She wants to be a mother.
Smirnoff has had her share of failed relationships, including one with fellow "Dancing" pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, so being a mother - let alone getting married - seemed a long way off.
Despite that, Smirnoff has taken steps to ensure motherhood happens when she meets the right man. She has frozen her eggs.
In an interview with ABC News' Abbie Boudreau, Smirnoff, 35, said it was "natural" for a woman to want to be a mother.
"My profession is dancing," she said. "I've been concentrating on my career for a long time. And I love what I do. But I know I want to be a mother one day."
In a process which she documents in a series of video journals, Smirnoff has blood drawn to get her estrogen levels checked, then injects herself - after several hesitating moments - with the estrogen in preparation for having her eggs extracted and frozen for later fertilization.
After 12 days of injections, she's was ready for the egg retrieval.
Her doctor, David Tourgeman, explained that ideally the procedure should be done before a woman is 35.
In the personal videos, Smirnoff, dressed in a hospital gown and cap, explains that she will undergo general anesthesia for the extraction procedure.
"This is it. It's about to happen," she said, adding: "Feeling good, I'm excited."
Video taken after the procedure shows a sleepy Smirnoff, who sends a small wave with her eyes closed.
"Karina's procedure went very well," Tourgeman said, adding that 21 eggs were extracted.
The frozen eggs can last indefinitely, he said.
Smirnoff explained the procedure's effect on her.
"You feel empowered by the fact that you were able to give yourself an opportunity to not have to worry about your biological clock," she said.