UK actress Jo Joyner has opened up about her journey to parenthood having to resort to IVF to have their twins
The 44-year-old revealed her struggle in an interview with the Daily Mail’s You magazine, detailing how much she and her husband Neil went through to get pregnant.
The well-loved actress said she became broody from her late teens but it took her until her 30s to become pregnant via IVF with her now 12-year-old twins, Edie and Freddie.
Jo, who played downtrodden Tanya Branning in the hit BBC soap opera, EastEnders, said she met drama teacher Neil aged 25 and the pair decided to start trying for children at 28. But nothing happened. Next, they made the decision to have IVF.
She said: “We tried everything – acupuncture, fertility diets, reflexology, but nothing worked. We had tests and knew there was a slim chance that anything natural would work and that was when we made the decision to have IVF.”
Her work schedule at the time was intense as she was in the midst of her biggest storyline with her onscreen husband, Max Branning, played by actor Jake Woods.
Jo and Neil made the decision to try IVF three times and would look into adoption if it did not succeed.
She said: “We went into IVF with a plan. I knew everything there was to know. I knew I wanted to go for a short protocol treatment. I’m a control freak and I knew the symptoms would be less extreme.
“You produce fewer eggs with a short protocol treatment but as you don’t go into a sort of menopause you don’t have such extreme emotions and for me, it just felt the better way to go.
“Incredibly, it worked the first time for us. From that point on my focus changed.”
Jo said in a recent interview with the Mirror that she found journaling while going through her journey to become a parent as therapeutic.
She said: “I’ve got a lot of journals from when I went through my IVF treatment, for my own sanity. I started journaling as it felt like a form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy(CBT) because a lot of it is laugh or cry moments. But there are funny moments that arise from IVF. I’m actually writing a book, just for myself at the moment.”