In an excerpt of her upcoming memoir, “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” actress Gabrielle Union revealed that she has had a string of miscarriages.
“For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant — 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, who’s married to NBA star Dwyane Wade, is already a stepmom to his two sons from a previous marriage, Zaire and Zion. She told People that it was through raising them that she realized that she wanted to have a baby.
She also spoke up about the frustrations of being asked questions like, “Do you want kids?” and how impactful and harmful they can be for the 12 percent of women in the United States who experience infertility.
Immediately, people on social media reached out to and praised the actress for being so candid and honest about her experiences, and for calling attention to their shared pain:
I'm so glad she opened up about this. Miscarriages are so much more common than people think. https://t.co/VlTJaQD51W— Ang (@anshie___) October 4, 2017
@itsgabrielleu You are describing reality for my husband+me,too. You owed no one this honesty+I wish you continuing love,courage,+strength— Loren Gomez (@UKinNYC) October 4, 2017
The beauty of Gabrielle Union revealing this information is that she originally didn't want to be a mother but her time as a stepmom....— RUE107 (@RUE107) October 4, 2017
Thank you for sharing. I feel your pain completely. Love to you.— Tracey Vaughan (@tmfvaughan) October 5, 2017
I love Gabrielle Union so much more. I appreciate her for being honest about something so many women especially Black women deal with.— haiku shorty (@aneducatedgurl) October 4, 2017
Infertility doesn’t just impact the people who experience it physically — it has psychological effects, too. It can lead to and exacerbate anxiety and depression, issues which Harvard Medical School argues often go overlooked during the treatment process.
Thanks to public figures like Union speaking out about infertility — a once taboo subject — we might see these issues more thoroughly addressed in the future.
Kareem Yasin is a writer and editor at Healthline. Outside of health and wellness, he is active in conversations about inclusivity in mainstream media, his homeland of Cyprus, and the Spice Girls. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram.