By Isabel Jones
Aug 14, 2018 @ 10:45 am

Gabrielle Union outlined her struggles with fertility in her must-read 2017 memoir We’re Going to Need More Wine, revealing that she’s had “eight or nine” miscarriages throughout the years.

Union, 45, expounded on the topic at the 2018 BlogHer conference in N.Y.C. on Aug. 8, explaining that when discussing her infertility, people often shamed her for not starting a family earlier. “Everyone said ‘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.'"

But, as it turns out, there’s a real, medical reason Gabrielle was unable to have children: adenomyosis.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Adenomyosis is a type of endometriosis that results in painful and elongated periods and chronic pelvic pain.

“The gag is I had it in my early 20s,” Union said of her adenomyosis, adding that doctors were always reluctant to provide a diagnosis for her symptoms.

“Instead of diagnosing me they 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,’” she recanted. “Every doctor I saw was like let me put you on birth control.”

Unsurprisingly, birth control did not get to the heart of Union’s issue.

“The pill can mask all kinds of things,” she told the crowd. “It is amazing at preventing pregnancy; not so great with addressing adenomyosis.”

Though Union cannot have biological children of her own, she’s the proud stepmother of her NBA player husband Dwayne Wade’s sons.

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Union spoke with InStyle earlier this year about the bond she shares with Wade’s sons. “I would do anything for them,” she told us. "For all of us who have non-traditional families; for all of us who care for children that we did not birth, the nurturing and the care and the love will propel you to heights you didn’t think were possible."