Jennifer Aniston’s IVF revelation has caused quite a stir as the Hollywood star spoke for the first time about this very personal and rather painful chapter in her life.
Media speculation and fallacious rumors of pregnancy made it worse for Aniston, when she was quietly undergoing failed IVF cycles, desperately trying to have a baby.
“It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road,” the actor told Allure in their December cover story.
Over 50% of cycles fail and it is not always easy to determine the reasons for failure of IVF. Advanced female age and poor sperm quality are two of the main causes.
Aniston went through ‘really hard shit’
“My late 30s, 40s, I’d gone through really hard shit, and if it wasn’t for going through that, I would’ve never become who I was meant to be,” says Aniston, adding: “I was trying to get pregnant.”
She was the subject of tabloid “bump watch” for many years and was hurt by all the unkind things written about her, some of which were just lies.
The hardest thing about IVF, patients tell us, is how lonely and isolated it makes you feel. There has been a lot of improvement in raising infertility awareness in the past decade but even today, potential parents find it a hard, isolating experience that is usually kept under wraps. 15 years ago, it must have been much harder for a celebrity like Jennifer Aniston.
“I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it,” she says.
However, back then, there was not much awareness and no one suggested egg freezing as an option.
“I would’ve given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.’ You just don’t think it,” she said. “So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”
“I have zero regrets,” Aniston, who is now 53 years old, told Allure writer Danielle Pergament.
False narratives around pregnancy amidst Jennifer Aniston’s IVF
The FRIENDS star found it extremely difficult to handle the “years and years and years of speculation” around her pregnancy and questions about why she didn’t have kids.
Even though she’s made peace with it now, the baby rumors hurt Aniston in the past. The pain of those ‘Baby Bump’ headlines was intensified by “the narrative that I was just selfish,” she said.
“I just cared about my career. And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn’t have a child. And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn’t give him a kid. It was absolute lies. I don’t have anything to hide at this point.”Jennifer Aniston
Aniston got divorced from her husband, Brad Pitt in the year 2005, after five years of marriage.
She found love again in Justin Theroux. After dating for around four years, they married in 2015 but separated two years later in 2017.
Justin and Jennifer still have a great friendship and talk to each other often. “She’s a hilarious person,” Theroux told Esquire in April 202. “It would be a loss if we weren’t in contact, for me personally.”
Tried to protect the IVF story
The Hollywood actress did not give any fixed timeline of her past IVF treatments and said that she wanted to keep it private over all these years.
“I’ve spent so many years protecting my story about IVF. I’m so protective of these parts because I feel like there’s so little that I get to keep to myself,” Aniston said, adding that now that she’s older and that phase of uncertainty is over, she feels “a little relief.”
It is “liberating”, because “there is no more, ‘Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe’. I don’t have to think about that anymore,” she said.
However, now there’s nothing to hide and she doesn’t feel incomplete without being a mother.
“The [world] creates narratives that aren’t true, so I might as well tell the truth. I feel like I’m coming out of hibernation.” Aniston added. “I don’t have anything to hide.”
Impact of gossip on personal life
Jennifer Aniston does not normally share too much of her personal life but her stardom has always attracted media attention and the advent of social media further made it worse.
“It’s like, ‘You have no clue what’s going with me personally, medically, why I can’t … can I have kids?’ They don’t know anything, and it was really hurtful and just nasty,” Aniston said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, in December 2021.
On social media trolls, she said: “It’s almost like the media handed over the sword to any Joe Schmo sitting behind a computer screen to be a troll or whatever they call them and bully people in comment sections. So, it’s just sort of changed hands in a way. And I don’t know why there’s such a cruel streak in society. I often wonder what they get off on.”
When Jennifer Aniston was ‘Fed up’
This is not the first time she has spoken about the painful speculation around her pregnancy. Back in 2016, Aniston wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post, expressing her frustration and calling out the intrusive nature and obsessive fixation of the media with her reproductive status.
“I was like, ‘I’ve just got to write this because it’s so maddening and I’m not superhuman to the point where I can’t let it penetrate and hurt,’” The Morning Show star said.
“For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of “journalism,” the “First Amendment” and “celebrity news,” she wrote in the essay.
She also called out the tabloids and the society at large, for objectification of women’s bodies and attaching too much importance to their marital status and maternity.
Jennifer Aniston’s IVF was unfortunately not successful and her celebrity invited a lot of intrusive speculation and callous comments but in hindsight, it all helped her grow.
Aniston says she’s grateful for all those “s—ty things. Otherwise, I would’ve been stuck being this person that was so fearful, so nervous, so unsure of who they were. And now, I don’t f—ing care,” she said. “I feel the best in who I am today, better than I ever did in my 20s or 30s even, or my mid-40s.”
LATEST: In her recent Instagram post, Jennifer Aniston wrote a tribute to her father, John Anthony Aniston, who passed away “in peace – and without pain” on 11/11/2022. He was 89 years old.