Courtney Cox: I had a lot of miscarriages. People should be more open about that

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Courteney Cox finally appeared on Busy Tonight last week. I say ‘finally’ because Busy Philipps explained she’s been trying to get Courteney on for ages. Courteney was on to promote her docuseries on Facebook Watch, 9 Months with Courteney Cox, which follows 10 couples through their pregnancies. The show deals with every aspect of a person’s road to parenthood. This includes infertility, something Courtney knows about and wishes more people were talking about it. As she’s been open about, Courteney had multiple miscarriages before she gave birth to her daughter Coco, 14. I paraphrased her in the headline because her quote was too long for our format, but what she said is important. As Courteney explained to Busy, she kept going because she wanted a baby and she talks about it so others don’t feel so alone.

You were so open about your own fertility struggles and your own pregnancy with Coco on the show. Was that part of the impetus for why you wanted to get involved with the show?
Well, I just think that I like real human stories and yes, I had a difficult time – I had a lot of miscarriages. And I don’t think that’s something people shouldn’t talk about because it’s not… it was unfortunate, but it happens and I didn’t want to give up. I just think it’s important to get things out there so people can realize they’re not alone.

I think her fertility struggles affected Courteney deeply, but she speaks more pragmatically about her miscarriages than we are used to hearing. I have friends who did nine attempts at in-vitro before they got pregnant. When I asked (after the babies were born healthy) how they could weather all that, they said they asked each other before every round if they were emotionally ready to accept it if it didn’t work. It really is an individual journey and everyone needs to choose their own path. But, as Courteney said, it helps to hear from others who made the same choices you did. I appreciate that she puts her struggles out there and that she’s working with 9 Months to shed light on so many other fertility conversations.

Busy also mentioned in the segment that Courteney was the first person to ever say “period” on national television. It was in a Tampax commercial – in 1985! That’s insane. I wonder what year it will be when they stop using blue water to prove absorbency in feminine hygiene products.

This is unrelated but cute. Courteney posted this just a few days ago

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53 Responses to “Courtney Cox: I had a lot of miscarriages. People should be more open about that”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    It is SO important to talk about. It’s still considered such a taboo subject – I guess because older generations didn’t discuss it? Or people don’t want to admit that married couples have sex? I think the more the topic is ignored, the more alone people feel because they think everyone else got pregnant so easily.

    I have friends who have miscarried, friends who have terminated for very serious medical reasons, friends who decided to adopt, friends who have decided to not have kids at all (as a result of infertility), friends who have gone through IVF, donor eggs, etc. It can be incredibly isolating so I think the more it is discussed, and the more support groups etc are available, the better.

  2. runcmc says:

    Uh, I for one never want them to stop using blue water.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Same here. I don’t consider anything related to menstruation a taboo and will talk about it whereever to whomever but I would be disturbed if they used red water. I wouldn’t mind if they replaced it with a fancy green or purple or rainbow colour or what have you. Just not red. Thank you.

      • Alissa says:

        I would rather it was red lol. My stepson recently said he heard his mom and stepsister talking about pads and he thought women regularly peed themselves and that’s why they needed pads (because of the blue water commercials).

      • Shrute’s beet farm says:

        Your stepson shouldn’t be getting his education from a pad commercial. If he thinks women are peeing themselves, someone hasn’t explained simple biology to him.

      • Alissa says:

        well he’s nine, so we haven’t felt the need to go into great detail about menstruation yet. 🙄 I did give him a brief explanation though.

      • Shrute’s beet farm says:

        Not talking about menstruation and the differences between male and female bodies is how we get men who think women are greedy for needing more than 3 tampons a cycle or who say we are disgusting for just bleeding on ourselves when we could “hold it in” until we get to the toilet. Failing to discuss it as a normal bodily function from a young age is how we get men who wouldn’t be caught dead in a tampon aisle and who don’t want to hear about it because “that’s women’s troubles.”

      • Alissa says:

        We will have these discussions with him at an age appropriate time at our discretion. I don’t need a lecture from a stranger on the internet on when to discuss bodily functions with my kid, but thank you.

      • Shrute’s beet farm says:

        Age appropriate? I am literally seeing red right now. Girls his age get their periods, so boys his age should know about them as well. You can’t wait until a kid is 12 or 13 and try to normalize then. It starts young.

        Some people I swear.

      • Alissa says:

        You need to stop attacking me just because we have different opinions on this. You can do what you would like to do with your children. I also have an older stepson who had the discussion around 12, and he is perfectly normal about women’s bodies and will buy tampons for his girlfriend and doesn’t make ridiculous comments about menstruation, so it’s not actually a one-size-fits-all outcome.

