Gabrielle Union has revealed a diagnosis that has affected her fertility.
Essence reported that the actress, book author, wife and stepmother spoke candidly about being diagnosed with adenomyosis at the BlogHer conference in New York City.
“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,’” she said. “The reality is, I actually have adenomyosis.”
According to the Seckin Endometriosis Center in New York, adenomyosis is a form of endometriosis that causes the tissue that forms the lining of the uterus grow into the uterus muscle, damaging the uterus wall.
“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 nine or 10 days and you’re bleeding through overnight pads? Not a mere inconvenience, perhaps there’s something more there,’” Union said.
The 45-year-old, who has been married to NBA player Dwyane Wade since 2014, said although her symptoms were clear, doctors kept giving her ineffective solutions.
“Every doctor I saw was like, ‘Let me put you on birth control,’” Union said. “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. The pill can mask all kinds of things. It is amazing at preventing pregnancy; not so great with addressing adenomyosis.”
Union has been open about her challenges to conceive in the past. She wrote in her book “We’re Going to Need More Wine” that she had “eight or nine miscarriages.” She discussed her experience with in vitro fertilization on “The Dr. Oz Show” in July.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant,” she said. “I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
Union offered support to others at the New York conference, saying, “Just know if you are out there having fertility issues — you are not alone.”