Gabrielle Union has been a champion for women who have struggled with infertility.
The 45-year-old actress has gone into detail about her struggles with getting pregnant, her ineffective cycles of IVF, and has even revealed that she has suffered “8 or 9 miscarriages.” And while the We Need More Wine author has been candid about her ordeal, there is no doubt everything she has gone through has taken its toll.
Speaking at the BlogHer conference in NYC, Union recently discussed her struggles but also revealed that she finally has more clarity as to what is actually happening with her body.
After a slew of misdiagnoses, the doctors were finally able to pinpoint the exact cause of her infertility: Adenomyosis.
Adenomyosis is a gynecologic medical condition defined as the abnormal presence of endometrial tissue, the inner lining of the uterus, growing within the myometrium, or the thick, muscular layer of the uterus.
While it is similar to endometriosis and can occur at the same time, they are two distinct conditions. Like endometriosis, adenomyosis presents with symptoms that include heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic pelvic pain, prolonged and painful periods, pain during intercourse, among other symptoms. 11-12% of women suffering from adenomyosis also experience fertilityissues.
Many of the symptoms she was experiencing were treatable with the use of birth control. Doctors wanted to help her control many of the symptoms, but the end goal of getting pregnant didn’t seem to be one of them.
The pill became a “mask” for the real underlying issue she was having. For anyone trying to get pregnant, the use of birth control is clearly not the answer, and we’re left wondering if this approach did more harm than good.
“Every doctor I saw was like let me put you on birth control. Right? The catch all. 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 anonymous.”