During her marriages to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux, there were constant rumors over whether Jennifer Aniston wanted children. Some tabloids claimed that Jen's hesitation to have kids led to her divorces, whereas others suggested she was jealous when Brad Pitt went on to marry Angelina Jolie and have six kids with her.
Despite the speculation, the Friends actress has been relatively silent on her family plans or lack thereof. That is, until recently. In November, Jennifer gave a poignant interview to Allure about her fertility struggles and why she's accepted that having kids isn't in her future.
Below, we look at the most surprising revelations Jennifer made about her fertility.
In the past, Jennifer has seemed ambivalent towards having children of her own. She may have been on the fence in her younger years, but the actress admitted she started wanting a family when she entered her 30s.
"My late 30s, 40s, I'd gone through really hard shit, and if it wasn't for going through that, I would've never become who I was meant to be," she said. "I was trying to get pregnant."
When she failed to get pregnant naturally, Jen says she started IVF at one point, though it was unsuccessful. "I was trying to get pregnant. It was a challenging road for me, the baby-making road," she explained.
In addition to IVF, the actress admitted that she was trying a variety of ways to improve her fertility in hopes of conceiving. "I was going through IVF, drinking Chinese teas, you name it. I was throwing everything at it," she told Allure.
Egg freezing has become more popular in recent decades. It's when a woman's eggs are harvested and then frozen, so that they can be used to create an embryo in the future. A woman's eggs decrease in viability with age. The younger the eggs, the more fertile they tend to be.
During the interview, Jen revealed that she didn't think to freeze her eggs in her 20s, and admits that she still harbors regrets.
"I would've given anything if someone had said to me, 'Freeze your eggs. Do yourself a favor.' You just don't think it. So here I am today. The ship has sailed," she said.
She may have tried for years to get pregnant with no success, but Jennifer said she doesn't regret how things played out or for trying. Nowadays, she's found peace in accepting she won't have children of her own. "I have zero regrets," the actress said. "I actually feel a little relief now because there is no more, 'Can I? Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.' I don't have to think about that anymore."
Understandably, Jennifer admits that all of the speculation over her fertility greatly bothered her, especially when the media was questioning if she was pregnant when she was undergoing IVF but with no success.
"The narrative [was] that I was just selfish," she said. "I just cared about my career. And God forbid a woman is successful and doesn't have a child. And the reason my husband left me, why we broke up and ended our marriage, was because I wouldn't give him a kid."
Jen continued, "It was absolute lies. I don't have anything to hide at this point."
Though Jen decline to share how her fertility struggles impacted her past marriages, she did reference her split from Justin Theroux, explaining how she transformed his office after he moved out of their home in 2018.
"You can imagine he likes things black and dark," Jen explained. "I lightened it up, stripped it all. He came over [the other day] and was like, 'What the f–k did you do?' I said, 'I brought the light back in, buddy.'"
Despite their break-up, Justin and Jen have reportedly remain amicable. And her admission that he still comes over to her house seems to prove that these exes are on good terms.
It's true that Jennifer has seldom discussed her fertility struggles publicly, but the Allure interview wasn't the only time she touched on it. After marrying Justin Theroux in 2015, there was intense speculation about whether they were trying to have a baby. This prompted the actress to write an op-ed for The Huffington Post, criticizing the rumors.
She mentioned the op-ed when speaking to Allure, saying, "I was like, 'I've just got to write this because it's so maddening and I'm not superhuman to the point where I can't let it penetrate and hurt.' "