Gabrielle Union is the latest celebrity to speak out about infertility, following in the footsteps of women like Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, and Sarah Jessica Parker. In her new memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, which hits the shelves October 17 and was recently excerpted by People, the actress reveals she and husband Dwyane Wade have suffered multiple miscarriages over the course of several years.
“I have had eight or nine miscarriages,” she writes. “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.”
While Union has spoken publicly about undergoing IVF treatments before, this is the first time she has opened up about the miscarriages and the extent of her struggle to get pregnant. Union also reveals that she wasn’t sure she wanted children until she married Wade in 2014 and began helping to raise his three sons.
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’” she told People. “A lot of people, especially people that have fertility issues, just say ‘no’ because that’s a lot easier than being honest about whatever is actually going on. People mean so well, but they have no idea the harm or frustration it can cause.”
Union is far from alone in her battle with infertility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 12.1% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 have impaired fecundity, while 6.7% of married women within the same age range are infertile. Despite these stats, there’s still an intense stigma surrounding a woman’s inability to reproduce. When women like Union, who have a built-in platform, are able to be open about their struggles with infertility, it makes it easier for other women to do the same.