Actress Jennifer Aniston has lashed out at constant speculation suggesting she chose her career over motherhood, insisting the unfounded reports are "rude, insulting and ignorant".

The former Friends star, 45, claims the pressure placed on women, particularly those in the spotlight, to settle down and start a family is unfair - and she's had enough of the gossip.

Brad Pitt's ex-wife tells Allure magazine, "I don't like (the pressure) that people put on me, on women - that you've failed yourself as a female because you haven't procreated.

"I don't think it's fair. You may not have a child come out of your vagina, but that doesn't mean you aren't mothering - dogs, friends, friends' children.

"This continually is said about me: that I was so career-driven and focused on myself that I don't want to be a mother, and how selfish that is.

"I have a lot of friends who decided not to have children, who can't have children, or are trying but are having a difficult time. There's all sorts of reasons why children aren't in people's lives, and no one has the right to assume.

"It's quite rude, insulting and ignorant."

Aniston is currently engaged to wed actor Justin Theroux.