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Coming out of the fertility closet: celebrities like Jimmy Fallon help reduce secrecy around surrogacy

A recent commentary piece in Time highlighted how talk-show host Jimmy Fallon and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, are helping reduce the secrecy around fertility treatments and third party reproduction by admitting to using a surrogate to have their daughter, Winnie Rose. Although 1 in 6 US couples experiences infertility, many do not share their diagnosis with their family or friends, or do not reveal that they are undergoing treatment for infertility.

The article cites a recent US study that found that infertility delivers a serious blow to both men and women’s self-esteem, with 7 in 10 women saying that infertility makes them feel flawed, and half of the men saying that it makes them feel inadequate. The study was conducted by Shering-Plough and Merck & Co., Inc. and surveyed 585 men and women. Results revealed that 6 in 10 couples tried to hide their infertility from family and friends. Over a third shared that their ability to confide in others decreased since they started trying to become pregnant. These findings support previous literature that the stress of infertility often leads to feelings of isolation and shame.

When celebrities break the silence around infertility, they begin to shift the public perception that fertility difficulties are shameful. Organizations such as Redbook magazine and RESOLVE, a US-based infertility education group, are doing their part to break the taboos around infertility by launching education campaigns such as “The Truth About Trying.” Find out more about this campaign here. Do your part to challenge the stigma around infertility by sharing your story with us.

Read more about the Time commentary here.

Read more about the US study here.

Read more about how to talk to your family and friends about infertility here.

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