Infertility is a problem many people struggle with, and although it is often considered only a woman’s condition, both men and women can contribute to it. While the topic has long been considered hush-hush, in recent years, conversations about fertility struggles are becoming more normalized, with even celebrities opening up about their difficulties. Typically, you’d expect that when a celebrity publicly discusses issues related to infertility, they would be met with an outpouring of support. Not so for Paris Hilton, whose recent comments about her decision to undergo IVF are causing outrage.
On a recent episode of a podcast called The Trend Reporter With Mara, Hilton opened up about her decision to start a family, remarking that she and her boyfriend Carter Reum had decided to try IVF. She explained that her friend Kim Kardashian was the one who recommended IVF in the first place, saying that before Kardashian’s recommendation, “I didn’t even know anything about it.”
The CDC reports that 1 to 2 percent of all U.S. births annually happen via IVF, and according to WebMD, only about 5% of couples with infertility seek out IVF, so Hilton’s decision to speak publicly about her decision to undergo the process is significant. Although infertility is a fairly common struggle that couples go through, with about 1 in 8 couples having trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, the stigma of it persists, and women may be on the receiving end of the worst of that stigma. According to a 2019 survey conducted by Modern Fertility, about 1 in 5 women reported that they experienced discrimination or prejudice because of their infertility, which led to them feeling guilt and shame. In addition, 59% of the women who participated in the survey felt that women who are infertile are unfairly treated.
So while Hilton being open about her decision to undergo IVF is commendable and can help lessen the stigma for other women and couples going through the same process, her reasons for going that route are coming under fire. Hilton explains on the podcast, “We wanna have twins first, and then I don’t know, like either 3 or 4 children.” When host Mara Schiavocampo asks if she’s considered surrogacy, because it’s kind of hard to plan twins, Hilton reveals, “we have been doing the IVF so I can pick twins if I like.” Later on, when Schiavocampo asks Hilton what made her decide to undergo IVF, Hilton explains, “I think it’s just something that most women should do just to have, and then you can pick if you want boys or girls … I want to have twins that are a boy and a girl, so the only way to 100% get that is by making it happen that way.”
Hilton’s comments quickly earned backlash and were called “insensitive”. First, there’s the casual remark that every woman should just undergo IVF just to be able to have the option of it, which completely leaves out the fact that for many people, IVF is prohibitively expensive. The average IVF cycle can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000 before medication and not including genetic testing, and it may or may not be covered by insurance. Furthermore, it usually requires more than one round. Most people are not Paris Hilton with net worths of $300 million, and doing IVF is a huge financial undertaking.
And that’s saying nothing of the intense emotional and physical side-effects. Felice Gersh, M.D., an award-winning OB/GYN and founder/director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, CA and the author of PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track, tells Betches that with IVF, there is a risk of “tubal pregnancy and hyperstimulation of ovaries leading to very enlarged ovaries and illness from too much estrogen produced.” This is on top of “all the issues of any pregnancy”, plus the risks of any procedures, such as infections and bleeding. Most common? The “risk of failure and disappointment and emotional toll is great,” she says.
There’s also the fact that having twins, even through IVF, is risky for both the mother and babies. According to the Fertility Institute, IVF multiple birth risks include the babies being born preterm (almost 60% of twins and 90% of triplets are delivered preterm), which can in turn result in low birth weight and increased risk of long-term issues such as cerebral palsy, vision loss, and hearing loss. There are also serious risks to the mother; complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are more common in twin pregnancies. (Kim Kardashian suffered from preeclampsia during her pregnancies, which is why she ultimately decided to use a surrogate after the birth of her second child). Twin pregnancy is also associated with greater life-threatening maternal complications. Also, age is one of the most common risk factors for high-risk pregnancies, with women over 35 being at greater risk. Hilton is 39. The point is, having twins through IVF at any age should not be taken lightly. Dr. Gersh emphasizes that undergoing IVF with the express purpose of having twins “should never be the goal, as multiple gestational increase risks to the mom and babies.”
