Falling pregnant in your late forties is quite rare. Except in Hollywood, of course. In this article we ask, how do so many famous women become mothers in their mid-to-late forties, and beyond?
Sadly, a woman’s age is the most important element that affects her fertility and her potential to have a child. The easiest time to conceive naturally is before the age of 30. When a woman reaches her mid-to-late 30s and early 40s, it takes longer to conceive, and the chance of falling pregnant decreases.
Many of us know someone who fell pregnant easily and gave birth to a healthy baby after their mid-30s. It is entirely possible, with and without fertility treatment. However, in your late forties, statistically the chances of conceiving spontaneously are miniscule.
A growing concern is the huge number of celebrities who have babies over the age of 40 or even 50, creating the impression that it is easy to fall pregnant at this age. Just a small sample of those who have given birth after 40 include Janet Jackson (50), Halle Berry (47), Kelly Preston (48) and Susan Sarandon (46). Several more gave birth to twins, including Beverly D’Angelo at age (49), Holly Hunter (47), Geena Davis (48), and Marcia Cross (45). Model Cheryl Tiegs had twins at age 52.
Many celebrities do not disclose the details of their pregnancy, namely whether or not they had fertility treatment or used donor eggs, which is misleading for so many other women. Experts warn women to be aware of the statistics surrounding their fertility, and to not fall into a false sense of security. They advise that many of these celebrities have likely used donor eggs, and may have had a harrowing and expensive journey to get there. While celebrities may lead a charmed life, with fame, fortune and good looks, they are not more fertile. Famous or not, ovaries and eggs all age in the same way.
There are a number of celebrities who have been refreshingly candid when it comes to fertility treatment, however. Model Christie Brinkley gave birth to her third child at the age of 44 years; revealing that she suffered various miscarriages before falling pregnant via IVF. Actress Brooke Shields delivered her second daughter at the age of 40. She was open about her struggles to conceive a child with her husband, attempting multiple fertility treatments and IVF rounds without success. Singer Celine Dion gave birth to her twin boys at the age of 42, after multiple failed IVF cycles. In her early 30’s, she had given birth to another son, after six years of trying to conceive.
We understand that no woman should feel obligated to reveal the details of her conception to anyone, let alone to the world. Infertility is a deeply personal, heart-breaking and distressing journey. However, women would no doubt welcome more honesty from celebrities in the public eye about the reality of falling pregnant in their late forties; to decrease misconceptions and raise awareness.