I have a lot in common with the Kardashian Family. I talk about fertility all the time, they talk about fertility all the time. So naturally, I’ve dedicated an Egg Whisperer Show to what 10 years of the Kardashians have taught us about Fertility.
Lesson #1: Your Mom’s Fertility is Important
The Kardashian Matriarch, Kris Jenner had 4 kids with her first husband and then two more over the age of 35 with her second husband. Is it possible she used fertility treatment to have the last two? Maybe, but we can only speculate. What does it remind us to do?
Learn these three things about your family’s fertility:
- When did your mom experience menopause?
- Did your mom have any miscarriages or difficulty conceiving?
- If you have sisters, did they need fertility help? If so there’s a chance you may need it too.
If your mom needed fertility treatment to get pregnant with you, this is a good thing to know! We inherit fertility genes (not the ones you wear) from both parents. If you have fertility issues that run in the family, then it’s a good idea to get a fertility health check-up when you’re ready. Here’s an easy way to do so.
Lesson #2: Freeze your eggs in case your romantic situation changes
Kourtney, age 38, recently announced that she’s thinking about freezing her eggs. Let’s be real, the divorce rate is 50% and I see many women in their 40s with husband #2 wanting to have more kids. You can be your own egg donor by egg freezing for yourself. Here’s what you need to know:
- The chance that a 38 year old could get pregnant from let’s say 7 frozen eggs is about 34%. If a 40 year old freezes 7 mature eggs her chance of a live birth is around 22% and then at 25, chances are closer to 85%!
- If you’re considering egg freezing make sure you go to this live birth calculator. It’s important that women don’t get a false sense of security from egg freezing.
Lesson #3: It only takes one good egg
Kim has shared that she got pregnant while dating Kanye and was shocked because she was told she had the eggs of a 50 year old. After delivering baby #1 she did IVF for baby #2 and clearly the take-away is that it literally just takes one good egg! And if you already know you have fertility issues, then you can preserve embryos through IVF to give yourself the chance to have the family size that you want.
Lesson #4: Pregnancy isn’t easy and can be dangerous for some women
I never take a single moment of pregnancy for granted. Every pregnancy that I am a part of is V.I.P. (Very Important Pregnancy). It’s important to talk to high risk OB-GYNs to see if what you experienced poses a risk for future pregnancies. Kim shared with her followers that she had a condition called placenta accreta and needed 3 surgeries after her second delivery. That’s why they decided on a gestational carrier.
Lesson #5: Pregnancy can affect your body image
Even celebrities with chefs and personal trainers have a hard time with weight gain in pregnancy. You’re definitely not alone. When we work so hard to get pregnant, we’re made to feel that pregnancy should be joyous and wonderful and feel great but for a lot of us it just isn’t so. If you’re having a hard time maintaining your weight or dealing with anxiety in pregnancy I recommend the following:
1. Reading this book.
2. Working with a pregnancy trained nutritionist.
3. Working with a personal trainer. Even a virtual one can help you!
Lesson #6: Cocaine is Bad for your Fertility
Prior to Khloe getting pregnant with her current partner, we watched her struggle with fertility with her first husband Lamar who battled a cocaine addiction. I ask my patients not to drink alcohol more than occasionally, and refrain from all drugs especially drugs like cocaine. Sounds silly to even talk about this stuff because it would seem obvious, but just think of it this way, stoned sperm just can’t swim straight.
Lesson #7: Low Fertility Doesn’t = No Fertility
We’ve heard over the years that Khloe may have a very common condition called PCOS but before this recent pregnancy we heard her fertility doctor say that she actually has less eggs than a woman of her age. This obviously doesn’t mean she can’t get pregnant because she is now. However, this shows us that low fertility doesn’t mean no fertility and getting pregnant as soon as you’re ready is always a good thing.
Lesson #8: Having a baby with someone is a lifelong relationship
All the drama between Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna teach us how not to act. Is it probably all for the ratings?
Who knows but especially patients of mine who are creating embryos together, make sure your relationship is sound before you take this very important step.
Remember two things:
- It’s a lot less complicated to separate before you have a baby together.
- Therapy is a great way to work out your issues even after you have kids and aren’t romantically involved.
Lesson #9: The younger you are the easier it is to get pregnant
Kylie Jenner is the only Kardashian that hasn’t been filmed seeing a fertility doctor. She just had a baby at 20. Whereas, the average age of a woman’s first birth in the San Francisco area is closer to age 36. This means most women are trying for their first almost 16 years after Kylie did. This also means it does get harder. Science hasn’t caught up to societal trends.
Here are three things you can do:
- Be sure to get your fertility checked early.
- Start your family as young as you feel ready.
- Preserve your fertility when you still have eggs left.
Lesson #10: Don’t rely on celebrity fertility news as your go-to source for your own fertility health
The best way to know about your body is to rely on science and find a trusted human to help you make sense of what you learn. How? At the risk of repeating myself: Get a fertility health check-up! Then talk to your doctor about your family size goals so you can do everything possible to achieve them.