Gabrielle Union reveals infertility struggle: 'My body has been a prisoner'

The "Being Mary Jane" actress said she had "eight or nine" miscarriages.

ByABC News
October 4, 2017, 8:15 AM

— -- Actress Gabrielle Union revealed that she struggled with infertility in her new memoir, writing that her "body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant."

"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," the actress wrote of her struggles with in vitro fertilization in an excerpt published in People magazine from her upcoming book.

"I have endured eight failed IVF cycles, with my body constantly bloated from these hormones," the "Being Mary Jane" star added.

Union, 44, also revealed that she has had "eight or nine miscarriages."

She wrote that she never wanted children before she married her husband, NBA star Dwyane Wade.

"Each attempt at IVF is a loving action. So we remain here, bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we've both dreamed of," she wrote in the book, according to People magazine.

Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN, appeared live on "Good Morning America" today to discuss what women should know about infertility, especially when they are in their 40s.

Women are born with a set number of eggs, and their fertility declines over time, according to Shepherd. In your 20s, you have a 25 percent chance of getting pregnant every month and in your 30s that declines to a roughly 10 percent chance. In your 40s that will decrease to approximately a 5 percent chance of getting pregnant every month, Shepherd said.

Union writes that she has tried IVF eight times, and said that she experienced bloating as a side effect. Shepherd said that everyone is different when they go through IVF, but there is a risk of side effects or complications from the procedures and the hormones. The hormones sometimes cause changes in your mood or weight gain, according to Shepherd.

People often forget about the emotional toll that miscarriages and infertility can take, Shepherd added, saying that approximately two-thirds of women report feeling depressed after infertility treatment failure. Shepherd said that failure of IVF can also cause a strain on a couple, or put pressure on the stability of their relationship.

Shepherd recommends talking to your doctor early if you are worried about infertility, saying that you do have the option to freeze your eggs at a younger age if you want to put off having children. Using donor eggs is also an increasingly popular choice, according to Shepherd.

Union's book, "We're Going to Need More Wine," will be released on Oct. 17, and the actress will appear live on "GMA" to discuss it in two weeks.