UK actress Gemma Oaten has spoken out about the effect of eating disorders and fertility
The 37-year-old Emmerdale star took to Instagram to post a 17-minute video about her struggles with fertility following her 13-year battle with anorexia.
She told her 22,600 followers the devastating effect the eating disorder had on her fertility and that she had suffered a miscarriage three years previously.
She said: “I have been wanting to share this video for a while.
“So here I am, hear exposed and arms wide open, saying ‘here I am!’ and if it helps one person, it’s worth it.”
Gemma, who is known for playing Rachel Breckle, said she had visited a fertility clinic three weeks before to discuss the prospect of having children, possibly freezing her eggs.
But she described the experience as ‘not particularly nice’ was told she had a small cyst and a mild form of endometriosis.
Her consultant told her she had very few follicles and that to freeze her eggs, she would need to do the process six times to have enough to freeze.
She said it was a lot to take in
She said: “I was like, ‘sh*t, it’s real’, and I know it’s not a no, but I’ve basically been told that if I don’t freeze my eggs now, my 30 percent chance of getting pregnant goes to 15 percent next year and ten percent the year after that.
“And unless I’ve got the money and the willpower and the mental strength and all of that to do this now, I might be looking at a future without children.”
She added that she had spoken to some of her best friends who helped her realise that there are more ways than one to have a child, such as fostering and adopting.
Gemma urged her fans to speak out and ‘not be scared as we’re all in it together’.
If you suffer from an eating disorder and need support or advice, visit the beating eating disorders website.
Have you suffered from an eating disorder? Has it had an impact on your fertility? We’d love to hear your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.