- Tyra Banks, Lucy Liu and Nicole Kidman admit to having babies via a surrogate; Mariah Carey underwent IVF treatments to become pregnant with twins while Tom Arnold and wife had son after 22 rounds of in vitro that failed.
- Top fertility specialist says one in six couples of reproductive age has trouble having a baby, and ideal time to conceive is between 25 – 30.
- Costs of receiving repeat fertility treatments can set unrealistic expectations for couples who don’t have big bank rolls like celebrities.
Tyra Banks has never been one to shy away from publicly sharing intimate details about her private life—and yet it came as quite a surprise when late last month the 42-year-old unexpectedly welcomed the arrival of her baby boy, York Banks Asla, born via surrogate:
“The best present we worked and prayed so hard for is finally here. He’s got my fingers and big eyes and his daddy Erik’s mouth and chin. As we thank the angel of a woman that carried our miracle baby boy for us, we pray for everyone who struggles to reach this joyous milestone. York Banks Asla, welcome to the world.”
Banks and photographer-boyfriend Erik Asla decided on surrogacy after the former Victoria’s Secret Angel admittedly underwent unsuccessful IVF procedures due to problems conceiving naturally—a struggle more celebrities are starting to open up about.
“One in six couples of reproductive age has trouble having a baby,” Dr. Clifford Librach, Director of the CReATe Fertility Centre in Toronto, tells Yahoo. “Everybody really knows somebody—if it’s not themselves—who has had problems, so it’s pretty common.”
Last fall, Banks broke down in tears in front of a studio audience as she opened up about her troubles trying to conceive. In a raw admission on her now canceled talk show FABLife, Banks admitted she was “tired” of seeing posts on her social media feeds questioning her as to why she didn’t have kids.
“I just feel like we are so hard on each other and judgmental of each other…” Tyra cried out as she expressed her fertility hardships. “When I was 23-years-old, I used to tell myself ‘In three years I’m going to have kids—then I turned 24, ‘In three years I’m going to have kids.’ Every single year I just kept saying that. And then, after a while it’s like, ‘Okay now I want to’—and it’s not so easy.”
Banks’ co-host Chrissy Teigen also admitted to having problems getting pregnant throughout her twenties. The 30-year-old model-wife of John Legend, who is now-seven-months-pregnant, recently revealed she underwent IVF treatment during her latest Sports Illustrated swim shoot.
“Who knows what somebody’s going through? Who knows if somebody is struggling to have children,” Teigen said on the show, admitting that she and Legend would have had children years ago if it was a possibility. “'But my gosh it’s been a process. We’ve seen fertility doctors—and once you open up about those things to other people, you learn that a lot of other people in your life are seeing these people and they have this shame about it.”
- Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were very open about the fertility struggles throughout the years–even claiming to have sex 500 times a day in attempt to conceive a second child (Saint West was born in December).
- Tom Arnold, 56, and wife Ashley Groussman,40, called the birth of their now 4-month-old baby daughter Quinn Sophie, a “blessing” after their son Jax came about after 22 rounds of in vitro that failed.
- Mariah Carey, 45, admitted to undergoing fertility treatments to become pregnant with her twins Monroe and Moroccan.
- Similar to Tyra Banks, Lucy Liu’s baby boy, Jimmy Fallon’s daughter and Nicole Kidman’s second child were born via surrogate (this is when a woman carries a child to term for another couple). Fallon stated that he and his wife struggled with fertility issues for five years before their daughter was born.
- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan gave birth to a baby girl after previously undergoing three miscarriages. In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg stated that “discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.”
Although average couples who have trouble conceiving might find it encouraging to see their favourite celebrities publicly talking about fertility issues — the costs of receiving fertility treatments can also set unrealistic expectations, according to Dr. Librach.
“I think that people don’t really realize the cost that’s involved in doing this—and it doesn’t always work the first try,” adds Dr. Librach noted.
In Western Canada an IVF cycle can run upwards of $8,000 while in Eastern Canada and Quebec that number drops to about $5,500. Non-insured IVF treatments in Ontario for example can run upwards of $7,000—not taking into account medication, lab fees or time spent out of work.
Mature celebrities who claim to have babies through fertility treatments may also set unrealistic expectations for average couples looking to follow suit.
“Sometimes the celebrities will be saying, ‘Well, I was 48-years-old, or 50-years-old and I was able to conceive with fertility treatments.’ But all of the doctors in this field know that a woman at that age really is not using her own eggs, she’s using an egg donor…but they don’t say that to people, and it makes women think that they can wait until almost any age to have a child without having to have some help,” said Dr. Librach, who added that the best time to conceive, from a physiological and biological point of view, is before the age of 35—ideally between the ages of 25 – 30.
“People think they can just wait as long as they want — (that) they can wait until their career is over (or) their wealth is there. The biological clock doesn’t really wait for that sort of thing; so I think people need to realize that if they wait too long, their chance of getting pregnant will be significantly lower,” Dr. Librach added.
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