Helena Bonham Carter is one of very few women over the age of 40 to get pregnant with her own eggs. Statistically, less than 8% of females aged 42 and above are able to achieve this.
The Alice in Wonderland actress, however, did not give up hope of having a second child with her partner, director Tim Burton. Talking to The Telegraph, Bonham Carter details her struggle and says she probably would have tried IVF.
“Obviously, you don’t know what you’d do unless you were actually in that situation. I think we might have gone for a round of IVF, but that would have been that. There was an argument for just having one child, because we thought if that’s the way it’s meant to be, so be it.”
However, the wish to have a child was strong. In her quest, the star took fertility drug Clomid, which aids ovulations by telling the body to produce more oestrogen, and even turned to natural remedies such as acupuncture.
“I tried acupuncture two years ago,” says Bonham Carter. “I went to the Chinese acupuncturist in Belsize Park. Dr Deng, who practices there, is brilliant, and has helped so many local people. She kept saying that I was ‘too weak, too weak’, and gave me several types of tea to help build my strength up.”
In the end, and against all the odds, she managed to conceive naturally and during a time of intense stress.
“I was working so hard at the time. The first three months being pregnant while filming, I felt totally spaced out. You do need to multi-task with acting. You’ve got to remember your marks, your lines, singing, everything, and actually – you have no brain! Suddenly your own brain is growing another person’s brain, so yours goes defunct. It wasn’t ideal, but then I was so happy to be pregnant,“ she tells The Telegraph.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment offered to couples who are unable to conceive naturally. The process involves removing an egg from the ovaries and uniting it with sperm in a laboratory. Once this process is complete, the fertilized egg is placed back into the female’s womb to grow.
Like any fertility treatment, the success rate of IVF corresponds directly with the age of the woman.
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