      • Wow says:

        @Alissa he’s 9, that is far far beyond the appropriate age. My 3 year old understands that women have periods. He knows pads and tampons aren’t for pee. Hell, the other day he asked if my cramps were feeling all better.

        I mean he’s 9, girls are going to start getting their periods around him are you just going to give him zero heads up so he can mortify some poor little girl who unknowingly starts her period or something?

        Instead of being defensive about strangers on the internet telling you how to raise you kid, why don’t you try actually listening to whats being said because they are all correct. By 9 years old not explaining basic bodily functions to that boy you are creating a situation where he will end up perpetuating the shame cycle of periods because you are leaving him ignorant to figure it out himself when its a function he doesn’t have and can’t understand without your help.

      • likeafox says:

        @ Alissa: Girl, you’re fine. The Radical Menstruation Judgement Alliance appears to be out in force. Just do what’s best for your family. I’d honestly argue that talking about menstrual cramps with toddlers is not entirely age appropriate, but if that’s what some seem best, then okay. We won’t judge!

        Anyway, some kids are ready before others, and you are not damaging a 9 year old boy by not sitting him down to lesson him on female biology right this moment. I’m sure you already know that, but wanted to echo that before more crazy starts piling on.

      • Nicole76705 says:

        x1000, likeafox!

        You’re fine, Alissa.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree with likeafox, you know your own kid and at what age to discuss it more ini depth with him. And it sounds like you did the right thing, answering him with information rather than an “I’ll tell you when you’re older” that some parents do.

      • Shannon Malcom says:

        @Alissa, yup, echoing the others, you’re fine. I explained it to my son around 11 or 12 or so too, and he’s not out there spewing toxic masculinity and tampon jokes all over the place.

    • Nikki says:

      Gotta say, Amy Schumer’s comedy special “Growing” deals a lot with every aspect of being a woman, including the “shame” of menstruation. She deals with it all in a hilarious, over-the-top, but insightful way. I recommend it as thought provoking…

    • Rose says:

      I grew up with someone and in our early twenties he asked a question about how women are able to pee when their tampon is in. I asked a few questions just to see how stupid he really was. He was sexually active and somehow I became the person to explain it to him. We are no longer friends but I left him with some parting knowledge.

  3. Lucy2 says:

    I’m glad she’s being so open and talking about this, it’s something so many people go through.

    That video clip is hilarious!

  4. BookQueenB says:

    Agreed! My son is five years old and understands what menstruation is and why it occurs—he once said “eww that’s gross” when he saw some blood that seeped out on clothes I was putting in the hamper and BOTH my husband and I immediately shut that down and said, “it’s not gross—every woman menstruates and it’s normal.” Nine years old is unacceptably old to not understand correct bodily functions.

    This wee wee and hoo-ha shit and being secretive and shameful about normal biology is unhealthy and contributes to perpetuating misogyny, patriarchy, and rape culture.

    • Alissa says:

      I would also submit that he has a mother who is not comfortable with us discussing these things with him, and I am not going to override his mother. I did explain to him that it’s not pee or water, that it’s blood, and that it happens every month to most women and is normal. I’ve also been pretty open about discussing when I have my period.

      I really don’t appreciate the lectures and the suggestion that I’m perpetuating misogyny and rape culture by simply not going into great detail at this age. Seems pretty rude. He will have the puberty discussion in school starting next year, and that seems like a good time to talk to him about it at home as well. And we have already discussed male puberty effects with him already.

      • rainbowkitty says:

        Girl, don’t even worry about it. Everyone has an opinion. You do what’s right for your kids. Don’t worry about what anyone else says.

      • LT says:

        Alissa – as a step mom and as a mom whose kids have a step mom, I get it – you can’t really overrule the mom on a topic like this. I agree your step son should know a bit more about bodies at this age (I bought my kids an age appropriate book when they were about that age), but that’s not really your call to make.

        When my now step daughter was about 8, she followed me into the bathroom, saw a tampon and asked what it was. I was a bit befuddled because I couldn’t believe she didn’t know – she was old enough AND her mother was in the medical field. I asked, “do you know where babies come from?” She said, “The stork?” I gave her a high level overview of how a woman’s body worked, which satisfied her at the time. I bought her the same book the next week, which she read with great interest. Her mother had recently passed away, so I figured I wasn’t violating any major boundaries by explaining the basics, but I was floored with how little she knew.

      • Molly says:

        My son is 8.5, and because I have an IUD and have had no period in 8.5 years, it never occurred to me to specifically discuss it with him. We talk about other parts of our bodies, but I guess we should talk about that too. Huh, good to know.

