Erin Andrews is going through her seventh round of IVF, and she doesn’t want others who have experienced fertility struggles to feel alone.
In a new essay on Bulletin on Wednesday, the sports broadcaster opened up about her difficult process of trying to start a family, revealing that she’s been going through IVF since she was 35.
“It’s a time-consuming and emotionally draining process,” she shared of in vitro fertilization. “This is my 7th one, and I’ve been going through these treatments since I was 35 years old.”
“I’m now 43, so my body is kind of stacked against me. I have been trying to do IVF treatment for a while now, but sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want it. Your body just doesn’t allow it,” she wrote. “Every cycle is different in a woman’s body, so some months are better than others. When I heard this was the best time to go through another treatment, I had to figure it out all over again. How am I going to juggle this treatment on top of my work schedule? I got so stressed out. When this happens, it really makes you question: is it the future of my family or is it my job?”
Andrews, who is married to former NHL player Jarret Stoll, said she works in an industry where she believes “women feel the need to keep things like this quiet.”
“There are so many other women who maybe put their careers on the back burner because they don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. It’s so common that people are starting families late and put so many other aspects of their lives on hold,” she said.
The reporter noted that those undergoing IVF are on a “team that no one wants to be a part of.” “We’re all going through this and having a tough time. It can be so isolating, but in reality, we are all there together,” she expressed.
“You could go through this whole experience and get absolutely nothing out of it — that’s the crazy part. It’s a ton of money, it’s a ton of time, it’s a ton of mental and physical anguish. And more times than not, they’re unsuccessful,” she continued. “I think that’s why a lot of people choose to be quiet about it. Because maybe we feel as if this is something we have to do, and we don’t want to jinx it. On the other hand, we can also feel like we’re a failure as females or to our partners. But we are all warriors for going through this! The fertility clinic can sometimes be so full, it’s heartbreaking, but we really aren’t alone here. You never know who else is going through this; it could be another co-worker or the person making your coffee every day. There are more people than you think.”
“Now that it’s my seventh time, something just hit me. Why am I keeping this such a secret when this is just a part of our lives?” she asked. “Instead of feeling ashamed, we need to give ourselves more love. It freaking sucks, because it can seem like it’s such a lonely thing. There are so many of us going through this though, and it’s just not talked about.”
Andrews is a cervical cancer survivor, and in a 2017 interview with Health magazine, she opened up about how it forced her and Stoll to talk about family planning early in their relationship.
“It was a huge step for my relationship with my boyfriend at the time,” Andrews said. “Because you don’t know if a guy is going to want to sit in with an oncologist and see, ‘OK, so this is your cervix, and this is your uterus, and we are cutting out this part…'”
“We hadn’t even been discussing marriage,” she continued. “We hadn’t discussed babies! It really puts things on the fast track for you — because you have an oncologist saying to you, ‘We highly recommend that you guys do your embryos right now, freeze them.’ I’m like, ‘Hi, hon. I love you. I hope we’re spending our lives together.’ And he was amazing.”
The former “Dancing With the Stars” co-host also opened up about her desire to be a mom.
“I grew up in the South. People were getting married at 21; I had my first major job at 21, and I was missing everybody’s weddings because I was doing football games and baseball games,” Andrews explains. “I had never been to Europe until two years ago — I’ve gone to all the sports cities, but I’d never had a life for myself. I want to continue doing more, but it’s going to be shaped toward how I want to have this family and how I do want to have kids. I think it’s possible that I’ll be able to have a kid and be able to do this for a living. We’re just gonna have to figure out how,” she shared.
See what Andrews told ET about her cervical cancer battle in the video below.
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