Embarking on an assisted fertility journey can be daunting and lonely. There are a lot of expenses, medical appointments, hormones and feelings to navigate during the process.
That's why America's Got Talent star Julianne Hough's husband, hockey player Brooks Laich is being open about it on his new podcast How Men Think with Brooks Laich & Gavin DeGraw (yes, the One Tree Hill singer).
"It has been hush-hush, but it shouldn't be," he says.
For Hough + Laich this is a proactive choice
On the podcast Laich opened up about why he and Hough decided to do IVF, and it seems like it was a pretty straightforward decision for the celebrity couple.
"Looking at the reality of our lives, my wife is a very driven business woman, has her career. She just turned 30 last year and so we wanted to," Laich tells DeGraw and a panel of guests.
He continues: "She has endometriosis—which could complicate pregnancy—it doesn't mean it will, but it could—and so the smarter thing for us to do is [was] freeze some of her eggs and if we need this as a back up plan in two years or three years from now, whenever we want to start having kids and maybe we can't, we have a back-up plan."
Following the podcast Laich spoke with Us Weekly about the choice to pursue IVF, and his choice to talk about it in such a public way. "My wife and I want to have children in our future, and going through IVF was a decision we made to increase the [odds] of that happening," he told Us Weekly. "I wish people would perceive it [that way instead of with] shame or guilt."
Hough is among a growing number of women freezing their eggs
According to a survey by Healthline, 53% of millennial women would consider freezing their eggs and 37% are open to using IVF to get pregnant, so Hough is hardly alone in her decision to do this.
Hough has talked publicly about her battle with endometriosis (a painful condition where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus) and how she didn't want to talkeabout it with Laich early in their relationship, for fear of being seen as weak. But when she opened up about what she was going through and explained endometriosis to Laich, their relationship only got stronger.
"He rubs my back while I'm going through my thing, knowing that it's going to pass, but like he's not freaked out anymore. And now he feels like he's contributing to helping.," she told E! News.
Now, Hough encourages people to take about endometriosis as much as Laich is speaking out about assisted fertility. To this power couple, these are just things that humans go through, and things that there should not be a stigma about.
"Whether that's your significant other, your family, a friend, your coworkers, whatever it may be this should not be something that you should be afraid of. It doesn't define who you are. In fact, I own it now and I am so glad that I have a voice to be able to help people with it," Hough told E! regarding her endometriosis.
Laich's advice for husbands: "Full support mode"
On his new podcast Laich made it clear that IVF is not an easy thing for a couple to go through.
"For anybody out there who is considering it, it's a lot," Laich tells the panel of guys. "As the husband you're just in full support mode of your wife."
It's clear that Laich is a super supportive husband, and it's refreshing to hear a man speak so openly about what couples go through in order to make their families.
Laich tells Us Weekly he wants to "attack things that are stereotyped or deemed sensitive or hush-hush."
When it comes to having an honest dialogue about our bodies and our fertility, attacking stigma is a great place to start.