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Older Celebrities and Fertility Treatment

Older Celebrities and Fertility Treatment

updated

The tradition of women getting married at the age of 12, having babies a year later, and being considered middle-aged by the time they turn 30 continues to wane around the world, and is practically obsolete here in the United States. Instead of trading a dowry for a good name and seed, today's women take initiative and seek the freedom that an education and career can provide for them.

Indeed, many American women are choosing to delay parenthood until they are in their thirties for a variety of reasons. Some are busy striving to achieve their individual goals before they become mothers; others are waiting to meet the right man or until they feel the timing is right.

But with entertainment news outlets barraging us with reports of celebrities in their thirties, forties, and even fifties getting pregnant, some women may not understand the challenges that older women can face when trying to conceive.

In truth, a woman's chance of getting pregnant significantly decreases by the age of 35. And many of our favorite celebrity moms have spent considerable time, effort, and expense to conceive - with the help of fertility treatments.

Celebrities Who Have Undergone Fertility Treatment

Jane Seymour

After having four children with her former husband, Seymour decided she wanted to have one more child with current husband, director James Keach. She suffered two miscarriages before seeking infertility treatment.

Fertility Treatment: After enduring several cycles of in vitro fertilization (IVF), the former star of Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman was finally able to conceive again.

Outcome: Unfortunately, the pregnancy was as difficult as the effort it took to conceive; Seymour developed pre-eclampsia, a condition that caused her blood pressure to increase. She also went into labor six weeks ahead of schedule, delivering twin boys at the age of 45. Despite the fertility challenges Seymour and her husband faced, the boys grew up to be healthy.

Marcia Cross

Surely, no one would doubt that Marcia Cross' former Melrose Place character Kimberly Shaw would have been willing to undergo invasive fertility treatments to get what she desired. But, truth be told, any strong-willed woman would likely be willing to go to extravagant lengths to conceive a child if that's what she truly wanted. And after having no children of her own - but clearly in a position to support a few - Cross took action.

Fertility Treatment: Cross told news outlets that she underwent IVF, using her own eggs, to assist her in conceiving while in her forties.

Outcome: The Desperate Housewives' star delivered twin girls at the age of 44.

Joan Lunden

After stepping down from her post as anchor of Good Morning America, Lunden decided she wanted to have children with husband Jeffrey Konigsberg, despite having three children by a previous husband.

Fertility Treatment: Lunden has publicly admitted to twice using a surrogate after numerous IVF cycles failed; however, she declines to say whether the eggs were her own.

Outcome: Lunden had two sets of twins via the same surrogate; they were born when Lunden was aged 52 and 54.

Elizabeth Edwards

The first child of Elizabeth and (former presidential candidate) John Edwards, a son, died in a car accident at the age of 16. With a teenage daughter remaining, the couple decided to have more children together.

Fertility Treatment: Edwards has admitted to undergoing fertility treatment to conceive her last two children, but she has not specified the type of treatment.

Outcome: Edwards gave birth to a daughter at age 48, as well as a son at age 50.

Christie Brinkley

Though supermodel Christie Brinkley has a daughter, Alexa Ray, by former husband Billy Joel, as well as a son, Jack Paris, by ex-husband Richard Taubman, she wanted to have a child with fourth husband Peter Cook.

Fertility Treatment: Brinkley underwent several IVF cycles and suffered three miscarriages in her effort to conceive a third child.

Outcome: At the age of 44, Brinkley became pregnant and delivered daughter, Sailor Lee.

Other Celebrities Who Have Used Fertility Treatment to Conceive

  • Courteney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette: Cox-Arquette, star of Friends and Dirt, has been open about having undergone several IVF cycles (and suffering miscarriages) before conceiving daughter Coco at the age of 39.
  • Cindy Margolis: After undergoing four IVF cycles, the Internet supermodel's fertility specialist decided to try a more aggressive approach by combining IVF with GIFT - a procedure in which some of the eggs and sperm are placed directly into the fallopian tubes and uterus. As a result, Margolis (who suffers from unexplained fertility) became pregnant and gave birth to a son when she was 37. Twin daughters were born via a surrogate three years later.
  • Cheryl Tiegs: Using a surrogate (as well as her own eggs and husband Rod Stryker's sperm), former model Tiegs was able to have twins at the age of 52.
  • Brooke Shields: After having pre-cancerous cells removed from her cervix, Shields had scarring that affected her ability to become pregnant. She and husband Chris Henchy decided to use IVF to boost their chances of achieving pregnancy. After their first IVF cycle, Shields became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage. The couple tried several more cycles before the model/actress delivered a daughter at the age of 37. Three years later, the couple was able to conceive another girl naturally.

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