And while Dr. Gersh says that “male and female factors for infertility are the usual reasons” for choosing IVF, couples sometimes go this route “to choose gender due to sex linked disease.” Gender selection can happen during IVF if parents choose to have their embryos screened for genetic abnormalities. During that process, the doctors can also look at the sex of the embryo, at which point, parents can choose the embryo. Chrissy Teigen did this when she was pregnant with her daughter Luna. She subsequently was criticized for choosing her child’s sex, forcing her to explain that it was only one part of the process, writing on Twitter, “I think I made a mistake in thinking people understood the process better than they do.” Dr. Gersh says that choosing the sex “would be a personal decision between all concerned” and “is not an issue in the vast majority of cases.”
That said, there are couples who specifically undergo IVF so they can choose the sex of their baby, a practice which is controversial, and Hilton’s comments seem to imply that she may fall into the latter camp.
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS, FACOG and creator of the Instagram accounts @babiesafter35, responded to Hilton’s comments in a number of IGTV videos. She asserts, “The idea of being able to ‘pick twins if I like’ is not only incorrect, it’s dangerous and it’s irresponsible to put out there as a choice that anyone could have—because it’s not a choice that anyone could have.” She adds, “IVF is not available to everyone, and twins are a high-risk pregnancy.”
That said, we do not know precisely Hilton’s reasons for undergoing IVF, and given that she is 39 years old, she may very well have been struggling with infertility. Gender selection may have been a plus side of, but not the entire reason for, undergoing IVF. Still, the way she expressed it was flippant, and that could potentially have adverse consequences (though I kind of doubt anyone is seriously looking to Paris Hilton for family planning advice). We may never know exactly why Hilton is undergoing IVF unless she tells us, and the backlash to these comments might make her less inclined to open up any further. Her comments were out-of-touch and IVF is not feasible for everyone (for a multitude of reasons), and just because Hilton did not seem to experience serious side-effects does not mean it is an easy process. That said, there is a way to correct and provide context for her statements without coming for her personally, and unless we are told otherwise, we should give her the benefit of the doubt in assuming that she made the best decision for herself and her family under the guidance of medical professionals.
Images: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com;
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Once again, we open on Dominique recapping everything that’s going on in Paradise. There are like, 15 happy couples at this point, and Lacey is wearing a thong, because of course she is.
Dom: I don’t think anyone could come in and mess this up.
Jami: Have you heard of…BI PEOPLE?!?
Yep! From the people who brought the Lee Vs. Everyone Racism Dragging and Chris Harrison’s Middle School Sex Ed Lecture, we now give you: the sexuality spectrum!
Jami is here, she’s queer, and she’s ready to shake thi—oh she’s just gonna go on her date with Diggy. That was anti-climatic.
Diggy And Jaimi’s Date
Diggy and Jami begin where every first date begins, with a fun little game of “guess my race.”
The answer is “Black and Italian,” which Jami says often disappoints people. Things I learned today: Italian is considered a race. BRB while I update all my important legal documents and inform the cast of Jersey Shore.
Word to the wise: Don’t act disappointed when people tell you their race. Unless you’re looking for a job in the Trump Administration, in which case, you’re doing amazing, sweetie.
Oh good Lord, The Twins. Tweedle H and Tweedle PV are here to—you guessed it—shake things up.
I know these two don’t always speak in unison, but I always imagine them speaking in unison.
Twins (in unison): We are here to wreck some fucking homes.
They waste no time letting us know three things:
– They want Derek and Dean.
– They’re stupider than they’ve ever been before.
– Their presence on this Earth is surely God’s punishment against man for the crime of original sin.
Twin 1 (or is it Twin 2? Idk. It’s the one wearing red…) says the phrase “I won’t take no for an answer,” which is a lot for a show that just got done addressing a sexual assault scandal.
Amanda (aka Regina George if Regina George was 30 with a child and had no fucking business being the way she is) wastes no time telling the girls about the HILARIOUS “Scallop Fingers” joke that in no way reveals an obvious jealousy from the girls about the popularity of Christen
’s new boobs.
Now, I will say this again for the people in the back: Scallops. Are. Fucking. Good. Anyone who has shit to say about scallops can come find me.
Twin 1 (Blue Twin) asks Jack Stone, but you can tell she’s like, not jazzed about it.
Now we’re all thinking: is Dean stupid enough to go on a date with Red Twin?
