Gabrielle Union opened up about her struggles with IVF on Katie Lowes’ Katie’s Crib podcast.
Aside from trying to conceive, the actress had a medical condition that went unnoticed until one woman finally noticed. “I went undiagnosed through multiple rounds of IVF with different leading doctors in the field around the country,” she told Lowes. “Not until the last doctor, Dr. Kelly Baek in California. That first ultrasound, she was like, ‘Oh, so, you have Adenomyosis.”
Although this was Gabby’s first time hearing of this, Baek said it was “very pronounced.” “I would’ve never probably known had I not been on this fertility journey,” she said.
But looking back at it, Gabrielle’s menstrual cycle was a red flag. “When Dr. Baek started asking me more questions going back to my periods and what my experience was like with my periods as a younger woman,” she said, “I explained that I ended up getting on the pill not for birth control reasons, but because my periods were lasting like a third of the month and I was bleeding like I had been shot in the vagina.”
Adenomyosis “affects your ovarian reserve,” so it’s in the best interest of the fertility clinics for the patients to be clueless. “If you’re going in and no one’s diagnosing you correctly…A lot of places will offer older women or women who have these conditions that have been diagnosed rounds to basically bundle…so you might do… three rounds for this price because you’re not going to get a ton of eggs,” Union explained. “But, no one’s super clear or honest because that affects your business.”
After being properly diagnosed, the actress was able to gain clarity. “She just [was] honest for the first time that my road will be extremely challenging and the only way that I would be able to physically carry my baby myself is if I use this drug called Lupron,” Union said.
One negative side effect of the medication is brittle bones. “I live an active lifestyle. The roles I’m playing are very active and it only gives you, I think it’s like a 30 percent chance,” she told Lowes. “Do I run the risk of causing greater harm to my body for a 30 percent chance?”
At that point she began considering surrogacy and fortunately had the support of her husband. “My husband was like, ‘Babe, I want you,'” she recalled Dwayne Wade saying. “‘I want you as much as you want this baby. I want you. Let’s pump the brakes and think about this and make a family decision.'”
They welcomed their first child together, Kaavia James, via surrogate on Nov. 7, 2018