There is a fascination around Marilyn Monroe that remains unprecedented to this day because the fact is she was one of those rare personalities who redefined what it means to be an icon. Yes, she’s known worldwide as a sex symbol, but she is also still among the most successful women in entertainment and was truly a complex being, as made evident through Netflix’s ‘Blonde.’ So now that this biopic drama has given us a reimagined insight into every aspect of her life, let’s find out the reality behind her familial aspirations as well as pregnancies, in particular, shall we?
How Many Abortions and Miscarriages Did Marilyn Monroe Have?
While Marilyn genuinely did want to start a family of her own yet never could, the film’s depiction of abortions playing a significant role in the matter is seemingly entirely inaccurate and fictional. No evidence has ever backed the rumors that the actress underwent the medical procedure a few times to maintain her career or that unsafe abortions later led to her inability to hold a pregnancy. The truth is she had endometriosis — a condition wherein the tissue normally lining the inside of a uterus grows outside — which can often affect one’s hormonal balance and cause infertility.
As per ‘Marilyn Monroe: The Biography,’ there was a time early in her career she considered getting her tubes tied but soon decided against it to have the possibility of bearing kids in the future. This Donald Spoto 1993 book further reiterates the above sentiment by quoting her gynecologist Dr. Leon Krohn as saying, “the rumors of her multiple abortions are ridiculous. She never had even one.” It’s imperative to note that Marilyn’s autopsy following her demise in August 1962 also reportedly did not record any evidence of this procedure, just of operations for her endometriosis.
Coming to the Hollywood star’s failed pregnancies, she purportedly conceived thrice while married to her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller, yet unfortunately could not carry any to full term. Marilyn experienced her first miscarriage in September 1956, lost her second to an ectopic pregnancy in August 1957, and then had another miscarriage in December 1958, which shattered her heart. She was ostensibly eager to start a new chapter of her life alongside her love since she never really had a family of her own, so the loss of it affected her in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.
Netflix’s ‘Blonde’ does portray Marilyn as being perpetually haunted by the spirit of her innocent, unborn fetus, and it’s quite likely the real-life actress felt similar owing to the miscarriages. She couldn’t do anything about it, but its tragic impact undeniably did last — the fact she seemingly blamed herself and her substance use for her final miscarriage did not help the situation either.
“Could I have killed it by taking all the Amytal on an empty stomach? I took some sherry wine also,” Marilyn once candidly wrote to close friends, according to Donald Spoto’s biography of her. Whatever the case may be, she was never the same after losing the pregnancies, especially because she not only stopped seeing her psychiatrist but also didn’t already have any kids of her own. Her previous marriages with James Dougherty (1942-1946) and Joe DiMaggio (1954-1955) — or any of her other relationships — had ostensibly not even resulted in her conceiving.