Singer Celine Dion is pregnant with twins, according to an E! News report. The Canadian songstress is currently 14 weeks pregnant with her second and third children, and she and husband/manager Rene Angelil, 68, hope to learn the babies’ genders next month.
Pregnancy did not come easily for the 42-year old Dion, who experienced a loss less than one year ago just days after happily announcing that she was expecting. The Canadian songstress conceived her current pregnancy – as well as that of her 9-year old son Rene-Charles – via In Vitro Fertilization, more commonly known by the simplified term IVF.
IVF is a complicated and typically expensive multi-step process, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Women like Celine Dion, who choose to undergo the process to become pregnant, take fertility medications to increase the likelihood that the body will ovulate multiple eggs. Next, all available eggs are harvested, and are placed with the mate’s sperm to encourage fertilization. A few days later, a given number of embryos are transferred back into the mother’s uterus. If the embryo sticks, the woman will become pregnant, but there’s no guarantee that the fertilized embryo or embryos will make it post-transfer. For a woman of Dion’s age, the average IVF success rate ranges from just 6 to 10 percent.
IVF is a popular means of conception for Hollywood celebs, which helps to remove some of the stigma often attached to the procedure. Model Brooke Shields was public about her use of fertility treatments to conceive daughter Rowan. Dixie Chicks crooners Martie Maquire and Emily Robison were also vocal about their use of IVF; the sisters and bandmates have six children between them. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman star Jane Seymour struggled with infertility before giving birth to her IVF twins at age 45. To see a comprehensive list of stars like Celine Dion who used IVF to get pregnant and expand their families through 2007, see the People Celebrity Baby Blog.
Although accessible to celebrities like Celine Dion and Brooke Shields, the cost of IVF is prohibitive for most women. According to the Fertility Center of Chicago, a complete cycle of IVF in the United States will run the hopeful parents $12,000 plus the cost of medications, which average $3,000. Prices vary depending on region and some clinics offer partial money back guarantees.
Brandi Fowler, Celine Dion Pregnant with Twins!, E! News, May 31, 2010
American Pregnancy Association, IVF information
Celebrities who have struggled with Fertility Issues, People Online Baby Blog