gone into debt, done whatever, exhausted all the options, to get there. But a lot of women have to give up on that dream because they can’t afford it." (via Conceive Magazine)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
"About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life. I picked out names. I envisioned what my child would look like ... I was feeling very maternal. I flew back to New York to get my check up—and no heartbeat. Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat... it was the saddest thing I've ever been through." (via HBO)
Hugh Jackman
Bruce Glikas via Getty Images
"To be clear, [my wife] Deb and I always wanted to adopt. So that was always in our plan. We didn't know where in the process that would happen but biologically obviously we tried and it was not happening for us and it is a difficult time. We did IVF and Deb had a couple of miscarriages. I'll never forget it, the miscarriage thing. It happens to one in three pregnancies, but it's very, very rarely talked about." (via Today)
Elizabeth Banks
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images
"The one true hurdle I've faced in life is that I have a broken belly. After years of trying to get pregnant, exploring the range of fertility treatments, all unsuccessful, our journey led us to gestational surrogacy: We make a 'baby cake' and bake it in another woman's 'oven.'" (via Lucky)
Giuliana Rancic
Steve Granitz via Getty Images
"My first IVF I did get pregnant—that was the miscarriage. But the second one, I did not get pregnant, and that was the biggest kick in the stomach, because I just could not believe you go through so much to get those eggs and put them in, and when the doctor calls you, to hear, ‘Oh, sorry, it didn’t work.’ That was the most shocking. I would go, 'I'm a good person, and I could give someone the greatest life of all, but yet I can’t get pregnant.'" (via CNN)
Nia Vardalos
Amanda Edwards via Getty Images
"It was a sad process for me to become a mom, and a long process. I felt so embarrassed that I couldn’t have a biological child." (via People)
Nicole Kidman
PA Wire/PA Images
"Anyone who's been in the place of wanting another child or wanting a child knows the disappointment, the pain and the loss that you go through trying. We were in a place of desperately wanting another child. I couldn't get pregnant." (via 60 Minutes Australia)
Jimmy Fallon
NBC via Getty Images
"We've tried a bunch of things. Anyone who's tried will know, it's just awful." (via Today)