      • Blocked Cause I Am says:

        1. People here love to tell others what they should think and do
        2. Those being snotty at you are part of what we like to call “Facebooking”. Those who think they are perfect on paper yet so, so flawed in real life.
        3. Age appropriate doesn’t always mean maturity level has been met either
        4. Periods are natural. They are also gross and messy at times. Fact of life. They are not beautiful and fun. They suck regardless of what age they start or end.

        Don’t let the goof balls on here preaching on their grandstanding stage of superiority get you down. They are pretenders.

    • whimsigal says:

      Wow, mean girls are out early today. Alissa, please do NOT feel like you have to explain yourself to anyone here. My god.

      • Shrute’s beet farm says:

        It’s not mean to say that male ignorance contributes to feelings of shame and uncleanliness surrounding menstruation, and yes, every woman everywhere should help educate males from a young age as to the realities of the female body. I mean, actual adult men think sanitary items should be taxed because we only truly need a couple per cycle and hey, what’s the financial burden of tax on the one box of tampons we need PER YEAR? Actual adult men think women can control when the blood flows so we shouldn’t use sanitary items at all. These are literal quotes from grown-ass men, I’ve invented nothing. Teach your kids people!

    • Nikki says:

      God bless you, BookQueen Bee! I love it!!

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I totally get where Alissa is coming from as a stepmom — overriding a bioparent’s preferences on sex ed is a surefire way to create conflict. It’s tough.

      That said, I agree with everyone who’s saying that learning about female bodily functions should ideally be a normal part of a male child’s life from a very young age, so that they have accurate information before classmates enter puberty, and see all of it as normal and non-shameful and not something to giggle and tease about. It’s not hard to do in an age-appropriate manner if you don’t hide your bathroom activities from them and just respond honestly to their natural curiosity when they have questions. My (IVF-conceived, post-miscarriage) toddler boy knows I have red stuff that comes out when I’m having my period every month and that I use pads and tampons to soak it up, and that it’s not like normal blood and doesn’t mean I’m hurt. He’s started to get a little very high-level info about how babies grow inside the uterus and are born, and every now and then he has a new question and is quite happy once he gets a little more detail to incorporate into his mental model. He’s also very interested in the fact that some animals lay eggs and some bear live young, so that has been the jumping-off point for quite a few questions. It’s a lot less stressful than trying to avoid questions about how it all works and worrying about what the right age for “The Talk” is.

  5. Sitka says:

    It’s definitely something to be talked about more. My husband and I are currently going through tests to see why it isn’t happening for us. It’s been almost two years and sometimes everything can be right but it just doesn’t happen… While it’s hard to talk about (I’ve had friends who get pregnant as soon as they start trying telling me to “just relax and it will happen”), I do just need to talk about it rather than letting it eat me up. The more people are discussing the less people will feel like something is wrong with them

    • LORENA says:

      Just had 2 failed IUIs and now going thru the process to be approved for IVF. Our situation is male factor infertility which I never considered because my partner has a child. It is so hard and even harder to talk about especially when you feel that everyone around you is getting pregnant, some by accident. I wish you the best on your journey

      • Sitka says:

        Thanks Lorena!
        He didn’t even mention IUI yesterday; said we would try lifestyle changes first and then eventually IVF; hoping there might be IUI first if the lifestyle changes don’t work!
        Hopefully you get your bundle of joy soon x

      • LORENA says:

        IUI was a breeze, easier than a pap, the only negative is that it has low success rate. We did 2 and decided not to proceed with a 3rd and move on to IVF

  6. deadnotsleeping says:

    I’m very open about my miscarriages. I feel like at least half the women I know have had one and talk about it. I always knew that my mom had had several too, so I grew knowing they were a possibility. (Also, when I was little I watched my mom’s soaps and there were lots of “convenient” miscarriages on those).

  7. Jen says:

    It definitely needs to be talked about more. My husband and I had been trying for over a year when I finally fell pregnant. We were so excited and happy! Then at six weeks I miscarried. I was devestated. It happened over the course of three days. For two of those days I hoped that it was just normal slight bleeding. Then on the third day it became really heavy and it finally dawned on me that I would no longer have my baby. It was gut-wrenching. Afterwards I spoke to my friends about it. It really helped with the healing process and gave me the strength to try again. I fell pregnant again and now have a beautiful rainbow baby girl. She’s 10 weeks old and I adore her.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      It is absolutely devastating. I miscarried my first pregnancy, which was the result of IVF after years and years of ovulation tracking, timed intercourse, etc. I was lucky, though — my next IVF cycle was successful and resulted in a healthy baby. I can’t imagine trying to keep all the emotional pain from that miscarriage locked inside — talking about it with people was essential to my ability to carry on.

