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In Europe, 77% of IVF treatments fail – and doctors have suggested that famous people should be more honest about their fertility to combat the spread of misinformation

"The problem is,” says Prof Tim Child, medical director of Oxford Fertility, “all these Hollywood magazines with these women in their 40s who are having twins. It’s completely unrealistic.” Women of 45 or 46 regularly come into his clinic thinking they can have IVF with their own eggs, unaware of how unlikely that is to work. Dr Richard Paulson, of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, calls the celebrity cult of silence around their fertility a “form of misinformation”. His organisation studied 240 star interviews in which pregnancy or children came up; only two had mentioned fertility treatment, despite the fact that more than half were over 35.

There may be reasons peculiar to Hollywood why a woman wouldn’t want to go public on the state of her ovaries – it is probably considered ageing to talk about IVF in an industry where the march of time is a matter of...