Anne Hathaway hints at infertility struggles: what are the first steps if you're struggling to fall pregnant?

Anne Hathaway has revealed she is pregnant with her second child [Photo: Getty]

Anne Hathaway just shared some very exciting baby news.

The actress took to Instagram to announce that she is expecting her second child with husband Adam Shulman.

Sharing a sweet black and white image which showcased her growing bump, the mum-to-be also hinted that the couple had some infertility struggles.

Starting her bump selfie caption with a joke, Anne wrote: "It’s not for a movie...⁣⁣ #2⁣.”

Before quickly getting real and hinting that it hadn’t been easy to fall pregnant.

"⁣All kidding aside, for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love,” she wrote.

READ MORE: Should women be able to store their frozen eggs for longer?

Though she didn’t didn't share any specifics or elaborate about her experience with infertility, fans going through similar experiences were quick to praise the star for opening up about her fertility journey.

“You give me a lot of courage,” one user wrote. “Trying actually two years. 1 year of two with Medical support. Thank you for sharing this.”

“Thank you for your words that give a lot of hope to many women,” another agreed.

“Your story gives other struggling hope,” a third commented. “After two rounds of IVF we had our first transfer July 5th. So far so good but so scary and I am scared for these first 12 weeks. Wishing you a healthy pregnancy and labour and thanks for sharing.”

What to do if you are finding it difficult to conceive

If she did find it difficult to become pregnant, Anne certainly wouldn’t be alone.

Sadly as many couples discover falling pregnant is rarely as straightforward as your sex education teacher made out.

For many couples trying to conceive, the process can take far longer than you might have planned for.

"In the UK around one in seven couples will have trouble conceiving,” explains Dr Amin Gorgy, Fertility Consultant at The Fertility & Gynaecology Academy.

“A couple is considered infertile if they have not become pregnant within a year of trying.”

So what should couples do if they do find it difficult to conceive?

“If you're having regular sex every 2-3 days for a year but have not yet conceived, it's time to take a look at lifestyle factors which could be impacting your efforts, and make an appointment to see a fertility consultant,” advises Dr Gorgy.

READ MORE: The great IVF postcode lottery

1 in 7 couples in the UK struggle with infertility [Photo: Getty]

Dr Gorgy says a fertility consultant will encourage you to make evidence-driven changes to your lifestyle to improve your fertility.

“For example, stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake, making improvements to your diet, maintaining a good exercise routine, and making changes to reduce stress,” he says.

“If you are planning on starting a family it can be beneficial to make these changes before you begin in order to give you the best possible chance of becoming pregnant naturally.”

But if that doesn’t make a difference it’s time to turn to the experts.

When you first see a fertility consultant they will want to know about you and your family's medical history, how long you've been trying to get pregnant, and they will most likely recommend a series of fertility tests.

“This will provide them with detailed information about your fertility and reproductive system which can highlight any underlying problems,” he explains.

“From here, your consultant will be able to recommend the best way forward with treatment. For some, it may be necessary to undergo further testing in order to get to the heart of any problems."