Behind Closed Doors: The Struggle to Conceive

As women we are valuable beyond measure. Not only do we have the ability to create life, but we also carry life within us.  Being able to bring another life into this world is what makes a woman’s anatomy so unique. Unfortunately many women don’t get to experience the beauty of pregnancy. According to Resolve, “1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining pregnancy.”

Within the past few weeks, a couple of celebrities have been very transparent about their struggles to conceive. Earlier this month actress Gabrielle Union revealed in her tell all book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, that she’s miscarried a multiple of times.  Union stated, “ I have had eight or nine 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.”

She further explained, “For so many women, and not just women in the spotlight, people feel very entitled to know, ‘Do you want kids?’ 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 went on to express the sensitivity of the subject matter and that she hopes her openness will bring awareness to fertility issues, letting other women know they’re not alone.

In addition to Gabrielle Union, former Olympian Shawn Johnson and her husband Andrew East took to their YouTube channel to share a video, where they reveal they recently had a miscarriage.  Johnson took to Instagram sharing, “This is by far the hardest video we’ve ever posted but we felt as though it was a story that needed to be shared as so many struggle with the same thing.”

The video pregnancy + heartbreak highlights Johnson’s and East’s journey as they find out they are expecting, all the way up to being told they’ve miscarried at the doctor’s office. In a blog post Johnson expressed, “ The past 48 hours have been some of the happiest, scariest, and saddest times of my life.” Johnson felt it was necessary to be as transparent as possible, being there are many women going through the same thing. She wanted couples to know they are not alone.  The couple received such a great deal of support, that they took to Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook to go live to thank their fans and answer any questions.

Fertility issues are very relevant, but often not discussed enough, even amongst women. To often do we silence communities because they don’t feel comfortable speaking up in the environment we provide. We as women need to do better to provide an open and safe place for women to express their conception struggles. A place where one won’t feel judge, misunderstood, or isolated. This starts with recognition and bringing awareness to the issue. Our society has to be more welcoming and comforting to those who are struggling to conceive. As more women become transparent, and begin to share their story, it is hoped that no woman will feel isolated again.