Shockingly, Dean says no. Honestly, Dean could have 100% redeemed his shattered rep by telling her to fuck off and punting her into the sea, but instead he just turned a shade of red usually reserved for severe sunburns and nervous laughed himself into a coma as Red Twin grilled him. There was a moment there where I was legitimately concerned the awkwardness was going to make Dean explode.
The Red Woman
Melisandre Twin 2 then attempts to gain D-Lo’s permission for the date, in a thinly veiled attempt to break her. What Red Twin doesn’t realize is that D-Lo is far too hot and boring to be broken.
Red Twin: Can I go on a date with Dean?
Poor Red Twin. Now she has no one to date.
Red Twin: I’m not going on a date with Tickle Monster, I can tell you that!
Red Twin 20 Seconds Later: Hey Tickle Monster would you like to go on this date with me?
The Twins’ Date
Before The Twins go on their date, we’re treated to a very long, strange Wells bit where he calls Christen the “little scallop” and does a very bad Australian accent. Why is everyone so mean to Christen? I mean, I know why, but still.
Red Twin redeems herself momentarily by telling the Tickle Monster exactly what we all would hope to say to him if ever in his presence: “If you tickle me, I will fucking drop you to the ground.”
The Twins are trying desperately to signal to everyone that they are leagues above their dates, which might work when dealing with someone as low on the social totem pole as Tickle, but Jack Stone is not fucking having it. This man is a lawyer, and he’s already found
freshly implanted fake boobs love in Paradise. Jack Stone doesn’t need any of this shit.
Twins: Ugh, we’re SO above both of the people we’re going on dates with.
Jack Stone: Uh yeah I heard that; I’m not going on a date with you.
Robby yelling “But I didn’t do anything!” after the Twins scream “FUCK EVERYBODY HERE!” is the most me thing I’ve seen since I looked at myself in the mirror 20 seconds ago.
Watching Tickle Monster (who is sweating profusely, BTW) realize that he’s not going on a date after he probably had a few seconds of thinking he’d get to go on a three-way date with both of The Twins is one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a while, and that includes hurricane footage.
The Twins end their short tenure on BiP by wasting a fuckload of delicious scallops. In the immortal words of Kourtney Kardashian:
We end on a truly racist bit where Las Gemelas (that’s “twins” in Spanish) explain all the various things they know about Mexico. Next week is the finale, aka the Derek and Taylor engagement party. God save us all.
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Unless you’re a homeschooled jungle freak with no access to the Internet, you know that last week Beyonce announced the names of
our new saviors her newborn twins as Sir & Rumi Carter respectively. Tbh I’m not that impressed. I know she’s a queen and a visionary and blah, blah, blah, but I just expected more from the woman who made an entire fucking album roasting THE HUSBAND SHE’S STILL MARRIED TO. I, mean, Rumi? What’s next, Yahtzee? Trouble? Wait, I’m actually on board with that last one. Trouble Carter. Iconic. Are there any take-backs with birth certificates? Because if so, Bey, have your people call my people 3-4 loyal readers and we can work on trademarking that shit. That said, I do love a good celebrity baby name. And what better way to celebrate the birth of the Beybies than by ranking other celebrity babies based on the names their parents gave them when they were 100 percent hopped up on Xanax? I’ll leave Sir and Rumi off the list… for now. Because I have to draw a line somewhere so I guess I’ll draw it at skewering newborns barely out of the womb. But get ready kids, because one day soon when it’s socially acceptable to make fun of infants, I’ll be coming for ya. As for the rest of you, good fucking luck. Now onto the betchiest baby names in Hollywood:
10. Dusty Rose (Behati Prinsloo & Adam Levine)
I shouldn’t have expected much from the child of a Victoria’s Secret model and a former-boy-band-star-turned-desperate-reality-TV-vocal-coach, but I one hundred percent did not expect that they’d name their firstborn child after Behati’s right nipple (I assume). And this is why I have trust issues right here. Behati, let’s blame this one on the language barrier, shall we? Perhaps you didn’t realize that “dusty” and “rose” are two descriptors usually used to describe shitty bridesmaid dresses or, as I demonstrated earlier, a woman’s nipple. Adam, you get no such fucking excuses. I have a feeling childhood won’t be fun for this one, you know, aside from the model good looks and millions of dollars she’ll inherit. I’m not bitter, you’re bitter. Last place for you,
Areola Dusty Rose.