      Congratulations on your baby girl. :-)

      People, especially men, also need to know how common miscarriage is. This is particularly true as more and more red states are trying to implement abortion bans and fetal personhood laws that could lead to criminalizing women who miscarry and aren’t able to “prove” that they didn’t somehow cause the miscarriage. Of course, there’s a whole lotta misogyny wrapped up in these anti-abortion laws, but I think they have a lot of supporters who would be much less supportive if they understood how many women they care about could have faced criminal investigation over pregnancy loss that is outside of anyone’s control.

  8. LT says:

    My ex had fertility issues and we barely talked about it – certainly never with any of our friends. It was very lonely, particularly because male infertility is so uncommon. I know people assumed that the issues were mine, which is fine (there isn’t any shame in it), but it would have been nice to be able to discuss it more openly.

    My husband’s ex also had fertility issues and they barely discussed it either and it led to major issues in their marriage.

    Openly talking about our struggles can be so therapeutic – it reminds us that we aren’t alone. Cheers to Courtney Cox for being so open.

    • LORENA says:

      Yes! Our situation is male factor infertility as well. I just finally opened up to some people about it and it felt so good to talk about it. I would say that male infertility is a lot more common than people think, infertility has always been looked at as a woman’s issue and its definitely not. People just do not talk about it a lot

      • LT says:

        Lorena,

        Where was this site 18 years ago when my (then) husband and I were dealing with this?? :-)

        So glad you were able to talk with someone about it! Even now, it’s still hard for me to talk about because I feel like I should not. My stepdaughter (adopted) was talking with my daughter (also adopted) and why I adopted my kids. She said, “I know – you loved kids, but your tummy was broken, so you adopted. Right?” For the first time ever, I said, “yeeeah, well, actually my tummy was fine. [My kids]’s Dad had some trouble from his side.” My kids obviously know they were adopted and know why we adopted, but not to that level of detail. It felt a little weird to talk about it. But – because his infertility was connected to a host of other medical issues, it’s part of who their dad is (not that it’s true of everyone, but it is of him).

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Current medical knowledge indicates 40 – 50% of couples’ infertility is due to male factor issues. It is not remotely uncommon, but women are so often made to believe that infertility is their fault, and infertility investigations and treatments still tend to focus on female factors despite what is known about the incidence of male factor infertility. I’m so sorry your infertility journey was so rough and emotionally isolating. Hugs to you.

  9. Kk2 says:

    I had two consecutive miscarriages between my first and anticipated second (now in third trimester), one of which required an ER visit because i was bleeding so heavily. At the time, I didn’t talk much about it because it was sad and I just didn’t want to talk about it. I’m really private in general. Also saying it out loud to other people made it more real somehow. But after the second one, I told some close friends. And now that I’m in third trimester and have some distance on it I’ve told plenty of people. The more people I told, the easier it was to talk about. My main motivation is that I don’t want to be one of those people who only tells her friends when things are going well you know? No one wants to complain all the time either but you otherwise end up having these superficial relationships where you think everything is so easy for your friends.

    I especially wanted to tell two friends I’m close to who were starting to try now in their mid thirties, so that god forbid anything like that happens to them they will feel a little less alone. But I also told friends who had gotten pregnant easily themselves, because they should know it’s not like that for everyone. The more I talked about it the less embarrassment I felt. I know there’s no reason to be embarrassed but when no one talks about it, it feels like there is. So yes, Courtney I’m with you. People should talk about it more.

  10. MissM says:

    I am sitting at work trying not to cry. I got my period. We have been trying for almost a year. I was on the pill for 10 years and got off it. No period for 5 months and super irregular periods since then. Had IVF where they found no egg, two IUIs with no success. I take 21 supplements a day, go to acupuncture, drink chinese herbal tea, meditate, work out and eat a “fertility friendly” diet. I have been diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve at the age of 35. God. I hate this. I only have my husband to talk to about this, and it’s so hard for him as well. I feel so alone and ashamed. Conversations like this are the first step (I hope) to getting through this. Xo

    • LORENA says:

      I am sorry. It sucks that infertility is so hard to talk about. We all think it should be talked about more but it is just so hard to discuss it, especially with people that cannot relate. It is something that you cannot understand until you go thru it. You live you life being responsible and then when you’re finally ready it just doesnt happy, its such a mind fuck. Wish you the best

    • Kk2 says:

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. There is a big infertility community online with different message boards. If you haven’t already, you might try joining some of those to help you feel less alone, especially if you don’t have anyone you can talk to in real life. When I had back to back miscarriages (posted above), I felt talking about it really lessened the feelings of shame and embarrassment- which are totally normal. It took 18 months for us between starting to try and achieving a pregnancy that seems to be healthy (knock on wood). It was an awful 18 months with so many tears. The trying and failing cycle is so emotionally exhausting (and I can only imagine how much more so when you are having IVF or iui). I really encourage you to find someone somewhere you can talk to about it in addition to husband can (and he should find someone too!) Your clinic may offer or know of a support group- that could give you a safe place to talk about it. I’ll be thinking about you!

