TODAY

TODAY   |  May 13, 2013

Elisabeth Rohm opens up about infertility

Actress Elisabeth Rohm talks about her difficult road to motherhood, including struggling with infertility and eventually undergoing IVF to have her daughter, as outlined in her new book, “Baby Steps.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> rome is best known for serena sotherland on " law & order " and now she's opening up about what she says is a dirty little secret in hollywood , that is infertility. while in her 30s, rome discovered she had fertility issues leading her to in vitro fert lags. "ba fertilization. her new book "baby steps." good to see you.

>> good to see you, too.

>> this is about infertility and ibf and chasing after deep inner happiness. i know journey of becoming a mom really changed you. why do you think that women need to take control of their fertility and why this call to action ?

>> i think originally i really wanted to write the book to become the voice of the reproductive generation to draw awareness to them, that if they really want to become mothers it's going to take some thinking and preparedness, so you know, the idea that this reproductive generation, us, you know, the younger ones behind us, the ones that are struggling right now to get pregnant they realize they need to make it an annual commitment to go to their abgyn and get checked, their hormone levels, simple that you can ask your doctor about and it's essential. if you want to be a parent it's going to get very complicated once you're 35 and we can talk --

>> you were in your mid-30s. you were 34 and at the time you had just come off " law & order " and success and all of that followed you, but did you at some point place career over fertility? is that what happens and when it came time to deciding when you wanted a family you discovered you couldn't?

>> the last thing that i expected to happen to me was that at 34 i would go to pretty much a routine checkup with my obgyn and found out i had accelerated ovarian aging like basically i was never going to get pregnant naturally, and i thought 34, how could that be happening to me? i had put my career first but not consciously so now that i've written this book by doctor, dr. sahekian, who contributed to the book, told me women who are 35, 1 out of 200 women will get pregnant naturally their first time off. when you are 40 it becomes in the high thousands. how can that be? i mean, we're thinking about it from the point of view we're still young still building our careers in our 30s and 40s are the new 20s. you're not thinking at 38, wow, this ship might have passed me by.

>> you say it is sort of a dirty little secret especially in hollywood where they place currency in women with their baby pumps and you see it over the covers of magazines and you say those women who parade around with their perfect new baby leaves out the major detail she did not conceive naturally but had to do ivf , i believe that is a sin of omission, it is a lie and hurts women . you're telling other women in hollywood time to let people in on the secret.

>> if there's one thing this book accomplishes, if women can make it an annual part of their lives that they go and get checked every year and that they are aware of this subject then this book has accomplished something that means something to me because i want to create a higher consciousness and awareness for the reproductive generation that they know that they are running out of time . this ticking clock is totally real. when you're being celebrated as this beautiful super mom with a bouncing baby child on your lap and you're not saying that, you know, it wasn't that easy, maybe perhaps you did ivf or used a surrogate or you had to get an egg donor, because those are your options, it is a sin of omission. you're not serving people, if you want to serve people, if you've been privileged enough to be successful at what you do, if you're a public figure, you have the privilege to help others.

>> you're very outspoke been that. we should say you have a gorgeous little 5-year-old girl, who you can see through ivf and all ends well and a great message for all. elizabeth thank you so