It’s no longer news that American actress, Gabrielle Union Wade has been struggling with infertility.
The 45-year-old actress has always been open about her struggles with infertility, revealing in her memoir- “We’re Going to Need More Wine” that she had had eight or nine miscarriages,” and countless rounds of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
However, at an event n New York City last week, the actress who is married to Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. 36, an American professional basketball player revealed that she had been diagnosed with Adenomyosis, a form of endometriosis that often results in infertility, ABC News reports. The diagnosis finally provided her with “answers,” she admitted.
”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,'” she said. “‘And that’s on you for wanting a career.'”
“The reality is I actually have adenomyosis,” she added. “There is nothing you can do about adenomyosis.”
Gabrielle always felt that she had been misdiagnosed. The actress says she spent a lot of time trying to get pregnant with the help of IVF but to no avail. She declares she felt like “a prisoner” to her efforts.
”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.
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.”
Speaking at the BlogHer conference in New York, the ‘Being Mary Jane’ star added:
“The gag is I had it in my early 20s. Instead of diagnosing me, [doctors] were like ‘Oh you have periods that last 9 or 10 days and you’re bleeding through overnight pads … perhaps there’s something more there.’ Every doctor I saw was like let me put you on birth control.
Speaking further, Gabrielle who helps her dad-of-3 husband, Dwayne raise his nephew, Dhaveon Morris and sons, Zaire and Zion from a previous marriage said:
“For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, [they ask] ‘Do you want kids?’See Also
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.”
What is Adenomyosis?
It is a condition in which endometrial tissue exists within and grows into the uterine wall. Simply put, Adenomyosis occurs when tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus is found outside the uterus – specifically in the muscle layers around it. It most often occurs late in childbearing years and typically disappears after menopause.
What are the symptoms?
What are the risk factors?
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. 20% of cases involve women younger than 40 years and 80% involve women who are between 40-50 years old. Long-term exposure to estrogen can also increase the risk of having Adenomyosis.
How is Adenomyosis diagnosed?
There are a number of ways to diagnose this disease, but it can be difficult as other conditions have similar signs and symptoms. 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.
How is Adenomyosis treated?
Anti-inflammatory drugs — like ibuprofen — are used to help with the pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. Hormone medication such as combined estrogen-progestin birth control pills, vaginal rings, or hormonal patches may help lessen the heavy bleeding and pain. Some women may opt for hysterectomy or removal of the uterus, as this is the only way to completely cure the condition.