Amy Schumer just shared this raw photo and asked for support as she begins IVF

The actress has been open about suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum during her first pregnancy. Does this photo mean she's doing an egg retrieval?

Amy Schumer wants to give her son a sibling but as many parents know, the path to motherhood isn’t always easy or simple. The 38-year-old stand-up comedian and actress held nothing back as she shared a raw, intimate photo of her stomach on Instagram last night. Bruised and swollen from ongoing IVF treatments and with her C-section scar on full display, Schumer penned an honest and emotional caption that detailed her current state of mind. Take a look: 

“I’m a week into IVF and feeling really run down and emotional,” Schumer explained. “If anyone went through it and if you have any advice or wouldn’t mind sharing your experience with me please do. My number is in my bio. We are freezing my eggs and figuring out what to do to give Gene a sibling.”

Schumer married chef Chris Fischer in early 2017 and gave birth to their first child, whose full name is Gene Attell Fischer, in May 2019. The actress suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum throughout the pregnancy, openly sharing her struggle on social media while calling for increased medical research on the condition, as well as other women’s health issues. 

At this point, it’s not even clear if Schumer intends on actually conceiving through IVF—she could be taking fertility drugs in order to stimulate ovulation and prepare for an egg retrieval. She never publicly stated that fertility treatments were necessary to conceive baby Gene, so several scenarios are possible: perhaps she and Fischer are suffering from secondary infertility, or perhaps they’re considering using a surrogate, so that Schumer doesn’t have to suffer from nine months of debilitating nausea and dehydration again. Using a surrogate would involve the same IVF process in the early stages, but then an embryo would be transferred into a surrogate carrier instead of Schumer herself.

At the end of her last pregnancy, Schumer was so sick that she opted for an elective C-section in order to avoid complications and feel in control of her body. The birth was still difficult, with Schumer sharing that her HG and endometriosis presented a challenge. “I was throwing up through the whole first hour of my C-section,” she shared on an episode of the Informed Pregnancy Podcast. “It’s supposed to take about an hour and a half or something but mine took over three hours because of my endometriosis.”

Schumer could also simply be conscious of her age, choosing to freeze eggs now in order to have options down the road. 

Her candid photo is likely to have an even greater impact than she intended—there are more than 585,000 comments of solidarity on her post. Infertility can be an incredibly isolating experience for women and their partners, particularly when the physical and emotional toll is something they feel obligated to hide or downplay, resulting in a lack of support for those who need it most. By sharing about the realities of infertility and IVF treatment, Schumer isn’t just opening herself up to support—she’s helping to normalize a tough but common experience.  

blue ice cube trays in freezer When hope freezes over: Finding my way through IVF treatmentIf you’re wondering why her stomach is covered in bruises in the photo, it’s because IVF treatments are no joke. They generally involve a series of self-administered hormonal injections designed to stimulate one’s ovaries and increase egg production (sometimes, several injections each day for a couple of weeks). Along with these injections comes countless ultrasounds, blood tests and additional hormonal treatments. This part of the process is followed by a vaginal probe that allows for egg retrieval and freezing (again, not a simple procedure) and eventually, external fertilization using partner or donor sperm. All of this occurs before an embryo even exists in the lab, let alone in a woman’s body. That comes after a successful transfer (something that’s not guaranteed, unfortunately) and then, an entire pregnancy awaits with all of the usual excitement, fears and risks.

In short? Having a baby through IVF is incredible, but it’s not easy. No matter how she’s building her family, Schumer is clearly going through a lot and our hearts should go out to her and all women who have had (or are currently having) similar experiences while trying to conceive. The medical, emotional and financial demands associated with IVF are daunting and can exhaust even the strongest of people. That said, Schumer’s transparency and real talk are a much-needed display of solidarity with the thousands of women quietly fighting the same infertility battle. By using her platform to spread awareness, she’s turning something incredibly gruelling into an act of kindness and affirmation. If even one woman feels less alone after seeing this post, Schumer will have done some serious good.

Read more:
What it’s like to watch a surrogate give birth to your baby
Why I told everyone when I was trying to get pregnant

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