Parenting

The Australian celebrities who have bravely opened up about their struggles with infertility

One in six Australian women struggle with infertility.
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Deciding to fall pregnant is the start of a unique journey that has no guarantees, and it isn’t always a straightforward process.

According to IVF Australia one in six Australian couples are affected by infertility, which is an issue that effects both men and women.

IVF Australia also reports that 40 per cent of cases are “found within the female reproductive system, and a third will have a combination of male and female factors.”

There are a host of reasons infertility may occur from problems with eggs, sperm, anatomical structure, hormonal, or immunity issues.

The infertility industry is mammoth and there are plenty of options for couples to choose like IVF, egg freezing, adoption, and surrogacy.

The journey to conceive a child can be deeply emotional, physically exhausting, and expensive.

The process of create a family is deeply personal and the choice to be private about it is valid, but these Australian celebrities have chosen to bravely open up about their experience with infertility.

Their admissions about their experience and how it affected them has been important to help normalise alternative ways to have a child.

These are the candid stories of how Australian celebrities have braved infertility to have their children.

(Image: Instagram)

Fifi Box

Fifi Box

While the radio star welcomed her first daughter Trixie with her ex-husband Grant Kenny, Fifi turned to IVF for her second daughter Daisy.

Speaking on her Something to Talk About podcast, Fifi revealed her doctor gave her a seven to nine per cent change of conceiving at just 39 years old, just two years after giving birth to Trixie.

“It was like a blow to my gut. ‘Oh, this might not happen. I might not have another child’,” she said. “I’ve got the rest of my life to fall in love but I don’t have the rest of my life to have this baby.”

Fifi’s IVF journey is a “success story,” however she is very aware these processes can have a very different outcome.

(Image: Instagram)

Ellidy Pullin

Ellidy Pullin

After losing her soulmate, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin in a fishing accident, Ellidy Pullin made the difficult decision to collect his sperm.

She became pregnant on the second round of IVF which is “often not the case,” confessing to the Australian Women’s Weekly: “I was like, ‘If it’s going to happen, it will happen. It’s got to be a meant-to-be thing. Chump’s got to be guiding this.'”

On October 25, 2021 Ellidy gave birth to her miracle child Minnie Alex Pullin.

(Image: Instagram)

Ada Nicodeou

Ada Nicodemou

After a year of trying to conceive, Ada turned to IVF and fell pregnant with her adorable son Johnas.

During the later months of her pregnancy, she told New Idea how happy she was that the IVF worked so quickly after trying for so long.

“For it to happen so quickly after we struggled for so long is a really nice surprise and we feel really, really lucky.”

(Image: Instagram)

Deborah Knight

Deborah Knight

Deborah opened up to Mammamia about her intense 12 rounds of IVF.

“In the morning, I was going off and having blood tests for rounds of IVF and being told that an implantation had failed and then I’d have to go into work,” she said.

“That was quite difficult to put that mask on. I would put the hair and makeup on and my mask on and go and try to do my job. It was hard.”

(Image: Instagram)

Penny McNamee

Penny McNamee

The Home and Away actress is mum to Jack and Neve, but in 2018 she opened up to New Idea about her infertility struggle due to her endometriosis.

“I had the surgery, and typically doctors say that you really need to fall pregnant within the first six months after. That’s your best chance because the endometriosis hasn’t started to grow back yet,” she said.

“We had planned to try for six months and then the next step for us was IVF. So to fall pregnant in the fifth month – we just felt such relief and gratitude. I was a little bit sceptical at first and didn’t want to get my hopes up.”

(Image: Instagram)

Hugh jACKMAN

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness

The Hollywood couple underwent multiple rounds of IVF and went through numerous miscarriages before adopting their two children, Oscar and Ava.

During an appearance on Katie Couric’s US talk show in 2012 Hugh talked about his journey to fatherhood.

“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. It’s almost secretive, so I hope Deb doesn’t mind me bringing it up now.”

(Image: Instagram)

Jesinta Franklin

Jesinta Franklin

Jesinta had to undergo rounds of IVF when she was struggling to conceive. The model is now the mother to Tullulah and Rocky.

“I had struggled to fall pregnant and there had been losses along the way, as a woman who had been through that I felt like I was doing so many couples a disservice to come out and say, “Surprise we are pregnant.

“I know that would make me feel even worse about our pregnancy journey. I wanted other women to find comfort in the fact that this was not a surprise. It really was an effort and took us a long time,” she told the Herald Sun.

(Image: Instagram)

Emily Symons

Emily Symons

After years of unsuccessful IVF attempts and had “given up hope,” the Home And Away star became a mother at 50. She once feared her age would inhibit her changes of having a child.

“IVF can take over your life. It gets to the point where you’re so desperate to have a baby, everything else falls by the wayside,” she told New Idea.

In an interview with Mother & Baby in 2017, she revealed: “I spent a lot of my 30s being so anguished about not having a baby.”

“I thought it would be impossible but it isn’t. I’d given up, really, I thought I had tried every avenue that was available to us. My advice is to not give up if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the whole process.”

(Image: Instagram)

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman

When Nicole and Keith Urban attempted to fall pregnant for a second time, after welcoming the first daughter, Sunday Rose, together, they struggled to conceive. They eventually opted for a surrogate, and Faith Margaret was born.

During a 60 Minutes interview, Nicole revealed why she was open about her journey and the paint that came with it.

“Anyone that’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 and struggling with fertility. Fertility is such a big thing, and it’s not something I’ve ever run away from talking about,” said the star.

(Image: Instagram)

Jessica Rowe

Jessica Rowe

In her emotional book This My Beautiful Life, Jessica details her journey with infertility and how seeing mothers put a strain on her mental health.

“I wanted to scream, ‘I’m on IVF and I don’t know if I can be a mum. I have just come from having a blood test to see if my body is responding to the hormones I’m pumping through my body. Don’t tell me how wonderful it is to be a mother! And don’t you dare complain about how tired you are,'” she wrote.

Everything paid off in the end, and Jessica has two daughters, Allegra and Giselle.

(Image: Instagram)

Sonia Kruger

Sonia Kruger

Sonia gave birth to her daughter Maggie through the help of IVF, and the presenter has been open about her journey because she is passionate about normalising the treatment.

In an interview with The Herald Sun, Sonia openly discussed her journey: “When I went into that first round of IVF (around 45) I learned that my chances of success were zero. The doctor telling me that was quite confronting. It took a little while to come to terms with what I was going to do next.

“I was surprised by that information because like a lot of women I’d seen high-profile women fall pregnant in their late 40s and thought, ‘Well, it’s possible’. But I didn’t know the details until the doctors said, ‘Make no mistake; these women will have used egg donors.”

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