Giuliana Rancic, the E! News host who has publicly battled infertility and breast cancer, told Health magazine that she was shocked when she found out it would be hard to have a baby at age 35.
"It was a big shock! I always say how I chased my career instead of chasing guys. And everybody was patting me on the back. No one ever told me, 'Oh, by the way, your eggs change when you reach a certain age,'" Rancic told the magazine. "I didn’t think 35 was old! So when the doctor said, 'It’s not as easy as you thought it would be,' it was a real blow. Because I felt so young. I mean, this is a girl who was running six miles a day, and eating healthy, so how can you tell me that I’m not healthy in that department?"
Rancic is not alone in being surprised by how much age can affect a women's fertility. A 2011 survey of 1,000 women found that more than half flunked a quiz of ten basic "fertility IQ" questions. For example, many women surveyed thought that a healthy 30-year-old woman would have a 70 percent chance of conceiving in a given month -- in reality, the likelihood is 20 percent.
Rancic went through several rounds of failed in-vitro fertilization, then learned last year that she had breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy in late 2011, she and her husband Bill welcomed a son, Edward Duke, born to a surrogate carrier on Aug. 29.
But Rancic says she can't think of anything she would have done differently. Even going through infertility and cancer very publicly, on a reality TV show -- while she might not have chosen that if she'd known what lay ahead, Rancic said in hindsight she's glad her struggles were out there for everyone to see.
"Had you given me a crystal ball when we were signing on to do the reality show that said, 'This is what’s coming up, do you want to do it?' I would’ve said absolutely not. You couldn’t pay me enough," Rancic told Health magazine. "But, looking back, I’m so happy that I did do it. As I would question God, 'Why are you doing this to me, why me?' I think God knew I was a loud-mouthed Italian girl who would get out and share my story, not tuck it under a rug."
Now, Rancic says, she's in "baby heaven," enjoying every moment of bonding with her 2-month-old son. But she acknowledges that it was sometimes hard seeing other women get pregnant when she was struggling with infertility.
"I would go, 'I’m a good person, and I could give someone the greatest life of all, but yet I can’t get pregnant.' And then you watch these TV shows, 16 and Pregnant, and these girls who want nothing to do with their babies are pregnant. And you’re going, 'What?' None of that made sense to me," she told Health magazine.
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