In case you were living under a rock and didn’t know: Fertility struggles are so, so common. In fact, an estimated 10 percent of women (6.1 million) struggle with infertility in the United States. Yet somehow, it’s still a topic — along with also-super-common miscarriage — that many feel uncomfortable discussing. Why? Because going through infertility struggles, whether or not you end up moving forward with fertility treatment measures such as IVF, can feel so painful and isolating. Why do parents feel pressure to keep the whole thing a secret from loved ones on top of all that? Isn’t it unfair for any hopeful would-be parent to feel like they’re going through this battle alone? (Answer: Yes. Yes it is.) Enter: These outspoken celebs who are stepping up to break the taboo.
From Amy Schumer to Chrissy Teigen, Gabrielle Union to Kevin Richardson (yep, the Backstreet Boy), plenty of Hollywood’s major stars have gone public with their family’s fertility challenges: from IVF treatments to using surrogates. And by opening up the conversation, they’re working wonders to help others understand they aren’t alone in this usually exhausting, often heart-wrenching experience.
Because even though the struggle to start a family might be ongoing, there is comfort in knowing there are others journeying along with you. In the words of Amy Schumer after she opened up on Instagram about beginning the IVF process: “There are sooooo many of us willing to be there for each other. Your stories helped me more than you can imagine.”
Ahead, 17 celebs who are changing the conversation and busting the stigma surrounding infertility.
A version of this story was originally published in August 2016.