Like everyone else around the world, I woke to Meghan Markle’s pregnancy announcement this week. Because I’m a fertility doctor, whenever there’s news about a celebrity’s pregnancy, I get bombarded with questions about it.
In this case, they asked, “How can a 37-year-old get pregnant so fast? She just got married!” Celebrity pregnancy stories can deeply affect how fertility patients feel, especially when the reports are disparaging like many of the headlines about Markle’s pregnancy.
News agencies have published headlines like, “she’s a geriatric pregnant woman.” And then another one of my least favorites “her friends were all surprised she got pregnant so soon.” Hmm, I doubt those were real friends saying that.
Given all of the questions I have received from patients, I thought I’d dedicate this post to her pregnancy announcement to help people understand:
How can a 37-year-old get pregnant so soon after getting married?
I hope the content of this article and show will help you learn that celebrity or not, we all have the ability to plan our future fertility.
Here’s what we know about Meghan:
1. She got married at 36. Fertility rates are good at age 36. Over 50% of women at age 36 will be able to achieve a healthy pregnancy and delivery. And if a 36-year-old has ten eggs to freeze, the live birth rate for the ten eggs is around 60%.
2. She is pregnant at 37. Again, not surprising. If a 37-year-old has ten eggs to freeze, the live birth rate for the ten eggs is still really high at 50%.
3. She’s been divorced. She separated around 2013. In 2014, I started EggFreezingParty.com. Part of my talk is dedicated to divorce and how women should consider freezing eggs for husband#2. Maybe she came to one of my parties, and I didn’t even know!
4. She took a Secret trip to Toronto at the end of this summer. Maybe this trip was fertility related. Hmmm. The dates could add up given where she is in pregnancy right now. Toronto is where she used to work and live before getting married to Prince Harry. There are a lot of great fertility clinics in Toronto. See where I’m going with this?
5. She might be watching the Egg Whisperer Show. In this case, she may be just like you. And if you watch the show you know that I believe in personalized fertility treatment and core to this are two fundamental questions:
How many kids do you want?
What will it take to get there?
Egg freezing is about preserving your future fertility and it’s more commonly discussed than embryo freezing. Yet there could be more to educate about embryo freezing too.
Here’s the crux of my message to you:
Meghan may be a princess, but guess what? You have the same access to information about your personal fertility levels and can evaluate options to take the best course of action for the family you want to build.
Here are two ways to take action today:
1. Get your TUSHY checked. To learn more, read about my TUSHY method. You should. I bet she did!
2. Follow the Egg Whisperer D.I.E.T. A straightforward approach I follow for each of my patients to give them their highest chance of IVF success.
Finally, you may be wondering: Did Meghan do fertility treatment?
Who knows! But if she thought that one day she might want more than one child, I’m guessing she likely froze her eggs first.
A story in Radar reported that Markle told a source that she did freeze her eggs as “insurance.” At my egg freezing parties, I always like to say that egg freezing isn’t insurance. Rather it’s a chance for a future pregnancy.
Egg freezing is not a guaranteed route to pregnancy, however making the choice in your 20s, 30s, and even 40s to freeze can improve your chances for pregnancy. But there are no guarantees with human biology which is why egg freezing is not insurance. It might mean a higher chance of pregnancy if you freeze your eggs before age 35, but nothing is 100%, so make sure (and sorry for the bad joke) that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
No one could know how many cycles she did (and maybe she watched my Egg Thawing Party episode too) or if she did IVF at all.
Maybe the secret trip to Toronto wasn’t for an embryo transfer. Who knows!
No one said life or pregnancy was going to be easy and simple. But getting your fertility checked should be straightforward and making a plan should be something anyone can do, princess or not!