While most of us feel worlds away from Hollywood, in modern times, celebrity culture inundates our lives. We see celebrity headlines in line at the grocery store, reading the news online, and watching the local evening news.
So when Halle Berry, Kelly Preston and Nancy Grace all had children at the respective ages of 46, 47 and 48, it sent a message that female fertility is not finite, and that women can delay motherhood without worry. While celebrities are under no obligation to discuss such personal details, their silence creates a more urgent need for fertility education regarding aging and ovarian reserve.
When Sonia Kruger, an Australian TV host and media personality, shared her story of having a child via egg donation at age 49, she started the conversation about infertility and the difficulty that can arise when trying to conceive later in life. She was not shy about revealing her personal experiences in a recent media interview.
‘‘When you get to my age, to use your own eggs to have a baby, you’re not really going to be successful - I mean the odds are sort of one in a million, and my doctors have been very clear with me because I’ve been through IVF before. So I have a very good friend who basically gave me an egg and that’s how this pregnancy came about.’’
And Kruger was not the first to discuss donor egg with the public. Marcia Cross, who has not confirmed or denied whether or not she used donor egg to have her twins at age 44, was open to discussing reality of fertility potential when correlated with age.
"I don't like the average woman being misled into thinking that fertility is something that goes on forever. When a woman gets older, they get donor eggs, which doesn't make the baby any less beautiful or perfect. One's own eggs only last so long."
By being brave enough to share their personal experiences and discuss a very private topic, they have helped shed the stigma of infertility and donor egg treatment. For many women who have felt ashamed, belittled and broken by their infertility, this was the warm ray of sunshine that illuminated infertility awareness and education. It sent a clear message – you are not alone and you are normal.
But with two high-profile women discussing their path to parenthood, it also begs the question – why don’t more women talk about it?
There are a lot of reasons. For most women, the decision to use donor egg has come after a long and painful journey that may include several unsuccessful IVF cycles, miscarriage, secondary infertility and the pain that comes with navigating an infertility diagnosis. Some have not decided whether they will tell their family, friends – or even their child. To protect themselves from being vulnerable or criticized, they remain private so they can stay strong.
Criticism can come in many forms. Well-meaning family members can put their noses where they don’t belong, and inappropriate questions can be asked at social gatherings. It can also come from within – in your own thoughts and personal criticism.
While infertility is not rare, for those who have not experienced it, a lack of sensitivity and empathy can be difficult. Answering a barrage of questions can be overwhelming. The well-meaning but invasive question of “When are you going to have a baby?” leaves a private sting.
Which is why we commend Sonia Kruger and Marcia Cross for being public and vocal about their experiences with infertility. With their contribution to the community as well as time, education and awareness, donor egg will gain its public voice.
I am happy that these women are shedding light on this issue and i truly applaud them. For persons in the spotlight who chose not to share i agree that it is their personal decision and they have the right to handle it as they choose. Being in the medical profession i can say with certainty that this is still a very controversial subject,and women are at times ridiculed for making this decision. This however is very empowering! Kudos to these women!
Submitted by shine 9 years ago
reading this article gives you hope and courage, giving me the sense of hope that i am also not alone in this world who is facing infertility issues. Thank You Sonia and Marcia
Submitted by Tara 9 years ago