    • The Other Katherine says:

      Online infertility message boards were a godsend for me when going through my IVF journey. If it makes you feel any better, I had successful IVF at the age of 40 with *extremely* low AMH. You may have to try a few different IVF protocols to find one that works for your ovaries, and I know the costs add up alarmingly. Please try not to stress too much about supplements, diet, etc. Lifestyle choices can help, but a lot less than people think.

      You may also want consider IVF abroad as a way of controlling costs and getting access to a broader range of treatment options, which is what I ultimately did (and I was much happier with my treatment as well). If that’s an option you want to look into, infertility message boards are incredibly helpful with that. FertilityFriends is a UK-based site with good resources on international clinics.

      I know it’s all very, very tough, and I really recommend talking about it with a few trusted friends and in online infertility communities (where everyone knows what you’re going through). It’s not a burden you should have to carry alone with no help from anyone except your husband.

      Sending best wishes your way.

    • Snowflake says:

      Don’t be ashamed. You have done nothing wrong. You are not alone, we are here for you. Xoxo

    • The Other Katherine says:

      MissM, I went to Reprofit in Czech Republic. They’re in Brno, so a pain to get to if you’re not starting from the European side of the Atlantic. There are quite a few good clinics in CZ, and the ones in Prague have better direct flights. In the Americas there are reputable clinics in Mexico and Argentina. The best place to start, IMO, is on private infertility message boards where women discuss their clinic experiences in detail; then, if you find a clinic that sounds like a good fit, you can verify that they’re in good standing with the relevant authorities, check for outstanding complaints and litigation, etc. Wishing you best of luck in your journey!

    • Auntie Git says:

      MissM, my heart goes out to you. It’s so very hard, and can be incredibly isolating. I was open about it myself, and people would say the *most* unhelpful things (“My husband just LOOKS at me and I get pregnant!”—Seriously, why are you saying that to me after I just confided in you that there’s a major issue??). It took us 6 years of IUI’s, one round of IVF for me (where I was told I would never have children of my own, then had to go teach my fourth graders that afternoon, the sub couldn’t stay), then two rounds with donor eggs. Jeez, so much heartbreak. And yet—our son was worth it. Just had another attempt last summer with our last egg, which split and was going to be a very high risk twin pregnancy until I miscarried at 11 weeks. Now we are looking at other options. I’m thinking of you and praying for peace and positivity. You could try Resolve, it’s a fertility support group. I personally had a negative experience there but another found it incredibly helpful. Best wishes to you, sweetie.

  11. Jill says:

    I’ve had two miscarriages, a stillbirth at 39 weeks, infertility struggles, failed ivf’s. I finally had a rainbow, it took 5 years total. I wish this was something that was talked about more. It is a tough spot to be in when you are in the middle of it and my heart goes out to everyone that is struggling right now.

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I’m so glad your rainbow baby finally came to you. I can’t imagine getting through a full-term stillbirth like that — you are so, so strong.

      • MissM says:

        Thank you all for your messages. I cried reading each one- they meant a lot. I will be considering all of your recommendations.

        @The Real Katherine: I never considered IVF abroad and now I’m excited by that prospect. Only if you don’t mind, could you share the name of the clinic you chose? No worries if not. I appreciated your words a lot.

  12. Nancy says:

    She was open about her inability to conceive and carry. Fortunately, she has Coco. I guess for some, it’s important to hear celebs who went through the same scenario. She had the most beautiful Southern Bell face. She ruined it. That story is important too. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  13. Ishqthecat says:

    Just came on to tell the ivf-girls on here to hang on in there. My wonderful son (from ivf with ICSI) is turning 2 in a couple of months. Took us 1,5 yrs of ivf and it was so hard. Met a few people along the road who said “I know what you are going through” and it really did help. On-line forums were also very encouraging as they remind you that several rounds of ivf are the norm in order to succeed and help you to have the strength to try again. Hugs to all sisters on here with previous or current infertility issues❤️

    • MaryContrary says:

      Friends of ours just had their first-she’s 46 and they’d been trying for 4 years and had multiple unsuccessful IVF treatments. It can absolutely happen.