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Rhian Sugden’s gruelling path to motherhood including spending £130,000 on IVF and developing an eating disorder – as she reveals she’s pregnant with her first child

Rhian Sugden revealed on Sunday that she is 16 weeks pregnant with her first child. 

But the Big Brother star, 37, has not had an easy journey to motherhood. 

The happy news comes after many years of torture for Rhian as she endured round after round of IVF, spending £130,000 before finally becoming pregnant. 

The stress of the treatment – alongside her mother’s bowel cancer diagnosis – also meant the star developed an eating disorder. 

Rhian also became the victim of vile trolls, who claimed that she didn’t ‘deserve’ to become a mother as she began her second round of IVF.  

Happy news! Rhian Sugden revealed on Sunday that she is 16 weeks pregnant with her first child with husband Oliver Mellor

Happy news! Rhian Sugden revealed on Sunday that she is 16 weeks pregnant with her first child with husband Oliver Mellor

Happy news! Rhian Sugden revealed on Sunday that she is 16 weeks pregnant with her first child with husband Oliver Mellor

Stunning: But the glamour model, 37, has not had an easy journey to motherhood

Stunning: But the glamour model, 37, has not had an easy journey to motherhood

Stunning: But the glamour model, 37, has not had an easy journey to motherhood

Rhian and her husband Oliver Mellor shared gorgeous snaps on Sunday to announce the happy news after eight gruelling rounds of the fertility treatment over six years. 

Sharing the news to Hello! magazine, Rhian said: ‘We’re over the moon, our lives are going to change so much, which is very exciting.’

Coronation Street star Oliver added: ‘I can’t wait for the baby to be born, I’ll pump my fist to the sky and shout, “‘I’m a dad!”

The couple, who have been married for eight years and who are expecting their baby May 4, admitted there were times they feared they would never be able to get pregnant.

Rhian had difficulty getting pregnant due to her low egg count and perimenopausal hormone levels and were only given just a three percent chance of conceiving naturally.

The couple turned to IVF and went through seven rounds over the course of six years, costing an enormous £130,000.  

But just before they gave up, they give the treatment one last time and took a pregnancy test nine days in – where she was greeted with the incredible news.

Oliver added: ‘I was woken up by her calling out, “Oh my God, I’m pregnant!”, When I opened my eyes, I could see her holding up the stick from the test and smiling at me. 

‘I’ll never forget the expression of sheer joy on her face, or the happiness and relief I felt inside.’

Congrats: Rhian revealed she is expecting her first child with husband Oliver Mellor, 42, after eight gruelling rounds of IVF

Congrats: Rhian revealed she is expecting her first child with husband Oliver Mellor, 42, after eight gruelling rounds of IVF

Congrats: Rhian revealed she is expecting her first child with husband Oliver Mellor, 42, after eight gruelling rounds of IVF 

Amazing! Rhian, who is already 16 weeks pregnant, spent a total of £130,000 on IVF treatment with Oliver over the course of six years

Amazing! Rhian, who is already 16 weeks pregnant, spent a total of £130,000 on IVF treatment with Oliver over the course of six years

Amazing! Rhian, who is already 16 weeks pregnant, spent a total of £130,000 on IVF treatment with Oliver over the course of six years

Rhian has revealed she has taken several pregnancy tests a day ‘just to make sure’, as the news doesn’t yet feel real, she explained.

Just months ago in June, she took to Instagram to reveal the devastating news that her seventh cycle of IVF had been unsuccessful. 

Taking to social media she penned: ‘It’s been a hell of a month for me. It’s looking like IVF round 7 has failed’.

‘Please don’t message saying sorry, I know you mean well but it does get harder every time, I don’t want my barren ovaries being apologised too’.

However despite the setback the stunner vowed to continue with treatment, declaring she was going to ‘pick herself back up and go again’.

Writing: ‘I’m so thankful for everything in my life and I’m even more thankful for my mum who has made me into the such a strong person..

‘I’m ok, I’m heartbroken but I have a lot of other amazing things happening around me. I’m a warrior and I WILL do this.’

In-vitro fertilisation, known as IVF, is a medical procedure in which a woman has an already-fertilised egg inserted into her womb to become pregnant.

Hard times: Just this June, Rhian revealed her seventh round of IVF treatments had failed

Hard times: Just this June, Rhian revealed her seventh round of IVF treatments had failed

Hard times: Just this June, Rhian revealed her seventh round of IVF treatments had failed 

Tough: It comes after Rhian has told how she developed an eating disorder due to the stress of IVF treatment and her mum's bowel cancer diagnosis

Tough: It comes after Rhian has told how she developed an eating disorder due to the stress of IVF treatment and her mum's bowel cancer diagnosis

Tough: Rhian Sugden has told how she developed an eating disorder due to the stress of IVF treatment and her mum’s bowel cancer diagnosis

Knock back: In September 2021 Rhian revealed that her fourth round of IVF had failed and at the time admitted she was struggling to put on a 'brave face'

Knock back: In September 2021 Rhian revealed that her fourth round of IVF had failed and at the time admitted she was struggling to put on a 'brave face'

Knock back: In September 2021 Rhian revealed that her fourth round of IVF had failed and at the time admitted she was struggling to put on a ‘brave face’

It is used when couples are unable to conceive naturally, and a sperm and egg are removed from their bodies and combined in a laboratory before the embryo is inserted into the woman.

