Marilyn Monroe Was Pregnant At Least 3 Times Before Her Death

Photo credit: Donaldson Collection - Getty Images
Photo credit: Donaldson Collection - Getty Images

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While the public likes to think they know everything about Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe’s short, sparkling life and untimely death, many of the most basic facts are still shrouded in mystery or left behind. Even her legal name, Norma Jeane, is often forgotten.

And Netflix’s new film, Blonde, starring Ana de Armas, is no different, putting the star back into the national spotlight. The fictional film, which is based on Joyce Carol Oates' novel, reimagines Marilyn’s rise to fame, as well as her real and fictional relationships with the men in her life. After her early death, people are still curious to know more about her legacy, and specifically, whether she had any children.

While the film recounts Marilyn's multiple pregnancies, it doesn't tell the whole story. So, here is everything you need to know about Marilyn's personal life, pregnancies, and what she left behind.

Does Marilyn have any children?

No. Although Marilyn was married three times (first to James Dougherty, followed by baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller), she did not have any children before her death in 1962.

However, she really wanted to have a family and did have multiple documented pregnancies.

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images

Meanwhile, Blonde shows Marilyn miscarrying and aborting a pregnancy, and at one point, Marilyn talks to the unborn fetus inside of her, per Entertainment Weekly. But many of these cinematic moments don’t reflect real events, leaving viewers wondering about the truth behind Marilyn’s pregnancies.

How many times was Marilyn Monroe pregnant?

During her marriage to Arthur Miller, which occurred from 1956 to 1961, she was pregnant three times, according to Netflix’s 2022 documentary, The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes, per Yahoo. She miscarried each time.

  • 1956: Marilyn's first known pregnancy ends in a miscarriage.

  • 1957: Marilyn gets pregnant again, but the pregnancy is ectopic, meaning the fertilized egg attaches to the outside of the uterus and cannot survive, per the Mayo Clinic. Marilyn loses the pregnancy again.

  • 1958: Marilyn is pregnant a third time while filming Some Like It Hot, but miscarries in December.

During Marilyn's third pregnancy, the Some Like It Hot director observed that Marilyn was not herself during filming. In a recording from the Netflix doc, director Billy Wilder told journalist Anthony Summers that Marilyn had a difficult time shooting the film.

“I had no problem with Monroe. Monroe had problems with Monroe. She had problems with herself,” Wilder said in the audio recording.

Did she ever have an abortion?

The film Blonde suggests that Marilyn had an abortion during one of her love affairs. But there is no evidence to suggest that she ever got an abortion, despite suffering through several miscarriages.

"Any talk of pregnancy termination is an assumption on our part," Michelle Vogel, author of Marilyn Monroe: Her Films, Her Life, explained. "Marilyn loved children and she was desperate to be a mother. Sadly, she never carried a baby to term," per USA Today.

Still, that hasn't stopped people from drawing their own conclusions. In her book, Marilyn: Norma Jeane, Gloria Steinem speculated about Marilyn's reproductive decisions, writing: “One can imagine her sacrificing contraception and her own safety to spontaneity, magic, and the sexual satisfaction of the man she was with."

Marilyn is thought to have suffered from endometriosis.

This detail about Marilyn's health is often overlooked, but Marilyn is often included in lists of celebrities who struggled with endometriosis, a gynecological condition which the Mayo Clinic says causes the cells lining the interior of the uterus to grow outside of the uterus.

The star is believed to have experienced debilitating pain and fertility issues as a result of her endometriosis.

Specifically, the condition may have contributed to her multiple miscarriages. "Her fertility issues have long been attributed to endometriosis," Vogel said, per USA Today. "It was largely misunderstood during those times, so it often went untreated. Monroe's well-known use of pills and alcohol was likely self-medication to deal with this medical condition, as well as countless other aspects of her complicated life.”

A 2008 paper published by the National Library of Medicine suggests that Marilyn struggled with endometriosis at a time “before effective conservative surgery or effective medical therapies," which "led to progressively increasing use of strong analgesics, tranquilisers and hypnotics.”

Marilyn died at age 36 of a barbiturate overdose, leaving no children behind.

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