Gemma Collins says doctors encouraged her to terminate intersex unborn child

TV personality has opened up about ending a pregnancy in her early twenties

Nicole Vassell
Thursday 09 May 2024 11:59 BST
Gemma Collins breaks down over fears she’ll self-harm again if she has a baby

Gemma Collins has revealed that doctors advised her to terminate a pregnancy after it was discovered her unborn child was intersex.

The former The Only Way is Essex star is currently telling her life story on the podcast series Everything I Know About Me.

In the second episode of the show, released on Thursday (9 May), Collins, 43, spoke about being encouraged to end a pregnancy in her early 20s, amid a difficult relationship with her unnamed then-boyfriend.

“I got pregnant, which was a real shock – it wasn’t planned,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I’m pregnant,’ and he was like, he had this really funny look about him. I just remember him not being there, he wasn’t interested.”

After discovering that her boyfriend had been cheating on her, Collins recalled feeling “really heartbroken, because I was pregnant, and he was having an affair. That’s a lot to deal with at [that] age.”

However, she faced more difficulties when doctors raised concerns after a pregnancy scan.

“When I went to the doctor’s they said to me, ‘Something’s not right,’” Collins said.

Gemma Collins
Gemma Collins (Getty Images for Thirty8 London)

“It could only happen to me. Not only has the stockbroker boyfriend met someone else, and is already off... They said to me, ‘Your baby, could be, from looking at it, a hermaphrodite.’”

The term “hermaphrodite” is considered outdated now, with “intersex” being the accepted term for a human with both male and female biological traits, including chromosomes, internal organs and genitals.

In 2021, the University of Manchester reported that approximately 1.7 per cent of the global population is intersex, with up to 1.1 million people in the UK alone being intersex. This means that being intersex is as common as being a twin.

The Towie star continued: “You could imagine, I didn’t know what the word was, I had to look it up. I’d never been taught about hermaphrodites – didn’t know what they were! Didn’t know they existed!

“So that was a real shock. I can remember coming out, and they advised me: ‘You need to have a termination because this baby’s not gonna be right.’”

Collins has repeatedly discussed her desire for a family, and in 2020 revealed that she’d miscarried years prior, after not knowing she’d been pregnant.

She is currently engaged to her long-term partner Rami Hawash, and has expressed hopes of having a child together in the future.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this story, the NHS signposts to support through this page. Or you can speak to someone in confidence at the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the UK’s largest abortion provider, by calling 03457 30 40 30 or emailing

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in