Once the embryo is in the womb, the pregnancy should continue as normal.

The procedure can be done using eggs and sperm from a couple or those from donors.

She previously revealed she developed an eating disorder due to the stress of IVF treatment and her mother’s bowel cancer diagnosis.

She detailed how she was only able to manage half a banana and a square of chocolate a day because eating made her feel like she was ‘choking’.

Rhian said she dreamt of having ‘four or five’ little boys running around but would ‘now feel lucky to have just one’.

On Mother’s Day, Rhian posted a candid snap on her Instagram Story as she told of experiencing a ‘hard’ day amid her fertility struggles.

She was in tears in a selfie uploaded to her social media as she penned in the caption: ‘The reality of Mother’s Day for an IVF warrior. It’s hard.’

Miracle: The model took to social media to candidly discuss the pressures women are put under to have a child

Miracle: The model took to social media to candidly discuss the pressures women are put under to have a child

Miracle: This comes after Rhian detailed the ‘heartbreak’ of being told she and her actor husband ‘might not be able to have children’ 

She announced her decision to start the in-vitro fertilisation process in 2019 after she was told by doctors that she has an egg count of someone at least 13 years older.

Rhian discussed her plans to have IVF after being told she has an egg count of ‘a woman over 45’ but added that the procedure carries only a ‘two per cent’ success rate.

Rhian explained: ‘I was told that I may never be a mum – and I’m heartbroken. Doctors said I have the egg count of a woman over 45, meaning it’s unlikely I would ever conceive naturally.

‘It also means the odds of getting pregnant by IVF have gone down from 30 per cent to two per cent – which was pretty devastating to hear.’

The lingerie model also spoke of the ‘pressure’ women are put under to become mothers, admitting she ‘hates’ being asked when she is going to start a family. 

Rhian said: ‘I don’t like the pressure that people put on women to have children and I don’t like the pressure I have put on myself.

‘I struggle to answer questions about when I am going to start a family – even though I know the question comes from a good place, I hate being asked it.

‘All I can say really is that I’ve been trying and I can’t.’ 

Sad: Rhian was attacked by trolls when she started her second round of IVF

Sad: Rhian was attacked by trolls when she started her second round of IVF

Sad: Rhian was attacked by trolls when she started her second round of IVF

After starting her second round of IVF, poor Rhian suffered another blow as she was attacked by vile social media trolls. 

She broke down in tears in an emotional Instagram video as she revealed trolls had told her she ‘didn’t deserve’ to have a child and her fertility struggles were ‘karma’ for her past. 

The star tearfully said trolls claimed that she ‘didn’t deserve’ to have a child because of her past work as a Page 3 model. 

While she was not specific, the star appeared to be alluding to her ‘sexting’ scandal with married TV presenter Vernon Kay in 2010. 

Rhian and former Coronation Street star Oliver married in a dream wedding in Kalkan, Turkey in September 2018, exchanging vows by the Mediterranean Sea after a four-year engagement.

Shortly after the couple’s ceremony, Rhian hit out at people for asking when the couple – who have been together for seven years – planned to start a family.

She wrote on her Twitter page: ‘If one more person asks me when I am going to have babies my head is going to explode!! 

‘Do people think they grown on trees or that I can just pick one up from Tesco?? For some people it’s not that easy!! Don’t ask 30+ women when the babies are coming!’ 

How does IVF work?

In-vitro fertilisation, known as IVF, is a medical procedure in which a woman has an already-fertilised egg inserted into her womb to become pregnant.

It is used when couples are unable to conceive naturally, and a sperm and egg are removed from their bodies and combined in a laboratory before the embryo is inserted into the woman.

Once the embryo is in the womb, the pregnancy should continue as normal.

The procedure can be done using eggs and sperm from a couple or those from donors.

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that IVF should be offered on the NHS to women under 43 who have been trying to conceive through regular unprotected sex for two years.

People can also pay for IVF privately, which costs an average of £3,348 for a single cycle, according to figures published in January 2018, and there is no guarantee of success.

The NHS says success rates for women under 35 are about 29 per cent, with the chance of a successful cycle reducing as they age.

Around eight million babies are thought to have been born due to IVF since the first ever case, British woman Louise Brown, was born in 1978.

Chances of success

The success rate of IVF depends on the age of the woman undergoing treatment, as well as the cause of the infertility (if it’s known).

Younger women are more likely to have a successful pregnancy.

IVF isn’t usually recommended for women over the age of 42 because the chances of a successful pregnancy are thought to be too low.

Between 2014 and 2016 the percentage of IVF treatments that resulted in a live birth was:

29 per cent for women under 35

23 per cent for women aged 35 to 37

15 per cent for women aged 38 to 39

9 per cent for women aged 40 to 42

3 per cent for women aged 43 to 44

2 per cent for women aged over 44

 

Source: NewsFinale

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