Kourtney Kardashian Barker Is 'Finally' Over IVF Fatigue
Kourtney Kardashian Barker's experience with in vitro fertilization (IVF) hasn't been an easy one. But the 43-year-old recently posted on Instagram to let fans know she's feeling like her energetic self again.
In her Jan. 7 Instagram story, Kardashian Barker posted a video of her boxing workout.
"Almost a year after last IVF attempt, energy finally back," the TV celebrity wrote.
Kardashian Barker started IVF fertility treatments in 2021 with the support of her husband, drummer Travis Barker. The couple was hoping to expand their blended family, which already includes five kids: Kardashian's sons, Reign Aston, 7, and Mason Dash, 12, and daughter, Penelope Scotland, 10, as well as Barker's daughter, Alabama, 16, and son, Landon, 18.
The couple continued IVF—a procedure associated with side effects such as bloating, cramping, mood swings and fatigue—for nearly a year without success. Kardashian Barker spoke candidly about the physically and mentally demanding process during the first two seasons of "The Kardashians" TV series.
"Our egg retrieval didn't go the way we would have hoped," Kardashian Barker said in episode seven of season one after an unsuccessful attempt. "[The doctor] was able to retrieve the egg, but it didn't make it to embryo stage. We start back again."
In a confessional, Kardashian Barker added: "The fertility journey, Travis and I, we stay in the moment and just do the steps that we need to do. It is nice to hear good news and have some positivity. We love that, but we just wait to hear the final words."
Barker, for his part, hoped that sharing their journey might help other couples through the process.
"I don't care if I'm cumming in a cup, or whatever," Barker said in a November 2022 interview with GQ. "It's real life. And if any of that can help people—seeing Kourtney's journey through IVF, which is super hard for a woman. You saw her struggle with it and talk about it. That's real. And there's however many millions of dudes that have to go give their semen for this same procedure. So it's, like, relatable, you know? I've never been fazed by any of that."
The couple decided to pause the fertility treatments a year ago.
"We started an IVF journey, but I stopped. It was a lot," Kardashian Barker said in a September 2022 interview with the Wall Street Journal. "I took a break to just focus on our wedding and getting married."
In vitro fertilization is a medical procedure where the egg is fertilized by the sperm outside the body.
Jennifer E. Hirshfeld-Cytron, M.D., a reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist in Chicago, said the ideal candidate for the multistep procedure has infertility and is older than 38 years old.
"For those younger than 38 who have been trying to conceive for at least six months, IVF may be utilized if other treatments have not been successful, if the sperm count is very low or if the fallopian tubes are blocked," she said.
For people who are thinking of undergoing IVF, Hirshfeld-Cytron offered the following advice:
"Before you kind of jump into IVF, it's important to understand your diagnosis," she said. "If you're having difficulty conceiving and it's been over a year, then it's time for testing to determine if the issue is an issue with the egg source, quality of ovulation, fallopian tubes, uterine cavity, [etcetera]."
The process can be physically taxing, Hirshfeld-Cytron warned.
"If you do IVF, you will often have side effects: Bloating, cramping, fullness, constipation is almost the expectation," she said.
Like any medical procedure, the fertility treatment has risks, she added. They are very rare, occurring in less than 1 percent of cases, and include occurrences of bleeding in the context of the procedure, infection, and injury to organs around the ovary.
IVF can be daunting, but learning about side effects, risks and what to expect can make the process easier.
"In the context of fertility treatments, [IVF] is one of many," Hirshfeld-Cytron said. "There are so many versions of it, which is why I think people owe it to themselves to learn a bit more."