Some celebs are pretty open about their fertility journeys, getting candid about their successful (and unsuccessful) attempts at IVF.
But it’s rare we hear people in the public eye talking about using fertility-boosting drugs like Clomid (which stimulates ovulation) – and their (more often than not) unpleasant side effects.
Even though we know from our forum users that loads of women trying to conceive are prescribed these drugs and have these effects themselves.
So, which celebs have used Clomid, and did it work for them? We have to say, there are no walk-in-the-park stories here, but we think these points of view can be really helpful, especially if you feel like you’re alone with all the symptoms ?
Here are the celebs who’ve talked it, and here’s what happened to them…
Jools Oliver has 5 beautiful kids now, but her journey to motherhood hasn’t always sailed smoothly.
Jools has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and when trying with husband Jamie Oliver for their 1st, was given the fertility drug Clomid to give her a boost.
Unfortunately, as she detailed back in 2009, she didn’t have a great time with it, and went through some extreme side effects:
“I had all the side effects. Dizziness, panic attacks, blurred vision… [but I was] determined to get the thing done. It was awful, but I just thought: ‘Keep going.’ I’m sure any couple that has been through fertility treatment understands what I’m saying,” she told People.
“I think I spent lots of time panicking and that made the effects of the drug worse,” she confessed.
“It was a hard few months and there was so much pressure on us both. It was especially tough for Jamie because he was working. It’s not a nice way to try to get a baby really.”
Eventually, the couple tried IVF and conceived their 1st. Her 2nd pregnancy came along naturally just 4 months later. But Jools had a run-in with Clomid again when trying for her 3rd.
“When I wanted another baby, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to. I feared I’d waited too long to try for another, so I had to use Clomid again,” Jools told People.
The side effects came back, and at first, she didn’t quite suss that they were down to the Clomid: “I thought I was going mad or that I had a tumour,” she told the mag.
“My doctor even sent me for a brain scan. Jamie said to me: ‘This is ridiculous. What are you doing to yourself?’ In the end, my results were fine. The doctor did tell me I had to calm down though or the treatment wasn’t going to work.”
Jools certainly had a tough time with Clomid – but in the end, it did work and baby no 3 came along ?
Author Izzy and husband Harry Judd have been really honest about their struggle to conceive. Their daughter Lola was eventually conceived via IVF.
But as Izzy told MummySocial, she also has PCOS, and tried Clomid for months, to no avail.
“Harry and I got married in 2012 and shortly after decided to try for a family, so when my period didn’t start after the first month of trying we just assumed I was pregnant,” she began.
“After many negative pregnancy tests I completely panicked and went to see a gynaecologist to find out what was wrong.
“I was diagnosed with PCOS and immediately started a medication called Clomid to help me ovulate.”
“What followed were months of disappointment as my body didn’t respond to the medication. I very quickly felt depressed, alone and frightened.”
After a tough time with Clomid, Izzy went on a ‘mind, body and soul detox’ (we think that’s code for eating right, relaxing and looking after yourself) before beginning IVF.
It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s always heartening to hear that it’s by no means the end of the road ?
Fellow author Giovanna, who’s married to Tom Fletcher from McFly, also has PCOS, and has taken fertility-boosting drugs Clomid and Metformin.
In a recent interview with BUILD, she revealed that she found out she was pregnant very quickly after taking the course of drugs. Sadly, she went on to have a miscarriage.
“In my head, it was just too easy after being worried for so long,” she shared. “And then I miscarried after that. And part of me felt that would happen.”
Giovanna didn’t say whether she continued with Clomid, but she did go on to have 2 sons with Tom: Buzz and Buddy.
Helena Bonham Carter
At age 41, Harry Potter actress Helena Bonham Carter was desperate to conceive her 2nd child.
And as she told The Telegraph in 2007, she did try Clomid – and experienced the negative side effects.
“I had a terrible reaction to it,” she shared. “Many people think it’s the only thing that’s going to make them ovulate, but as it turned out I was ovulating anyway.
“It stressed me out beyond belief. Hormonally, I was all over the shop and I got really low emotionally.
“Lots of people don’t have that reaction, but on the internet I found a Clomid Club, with people who react to the stuff discussing it online.”
Dismayed by her body’s reaction, she stopped taking Clomid and tried alternative therapies like accupuncture and herbal medicine instead, to no avail.
However, just as she was beginning to consider IVF, she became pregnant naturally when she least expected it – during a very busy filming schedule!
And celebs who’ve used other fertility-boosting drugs…
Reports have suggested that Nicole, at age 39, tried Clomid, when attempting to conceive with husband Keith Urban.
Her daughters Sunday Rose and Faith Margaret were born in 2008 and 2010 respectively, with the latter being born via a surrogate.
Though reportedly pregnant with her 1st child, with boyfriend Tristan Thompson, Khloe was bracingly candid about her struggle to conceive during her marriage to Lamar Odom.
“We were like, ‘Let’s just see what happens [about conceiving].’ And then when it didn’t happen, Kim was like, ‘Let’s go to the doctor,'” Khloe explained in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
“I found out I don’t ovulate and my uterus lining isn’t thick enough and I have to take pills to make my uterus lining thicker. If that doesn’t get thicker, then I cannot carry a baby.”
Mariah was 41 when she had twins Morocco and Monroe with now ex-husband Nick Cannon, but it wasn’t an easy journey to get there.
The All I Want For Christmas Is You singer told 20/20 in a frank interview that she’d taken progesterone – a drug used to help thicken the lining of the uterus, in order to make it easier for a pregnancy to stick.
“The main thing I did that was tough was to go on progesterone like every month… and then when I was pregnant, I had to stay with the progesterone for 10 weeks. It minimizes the chance of miscarriage by 50%.”
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