Gabrielle Union has spoken unabashedly about her attempt to conceive using IVF, the multiple miscarriages she’s had, and not giving up completely on having children with husband Dwayne Wade. And this time, the actress is once again opening up to reveal the cause of all her fertility issues.
During a conversation at the 2018 #BlogHer conference on Wednesday, the 45-year-old revealed she recently found out after years of trying and some terrible menstrual cycles, that she has a condition called adenomyosis, a type of endometriosis which affects the uterus and has left her infertile.
“Towards the end of my fertility journey I finally got some answers, because everyone said ‘You’re a career woman, you’ve prioritized your career, you waited too long and now you’re just too old to have a kid — and that’s on you for wanting a career.’ The reality is I actually have adenomyosis,” she confessed. “The gag is I had it in my early 20s, and instead of someone diagnosing me they were like ‘Oh you have periods that last 9 or 10 days and you’re bleeding through overnight pads? Not a mere inconvenience perhaps there’s something more there.’”
Adenomyosis is a condition in which tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus causing chronic pain, heavy periods and difficulty getting pregnant. The only way to definitively diagnose, as well as cure, adenomyosis is with a hysterectomy, though it’s unclear if Union had a hysterectomy.
Despite her troubling symptoms, doctor’s answer to Gabrielle’s problem was always birth control. “Every doctor I saw was like let me put you on birth control,” she explained to the crowd. “The catch all,” Gabrielle added. “Note: if you are on birth control for anything other than birth control, to address or treat any sort of period issue you are not actually treating or addressing a period or reproductive issue. You are masking it.”
Union also shared a message of support for others experiencing fertility challenges: “Just know if you are out there having fertility issues — you are not alone.”