Do Celebrities Have a Responsibility to Talk About Fertility Struggles?

When it comes to celebrities and their pregnancies, how much should they share?

Since Beyoncé broke the internet with her pregnancy announcement last week, speculation has arisen over her possible use of in vitro fertilization (or IVF) to conceive.

This is especially because IVF has been known to lead to multiple births, and Beyoncé, 35, announced she is having twins.

Beyoncé has yet to comment on any outside methods of conception. But if she did use IVF, does she have a responsibility to share?

Stars like Chrissy Teigen, Elizabeth Banks and Nicole Kidman have all used their experiences with fertility struggles as a way to open up the conversation and break the stigma surrounding IVF.

In Teigen's case, she has been outspoken about her use of IVF for the last couple of years. The model gave birth to her first child, Luna, in early 2016.

In a 2015 segment on FAB Life, a month before she and John Legend announced their pregnancy with their first child, Teigen says:

"I will say, honestly, John and I are having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it'd happened. But my gosh, it's been a process."


By being so open with her struggles, fans have consistently shown their appreciation for Teigen's ability to talk so honestly about it.

And that's the great part of all this, isn't it?

When celebrities are honest about stigmatized issues, it serves as a great source of comfort for others who are struggling—it reaffirms the importance of the issue, and gives people permission to talk about it.

But does this mean that they have a responsibility to do so? Does Beyoncé have a responsibility to divulge her use of IVF (if this is the case), on behalf of every woman who has felt the frustration or shame that often accompanies it?

Many say yes—it's important to have a spokesperson in celebrities like Beyoncé whose voices are so widely heard.

But others strongly disagree. Opposers insist that celebrities have a right to privacy, just like everybody else. and should not feel pressured to discuss every aspect of their lives, especially ones so deeply personal.

Romper addresses the issue in favor of celebrity privacy, saying:

"Of course, these are all speculation, and all we can really conclude is that, unless the pair decides to open up with their story, then their private life will (and should) remain private."

For the sake of science, it's worth mentioning that the likelihood of multiple births as a result of IVF is steadily decreasing, due to the advancement of IVF technology.

Dr. Judy E. Stern, director of the human embryology and andrology lab at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. told The New York Times back in 2008:

"Where three embryos used to work and give you mostly singletons, now we transfer two, because we’re making better embryos."

Therefore, it's not exactly medically sensible to assume that Beyoncé's twins must be a result of fertility assistance.

But regardless, at the end of the day, a woman's body and what she chooses to do with it is her business and her business alone—celebrity, or not.

Celebrity spokesman-ship for taboo issues is certainly a helpful and reassuring thing, but it might not always be fair to demand this of them.