Jennifer Aniston tried to get pregnant for many years. “It was a challenging path for me, the path of making babies,” says the actor Lure in their December cover story. Aniston opened up about the challenges she faced while trying to have a baby, including intense media scrutiny and failed rounds of IVF. The rest of us don’t have to face the kind of painful speculation that Aniston was up against, but the latter is a reality too many can relate to; success rates for in vitro fertilization (IVF) are 25.1 percent for mothers ages 38-40 and 12.7 percent for ages 41-42, according to data from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology.
“My late 30s, 40s, I had gone through some really tough shit, and if it wasn’t for going through that, I would never have become who I was meant to be,” Aniston says, explaining then: “I was trying to get pregnant.”
Remember the many (many) years when Aniston was the subject of a tabloid “bump watch”? “I went through IVF, drank Chinese tea, you name it. I threw everything at it,” she says. “I would have given anything if someone had said to me, ‘Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor’. You just don’t think so. So here I am today. The ship has sailed.”
“I have no regrets,” says Aniston, now 53. “I actually feel a little bit of relief now because there’s no more, ‘Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe’. I don’t have to think about that anymore.”
But there was definitely pain in the past. The hurt of “Does Jen have a baby bump?” headlines were reinforced by “the narrative that I was just being selfish,” Aniston says. “I just worried about my career. And God forbid a woman be successful and not have a child. And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I didn’t want to give him a child That was an absolute lie. I have nothing to hide at this point.” Aniston’s five-year marriage to actor Brad Pitt ended in 2005; she was with Justin Theroux from 2011 to 2018 (they married in 2015).
As author Danielle Pergament writes in the cover story, “We all felt entitled to the cellular happenings inside her womb. We ate those headlines, then tossed them in the trash and got back to our lives. But she couldn’t.”
Aniston’s frustration led her to write an op-ed for The Huffington Post in 2016, criticizing the media for its fixation on her reproductive status and its treatment of women in general: “I thought, ‘I just have to write this. , because it’s so insane and I’m not superhuman to the point where I can’t let it penetrate and hurt.’ “
This article first appeared on Lure.
Originally appeared on Glamour