9. Boomer Phelps (Michael Phelps & Nicole Johnson)
I don’t know what’s worse, naming your child after the shade of your wife’s right nipple or naming your child after the family dog that died when you were 12. When I first heard that the son of the world’s greatest athlete was named Boomer I thought it was a literal joke. Like that one time someone started a rumor that Michael’s girlfriend had a penis. Btw that was v creative, Ryan Lochte, v creative. But apparently, the name Boomer is not a joke but rather a well-thought out decision made by
two adults one adult and someone who’s clearly been poisoned by chlorine.
^ How I imagine Boomer’s going to feel when he gets to middle school and realizes that daddy did indeed name him after a household pet.
8. Kal-El Cage (Nicolas Cage & Alice Kim)
Wait. I know what’s worse now, naming your child after fucking Superman. Seriously, Nicolas Cage? Seriously? I saw every shitty spinoff of National Treasure and this is how you repay me? BYE. I’m giving little Kal-El here eighth place because I have a feeling he’s going to have a hard enough time in life dealing with all the Internet trolls (hi) and Nicolas Cage memes out there, so I’ll give him a pass here. That said:
7. Dream Kardashian (Blac Chyna & Rob Kardashian)
Rumor has it that Rob Kardashian came up with the idea for Dream’s name based off of—get this—a dream he’s always had of having a child. God damn, we have a visionary on our hands here people. Real talk though, how pissed do we think Kris is that she has to not only spin revenge porn but also the name “Dream” into some sort of dynamic branding plan?
6. North West (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West)
We get it, it’s a direction and a play on the last name West. You’re so fucking creative, Kim. But little Northie is barely mid-list for me. I can’t give my exact reasoning for the placement of North West’s name on this highly esteemed list, but I have a feeling it’s the same reasoning that went into my decision not to follow Kim on Instagram (even though I check her feed 5-7 times a day)—I just don’t want to give her the satisfaction, ya know?
5. Saylor James Cutler (Jay Cutler & Kristin Cavallari)
SaYlor Cutler (not Sailor because Kristin is still extra AF) is the daughter of Jay Cutler, a football player (?), and Kristin Cavallari, aka the star Laguna Beach and reason I rocked a short, chunky haircut from the age 18 through 20. It’s also the reason every photo from those years has been untagged on Facebook. Once again, Kristin must insist on taking normal words and names and butchering their pronunciation. Is this why we never saw her at actual school on Laguna Beach? I’m worried that perhaps she never went and now her daughter is paying the price. MTV, can we please confirm? Whatever. Saylor is one of the better, more creative names I’ve heard this year so I guess congrats, Kristin, like my haircut, I’ll keep this name on my Pinterest board for the next 2-5 years.
4. Wyatt Kutcher (Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher)
As someone whose mother also wanted to punish her by giving her a boy’s name to walk around life with, I’d just like to say to little Wyatt: good fucking luck with it. And spoiler: my real name is not actually It’s Britney, Betch—shocking, I know. My actual, legal given name is loads of fun because it’s a traditional boy’s name and it’s spelled weird and watching my Bumble dates try and process that information is more of a train wreck than watching them process the words “what are we?” Thanks for that, mom! But back to Wyatt, she’s number four on my list because I feel a sense of camaraderie with the kid. Like, we’re both in this together, except she’s a toddler that hit the genetic jackpot of good looks, personality, and money, and I’m just a girl with an Internet pseudonym and savage jokes. You know, similar but different.
3. Liam James Tell (Lauren Conrad & William Tell)
A normal name, imagine fucking that. Once again, LC wins at life by giving her child a classic fuckboy name and we’re into it. This kid is going to be a player, I can already see it. Picture the year 2034, the location is Cabo, and little Liam James is calling Saylor a slut for dancing on the bar. MTV, if you’re reading this, I can’t wait for Laguna Beach: The Next Generation.
