Gabrielle Union has been very open about her life, even to the point of talking about her struggles with infertility. The actress has opened up about her struggles with the pain from several miscarriages and failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) trials. She revealed most of these battles in her memoir “We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True.”
Most recently the 45-year-old actress, decided to reveal the medical reasons that has caused the miscarriages and unsuccessful fertility treatments. She opened up at the BlogHer conference in New York City about her medical condition- the doctors have diagnosed her with adenomyosis, a benign form of endometriosis. This is a condition in which the cells that are meant to grow outwards into the uterus lining, begin to instead grow inward into the uterus muscle and can ultimately cause infertility. Speaking at the event she said that the diagnosis finally provided her with “answers.”
“Fertility is not an older women issue, it is an issue period. Towards the end of my fertility journey, I finally got some answers, because everyone had just sort of chalked it up to ‘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.
And she continued giving her remarks at BlogHer conference in New York City, she added, “The reality is I actually have adenomyosis. There is nothing you can do about adenomyosis. The gag is that I had adenomyosis in my early 20s.”
Opening up and sharing her condition has given hope to many women who are struggling with the same issues without answers. Breaking down the condition, its symptoms and treatments, ABC News writes, “The cause of adenomyosis is not fully understood. Some experts believe that it happens when normal cells invade the muscle of the uterus during a cesarean section, uterine surgery, or post-partum bleeding for example. Another theory is that in young baby girls, the tissues simply migrate abnormally. Risk factors include prior uterine surgery such as fibroid removal or cesarean section. Childbirth causing postpartum bleeding and movement of the endometrial lining can also be a risk factor. The biggest risk factor is being of middle age and older. Twenty percent of cases involve women younger than 40 years old and 80 percent involve women who are between 40-50 years of age. Long-term exposure to estrogen can also increase the risk of having adenomyosis.”
What many people especially women can learn from the actress, is that despite having such uterine conditions; they can still live a fulfilled life. And somehow sharing her story, Union has given hope to many women out there.
And to many who are probably wondering how the condition is diagnosed. There are a number of ways, but it is not a simple task. Reports have it that, “ A doctor can base the diagnosis on the combination of increased bleeding and pain but a pelvic exam to help identify an enlarged and tender uterus can also help. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the uterus are non-invasive ways to precisely identify where and how much adenomyosis is in the uterus. A uterine biopsy, though not always sensitive, is an invasive way to diagnose adenomyosis.”