Plenty of celebrities use assisted reproductive technology, whether due to fertility problems or vanity, but Kourtney Kardashian Barker is no longer one of them after she discovered that the hormones required to complete in vitro fertilization negatively impacted her.
“I just decided it really took a toll on my health,” the 43-year-old confessed on Dear Media’s “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast on Tuesday. “Even mentally, the hormones, like the medication. You have to get put to sleep every time. I know that it’s helped so many people but it’s just not for me.”
Barker said not only did IVF severely impact her energy levels at the time of the treatments, but she also revealed that more than 10 months after Barker and her new husband paused their IVF journey, she is still seeing the effects the extra hormones had on her body.
“I did this really cool thing yesterday where I got a brain scan … This is neurofeedback, so there’s no radiation for the scan and then they tell you certain things about your brain,” Barker explained. “When I went yesterday to get the results, it was mostly, he thought, from IVF because it affects your adrenals, your thyroid, your hormones. Like, my energy levels since starting that have been really down. And I haven’t done it since probably January or February, and my energy levels are still really down.”
Barker is not alone. Plenty of women have reported negative side effects including cramping, bloating, unexpected bleeding, pain, headaches, and mood swings during their IVF cycles. In some cases, women undergoing IVF can contract Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and require hospitalization.
Additionally, some women are uncomfortable with the ethical and moral implications of IVF practices such as creating multiple embryos that, if not implanted, are discarded, frozen, or supplied to research centers for dissection.
Barker’s sisters Kim and Khloe Kardashian have both used IVF and surrogate mothers to create their families. Barker, however, admitted that, due to her age, she felt pressured into the procedure.
“I felt like we kind of got pushed into doing IVF,” Barker said. “If you look anything up online about ‘things you can do to help get pregnant’ and then it says on there ‘if you’re over 40’ or it might even say something younger, it says ‘go right away to an IVF Doctor.’”
Earlier in the podcast, Barker admitted that she wished she and Travis had dated and been married sooner so that they could have had a head start on important life events together.
“We do say that ‘oh, we could have had this many more years together and been doing all these things for so long,’” Barker said.
As of now, however, Barker said she is at peace with her decision to stop IVF and begin to try and conceive naturally.
“We are, for now, done with IVF. And we say prayers and hope that God blesses us with a baby,” Barker said.