Kourtney Kardashian Barker Defends Her Body's Changes After IVF

In early 2022, Kourtney Kardashian Barker completed a round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and has been forthcoming about the experience ever since — even clapping back at commenters to set the record straight.

On March 2, the entrepreneur and TV personality shared a series of photos from a shoot for her supplement brand Lemme. In the comments section, someone wrote, "Is she pregnant," to which Kardashian Barker promptly responded that any perceived baby bump was actually an after-effect of IVF. "I only acknowledge this comment bc i do think it's important to know how IVF affects women's bodies and it's not spoken about much ..." she wrote. "[A]lso are we still asking women if they're pregnant?"

This post came just a few weeks after Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show (and second pregnancy reveal), which sparked a lot of discussions around the problem with speculating about other people's pregnancies. The reality is that you never know what someone might be going through that may be causing changes to their body. In fact, we should stop commenting on what women's bodies look like in the first place.

Still, Kardashian Barker's willingness to share her experience with IVF is helping draw attention to the potential effects of fertility treatment, which, as she pointed out, aren't often discussed. In December 2022, she posted an Instagram Story telling others going through IVF that "it gets better." Along with a photo of her treadmill dashboard, she wrote: "Finally started getting my energy back 10 months after stopping IVF."

In the last year, Kardashian Barker and her husband, Travis Barker, have been very open about their journey with IVF and their hopes to have a child together. "I do love being a mom," Kardashian Barker said in a March 2022 episode of "The Kardashians" (streaming on Hulu). "I think having that experience with Travis would just be incredible. I know he's a really, really amazing father. It's one of the reasons that I fell in love with him." Kardashian Barker is already a mom to three kids, while Barker is a dad to two of his own and a stepdaughter.

However, Kardashian Barker also acknowledges that it hasn't "been the most amazing experience" and in October decided to take a break from trying to have a baby with Barker. "I know that it's helped, you know, so many people, but it's just not for me," she said about IVF on an episode of Dear Media's "Not Skinny but Not Fat" podcast. "It really took a toll on my health and my — just even mentally — the hormones, the medication, you have to get put to sleep every time."

Fatigue during IVF treatment is quite common because of the drastic changes in hormone levels — specifically, increased levels of progesterone, according to Pacific Fertility Center Los Angeles. This mimics the natural process that happens when someone gets pregnant. The body produces the extra hormone to create and sustain a healthy embryo lining. Fatigue can also be further exacerbated by the stress and anxiety that can accompany the infertility issues that may have driven a person to pursue IVF, the Center adds.

Kourtney Kardashian / Instagram
Instagram | kourtneykardash

The entrepreneur has also been under constant scrutiny from the public throughout her fertility journey. In a conversation with her mom during the same "Kardashians" episode, Kardashian Barker said: "Every single person on social media is always like, 'Kourtney's pregnant, Kourtney's pregnant, Kourtney's gained so much weight.' I'm like, it's so rude to comment on people when you have no idea what they're actually going through." This preoccupation with stars' bodies and pregnancy journeys is something many women celebrities — including Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston, and Amy Schumer — are, unfortunately, very familiar with.

Regardless, the couple have made it clear they want to be purposeful in their transparency around the experience. In an interview last month with GQ, Barker said, "It's real life. And if any of that can help people — seeing Kourtney's journey through IVF, which is super hard for a woman. You saw her struggle with it and talk about it. That's real."

— Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo