People have been sharing emotional insights into their experience of infertility, as part of a campaign launched by Chrissy Teigen to break down the taboo of talking about fertility struggles.
Teigen, 35, is fronting the campaign called Fertility Out Loud, which aims to encourage people to be more open about their fertility in order to help others find the support they need.
The TV personality, model and cookbook author, who is married to singer John Legend, has spoken publicly about conceiving their daughter Luna and son Miles via in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
"I've been open about so much throughout my life, and so [infertility] didn't seem like a crazy thing to talk about. But the more I spoke about it, the more I realised how taboo it was," Teigen told Refinery29.
"But quietly, I was getting DMs and letters — like handwritten letters — and emails. I realised that people didn't think they could talk about it on an open forum, but they were happy to do it privately. I realised people don't feel comfortable talking about this."
Teigen has now teamed up with The National Infertility Association in the US, to raise awareness of the cause close to her heart.
She is urging people who are also struggling with infertility to open up about their experiences by posting a selfie and tagging @fertilityoutloud.
"You guys know (or now you do) that John and I went through IVF to get pregnant with Luna and Miles," she wrote in an Instagram post announcing the launch of #FertilityOutLoud.
"What you might not know is how isolating fertility issues can be. Over the past few months I’ve met other women who are facing fertility challenges and realised there is a community out there so no one has to face this alone."
Teigen goes on to say she's thrilled to be able to give anyone struggling with infertility an opportunity to hear from others who have been through it.
Since launching the shout out for stories, Teigen has been inundated with emotive posts from women sharing their experiences.
"More than anything, I wish people knew that infertility is so psychological and it is constant grief mixed with hope," one women wrote in an emotional post shared to Instagram.
"If you have a friend struggling with infertility, the best thing you can do is just be with her, cry with her, and let her process her emotions safely.
"There aren't any easy answers or solutions and she knows that."
Another woman who wanted to encourage more women of colour to share their stories wrote: "As a woman of culture, fertility is so intertwined with the expectations of womanhood.
"My husband and I suffered through our share of miscarriages, the hope of missed periods, and the letdowns of negative pregnancy tests. Due to health reasons, it just wasn’t in our cards.
"It’s taken endless support from family, friends, and my therapist to know I am still capable of being loved despite my fertility, and I have not failed at womanhood because of my inability to carry a child.
"I’m here to encourage women, especially women of color, to let go of that shame, and know you’re not alone."
Watch: Chrissy Teigen returns to Twitter.
Another Instagram user wrote: "The dream seems so impossible sometimes. The struggle is so real. You are not alone.
"Anyone can be challenged to have a family. No matter what race, religion, sexuality or economic status you are, infertility doesn’t discriminate.
"Let’s remove the stigma together. Let’s break down barriers together."
After sharing details of her struggle with PCOS and infertility another woman detailed how helpful she'd found sharing her own fertility journey.
"It has taken away weight that I felt like I was carrying alone," she wrote. "It has led me to a community of understanding people, and it has opened up space for people who felt like they had to hold things in too, to take the floor and share their stories whether it be personally or publicly.
"I feel like I’ve done a good thing."
The woman added that not everyone will feel as comfortable sharing their own struggles, and that is ok too.
"Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone’s journey is valid. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share mine and feel heard," she wrote.
Meanwhile on Teigen's own Instagram post, commenters flocked to praise the star for helping to break the taboo, while sharing their own experiences.
"Thank you so much for bringing awareness to infertility that so many women face including myself," one wrote. "There is such a huge stigma and there needs to be fertility coverage for all.
"Treat infertility just like any other diagnosis."
As the volume of stories shared to Instagram continues to grow, Teigen has helped kick-start a conversation that is long overdue.
"There's no one way to [become a parent] and there's no straight road at all," she told Refinery29.
"I've seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows with it. I encourage anyone to be open and honest as they’d like to be. And they’ll get the same from me."