Share on PinterestAnne Hathaway announced on Instagram she is expecting her second child. Getty Images
- In an Instagram post, the actress called attention to past fertility struggles.
- At least 13 percent of couples will have difficulty conceiving, according to the HHS.
- Experts think the number of people who have had difficulty conceiving may actually be far higher.
Last week, actress Anne Hathaway announced on Instagram that she and her husband Adam Shulman are expecting their second child.
In the same post, “The Hustle” star also opened up about her fertility struggles, sharing that her path to getting pregnant wasn’t so simple.
“It’s not for a movie… #2. All kidding aside, for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies,” the 36-year-old actress wrote. “Sending you extra love.”
Hathaway is not alone. Millions of women in the U.S. have trouble either getting or staying pregnant.
Although infertility has long been a taboo subject, Hathaway’s openness about her own challenges may help others realize that infertility is a very common health issue that so many people struggle with.
“I think the most important thing to realize is that celebrities in particular, when they discuss their struggles with fertility, humanize the process. It allows people to connect on a more personal level and to normalize what they are going through,” Dr. Jason Kofinas, a reproductive endocrinologist and the director of IVF and research at Kofinas Fertility Group, told Healthline.
About 13 percent of couples will have trouble becoming pregnant, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. And health experts suspect this number is likely much higher as infertility tends to be underreported.
A third of infertility cases are attributed to the woman, another third are linked to the male partner, and the final third are due to a combination of both partners or unexplained.
Women can be infertile for a variety of reasons, like endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or blocked fallopian tubes. However, age is the most prognostic factor when it comes to getting pregnant.
“It is known that the quantity and quality of eggs in the ovaries declines with age, and we see some changes in the mid-30s, and more significant changes in the later-30s and after age 40,” Dr. Beth Rackow, an OB-GYN and reproductive endocrinologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, told Healthline.
“These age-related changes in egg quality and quantity make it more difficult to conceive as a woman gets older,” Rackow added.
Trying to get pregnant is an extremely intimate topic: some people may feel embarrassed or ashamed that they can’t conceive and others may feel as though they’ve failed in some way.
Consequently, many people may opt to stay quiet about their fertility issues.
“Infertility for many couples is a silent struggle….