On the newest episode of “The Kardashians” on Hulu, Kourtney Kardashian opened up about wanting to have a baby with fiancé Travis Barker and her journey with in vitro fertilization, or IVF.
“Travis and I want to have a baby,” the 43-year-old reality star said during a confessional in the episode that aired Thursday. “My doctor took us down this road of doing IVF, and it hasn’t been the most amazing experience.”
During a chat with her mom, Kris Jenner, Kardashian talked about how social media sleuths (and trolls) are constantly suspecting that she’s pregnant when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Every single person on social media is always like, ‘Kourtney’s pregnant! Kourtney has gained so much weight!'” she told her mom. “I’m like, it’s so rude to comment on people when you have no idea what they’re actually going through.”
According to Kardashian, the medicine she’s be given by her doctor has forced her to go into menopause.
“I think because I’m so clean and careful with what I put into my body, it’s just like having the complete opposite reaction and is working as a contraceptive instead of helping us,” she explained during a confessional interview.
She added that she thinks the medication put her into a depression.
“I have everything in the world to be happy about,” she said. “I just feel a little bit off, not like myself, super moody and hormonal. I’m a lunatic half the time.”
Jenner shared with her daughter that she underwent similar symptoms after she experienced a miscarriage in 1994. That was a year before she gave birth to her second-to-last child, Kendall Jenner, in November 1995.
“My body entirely shut down,” Jenner said. “It stopped making anything. I was moody and depressed, and I was bloated, didn’t feel well. Everything you just described, the exact same thing happened.”
Can IVF drugs make you go into menopause?
One medicine commonly used in IVF, because it boosts stimulation and prevents illness from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, works by “temporarily stopping the release of hormones that normally stimulate estrogen production and ovulation of eggs from the ovary,” Dr. Jenna Turocy, a fertility expert at Columbia University Fertility Center, told TODAY via email.
The lack of estrogen from the medicine can cause symptoms that “mimic signs of menopause.”
“Many women will have some reaction to the medications used during IVF,” Turocy said. “Side effects include pain or bruising from the injection sites as well as hot flushes, feeling down or irritable, headaches, restlessness or bloating. Many of these side effects are similar to symptoms of menopause.”
But Turocy stressed that there’s a difference between experiencing symptoms of menopause, as opposed to actual menopause, when going through IVF.
“It’s important for women to understand that fertility treatments including IVF do not cause menopause,” she said. “Infertility is tough enough as it is. Many women feel a loss of control over their own body and reproductive choices. Women should not have to worry that their fertility treatment is causing future harm or triggering early menopause.”
According to Turocy, the side effects of these medications are temporary — unlike menopause — and go away when the medicines are stopped and they fully leave your system. Hormones typically return to baseline levels within two weeks, she added.
Despite the overwhelming circumstances, Kardashian is committed to having her fourth child — and her first with Barker.
“I think that we want it so badly because we want to make something together,” she said.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: