Heartbroken Claire Richards admits her yo-yoing weight might have affected her chances of having another baby

Claire Richards has worked hard to slim down in recent months and it was all in the hope of having the third child she so desperately wants.

But the Steps star has now been given the heartbreaking news that her yo-yoing weight may have affected her chances of having another baby – so much so that she might never conceive naturally again due to her damaged hormone levels.

Claire – who already has son Charlie, 8, and daughter Daisy, 5, with husband Reece Hill – says her doctor went on to suggest IVF but she feels that she doesn’t deserve the treatment.

‘I feel I only have myself to blame, so it would be unfair to go down that road when there are so many couples who have not been blessed with any kids and it is their only option – and when they haven’t done it to themselves like I have,’ admits Claire, 37.

‘I guess maybe I feel I don’t deserve to be third time lucky. IVF just doesn’t feel like the right thing to do to my body.

‘And even though I have always wanted three children, and my children want a brother or sister, I now have left it to nature.

‘We are not going to stop hoping, but we are not trying as intensely as we were. I am a strong believer that if it’s meant to be, fate can always find a way.’

It comes after Claire managed to shed a whopping 6st over the past two years after being advised by a doctor that her larger frame might be preventing her from conceiving.

Before then she’d piled on the pounds and lost weight several times. It all started when she filled out to a size 20 following the birth of Charlie in 2007, and then dropped down to a size 10 in time for her wedding the next year.

After her nuptials the singer ended up putting the weight back on but then it changed yet again when she had daughter Daisy.

‘Then I lost it again. Then I gained it again. God, it’s awful isn’t it?’ says Claire.

Since her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in January 2013 the mum-of-two has slowly got back into shape and hopes to maintain her current figure.

‘I don’t want to struggle to run around after my kids,’ she tells the Mirror. ‘The reality of being big is you have a few more aches and pains.

‘In the morning I was almost in agony walking down the stairs because my ankles would hurt.’

And despite the upsetting news about her baby struggles, Claire and hubby Reece remain positive.

‘My husband is in the same mind as me, really, he said to not blame myself. When the doctor first told me, I was annoyed at myself and then upset and horrified I might have caused the problem,’ she explains.

‘But I have become calmer about things and we are counting our blessings.

‘We are very lucky to have a family and all be together in a house we love. I have to remind myself some people don’t have any of those things, so I never take it for granted and have stopped beating myself up over it.’

Claire Richards’ weight loss story in pictures