Paris Hilton is a reality star, heiress and entrepreneur, but now she wants to add another title to her list -- mom.
"I'm really excited just to move on for the next step of my life and finally just have a real life," she said. "Because I really do believe that having a family and having children is the meaning of life. And I haven't got to experience that yet, because I didn't feel like anybody deserved that love from me. And now I finally found the person who does."
Hilton and Reum, childhood friends who turned sweethearts, celebrated their one-year anniversary last month.
Hilton revealed in her 2020 YouTube documentary, "This Is Paris," that she had frozen her eggs, telling her sister Nicky Hilton, a mom of two, that she didn't "want to miss" the opportunity to have children.
She confirmed on The Trend Reporter podcast Tuesday that she has now undergone the egg extraction, or retrieval, process of IVF, saying she has done it "a couple of times."
- 3April 25, 2019
"It was tough but I knew it'd be worth it," Hilton told host Mara Schiavocampo of the procedure, in which eggs are extracted from a woman's ovaries using a thin needle. "Doing it together and having a partner that's just so supportive and always makes me feel just like a princess all the time and is just so caring and amazing with me, it wasn't that bad."
Since 1978, more than 8 million babies around the world have been born through IVF, according to the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
With IVF, the most well-known treatment for infertility, a woman's eggs and a man's sperm are combined in a laboratory to create an embryo, or embryos. The sperm may come from the woman's partner or a donor.
Five to 10 days after the embryo is created, it is examined by an embryologist to determine its viability. If the embryo is viable, it is transferred into the woman's uterus through her cervix.
IVF, which can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $17,000 per cycle, is typically undertaken by women who are unable to get pregnant naturally, whether because of infertility struggles or because they are pursuing motherhood on their own.
Hilton did not mention any infertility struggles when talking about her IVF journey, but did say she is hoping that IVF can fulfill her wish to have twins.
"We have been doing the IVF so I can pick twins if I like," said Hilton, noting that her friend, Kim Kardashian West, "is actually the one who told me about that."
Kardashian West, a mom of four with husband Kanye West, gave birth to her two oldest children and used surrogates to carry her two youngest children.
"I didn't even know anything about it," said Hilton. "I'm happy that she told me that advice and introduced me to her doctor."
National guidelines recommend the transfer of only one embryo at a time during IVF to avoid added risk.
Transferring more than one embryo to a woman's uterus during IVF increases the risk of multiple births, and a pregnancy with multiple fetuses carries a higher risk of early labor and low birth weight, according to The Mayo Clinic.
Hilton, who said she would ultimately like three or four children, said she is also pursuing IVF as a way to choose her children's gender, saying, "I really want to have twins that are a boy and a girl. The only way to 100% get that is by making it happen that way."
Gender selection using reproductive technology is permitted in the United States, though it is something that is ethically complicated. It is done during IVF using a procedure called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which is also used to help identify genetic defects in embryos.
Hilton, who will turn 40 in February, is smart to be proactive about starting her family considering her age, according to Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a Chicago-based OBGYN.
Women who give birth at age 35 and older are classified by health care providers as being of "advanced maternal age."
"When we look at a woman who's in her 20s versus her 30s and then versus her 40s, we know that that rate of spontaneous pregnancy decreases significantly," Shepherd, who does not treat Hilton, told "Good Morning America. "So this is going to be a very important discussion for [Hilton] to have with her OBGYN and for her infertility specialist to make sure that she knows all of the different techniques and methods of getting pregnant if she does need that help in achieving her pregnancy."