2. Penelope Disick (Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick)
Leave it to Kourtney to come up with a name I’d be obsessed with. I was skeptical when she named Mason (it sounded too similar to a fuckboy I dated in college, in the sense that it is same name as the fuckboy I dated in college) and I can’t even with the name Reign. Clearly, Scott was blackout when he got to name that one. But I’m obsessed with Penelope. It’s unique but still adorably normal. It’s nice that she has a good, strong name to get her through life because reading about how daddy fucked a washed up Disney star Bella Thorne while she was home with Khloe is going to be a tough pill to swallow in middle school. Good luck, girl!
1. Jack Pratt (Anna Faris & Chris Pratt)
I know what you’re thinking, “Jack? But it’s so basic, so common, and it’s not even, like, spelled with an X.” And thank fucking god for that. I’m so over celebrities and their batshit baby names. Just think about it: there’s going to be an entire generation of children named Apple and Bear. APPLE AND BEAR. Seriously, during
my research for this article the 3-5 hours I spend a night googling useless information, I discovered that in the past few years there have been FOUR celebrity children named Bear. And in my opinion, that’s four too many. I, mean, what’s next? Offred? Ofglen? Wait, nvm, I don’t like playing this game anymore.
Yep, I stand by my decision with Jack. Plus, any offspring of Andy Dwyer’s is someone I’ll stalk on social media a winner in my book. And if you don’t believe me, go check out Chris Pratt’s Instagram account–but only if you want your ovaries to melt from the cuteness.
Chris Pratt: *casually mentions son on social media*
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While you were focused on Beyoncé’s twins (who are they? when are they? how can I meet them?), you may have forgotten that there are like, other rich and famous twins being born to the world. George and Amal Clooney welcomed their own Carter twins pregame bundles of joy today, a boy and a girl named Alexander and Ella. Congrats to George and Amal, not only for successfully bringing two lives into this horrible nightmare world, but also for naming them two very reasonable things. I guess this is what happens when one of you is an actor, and the other is an internationally famous human rights lawyer. Sure, one person in the relationship might be inclined to name their children Solo Cup and Dixie, but the other half of the equation is there to say, “There are starving twins in Africa and we’re naming our babies something normal.”
According to a statement released by the couple ealrier today, “This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives. Ella, Alexander and Amal are all healthy, happy and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days.”
Ugh. Could this couple get any cuter. Not only do you have two normally named children, but you also have time to throw a funny joke into the mix? My only qualm here is that I’m a little surprised that Amal went for the straight Clooney, rather than doing a hyphenated last name, but then again she did just give an eight-month-pregnant-with-twins speech at the UN like three weeks ago so I’m not gonna come out here and say Amal Clooney is doing feminism wrong. Speaking of feminism, I will now fill the traditional “when will she get her baby body back” portion of this article with gifs of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. You’re welcome.
Wow. That was empowering. Congrats to George and Amal (but mostly to George, who is pretty obviously getting more than what he’s giving in this arrangement) on the birth of their healthy happy twins! Let them enjoy the spotlight for now and then use the birth of the Carter twins as an opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson about knowing your own worth and taking an L when necessary.
As the world continues to crumble around us, it’s important for us to take solace in what few reminders of happiness remain: Beyoncé, a fertile woman, is with child(ren). She communicated as much in an Instagram post that wouldn’t look out of place with your mom’s senior pictures from the 80s. If that sounds like a weird way to announce a pregnancy, get the fuck off the internet, mom, and go back to playing backgammon with strangers on Yahoo! Games.
Also fertile? The Beyhive. To date, they’ve blessed her with 8.3 million likes—a currency more valuable than gold and a gift more precious than life itself. This would, technically, make it the most-liked Instagram post of all time. The previous record, held by Selena Gomez, was a fucking sponsored post featuring her trying mightily (and failing) to pretend that someone who looks like her has ever actually consumed full-calorie soda.
Is Beyoncé’s vague nod to Mary, mother of Jesus, a sign that she’s giving birth to the second coming of Christ (and also, a second child that will have a HUGE chip on its shoulder)? Is she giving birth to a pair of Antichrists after Obama failed to fulfill his destiny? Is she going to single-handedly rebuild Destiny’s Child in all its glory with her own children?
No way to tell. All I know is that I, you, we, the population of a small nation—we all like it.