During Thursday’s episode of The Talk, the discussion was about fertility issues. The conversation was inspired by 29-year-old actress Emma Roberts, who is pregnant now, sharing how she had to get her eggs frozen in her late 20s after endometriosis impacted her fertility. The hosts and guest hosts shared their stories and those of people they know who have dealt with fertility issues or were made to feel like they wouldn’t be able to have children because of their age or past uterine diseases.
After Sharon Osbourne talked about a woman she knows who had her first child at 50, Eve felt comfortable sharing her own story.
“Hearing that for me Mrs. O, that gives me so much hope,” she said. “I think as women we’re always told when you reach a certain age, ‘You’re too old. You should have done this then.'”
The rapper, actress and TV host said she’s been doing some reading, specifically of a book called It Starts with the Egg to educate herself. She also revealed that she took a big step earlier this year of having a myomectomy to help get rid of fibroids, and in turn, improve her fertility.
“For me, I’m 42 now. My Husband and I, we’ve been trying and trying and trying and trying,” she said. “We’ve been doing certain things and for me, I understand where Emma was coming from with the endometriosis because at the beginning of the year, you ladies know…I had a procedure called a myomectomy that gets rid of fibroids.”
The star said she was sharing her story in the hopes of helping other women so they can speak up to their doctor if they’re dealing with similar circumstances that could have greater consequences than we all realize.
“I used to have these horrible periods. And I’m only saying this to say, there’s a lot of women out there that think, we were told that periods are supposed to be painful. They’re not,” she said. “Go to your doctor, and if they don’t believe you, go to another doctor.”
These types of messages are very important to hear, and I say that from experience. If more and more women in the public eye and in my everyday life hadn’t come forward with their own reproductive health issues, I would never have had an inkling that I was suffering from fibroids and advocated for myself to get an MRI to prove it.
Ahead of that discovery, I’d spent a couple of years trying to get pregnant, which was a complete mind warp after working so hard before I got married to not get pregnant. But after more than a year with no success, I sought out help and found out I had a very complicated fibroid, a submucosal one. I was encouraged to get a myomectomy. When I scheduled my procedure, I was shocked to find out weeks before the date that I was miraculously pregnant. Because of that, I thought maybe my fibroid had not been that big of a deal after all.
And then I miscarried.
It was a brutal time. A year later, and with a new doctor (like Eve), I got a laparoscopic myomectomy done after I was told that I miscarried because my fibroid was sucking up everything the baby would have required and was too much in the way for conception to happen again. So I had it removed, along with a few others the surgeon found. After the fact, I was told that during surgery they found endometriosis as well. Thankfully, my doctor removed what she could of that on top of my fibroids. A little over a year later, I delivered my first child via C-section.
Women who shared their stories, in the press and personally with me, gave me the inspiration to know that one day I would conceive because they did, no matter their age, number of fibroids or circumstances. Eve is feeling that same wave of hope now. If people hadn’t shared their experiences, I would have just continued assuming I had a heavy, clotting period like every other Black woman I knew wearing overnight pads during the day and asking for ibuprofen to get through work.
It was one of the best decisions I made, not only because of the child I now have, but also because I no longer wake up in the wee hours of the morning with cramps and numb legs because of my fibroids and endometriosis. Granted, both could return, but at least from here on out, I finally know what I’m dealing with.
So kudos to Eve for not being afraid to share her story, or to hope. Someone will certainly benefit from her journey. Perhaps they too will go to a doctor, or maybe two, to finally get the answers they need.
Check out other well-known women who’ve opened up about their own issues with fibroids, endometriosis and other uterine diseases/issues and how that affected their fertility and day-to-day life by hitting the flip:
The RHOA star dealt with fibroids that caused her to miscarry in the past, and that impacted her pregnancy while carrying daughter PJ.
“I’ve had a miscarriage before in my past, which I’ve also been open about because I suffer with fibroids and had to have a myomectomy,” she told PEOPLE in 2019 while announcing her pregnancy. She was briefly hospitalized while pregnant due to her uterine fibroids. “So just the fear of, ‘Is the baby going to be okay? Will I make it full term?’ All those questions that you ask if you’ve had a miscarriage before.”
The actress has been very open about her experience with endometriosis.
“I’m with the love of my life, Corey, who’s my husband now. We were talking about getting married and having kids, and when I first learned that there was a possibility I could not have children — mind blown,” she said on her YouTube vlog in 2019.
“I just started to create recipes and cook at home — and lo, and behold that’s how Whole New You was created,” she said of her cookbook. “I truly believe, and so does my doctor, because I followed those guidelines, I was able to have my son, Cree.”
RHOA star Kenya Moore dealt with fibroids and had to have several myomectomies. Eventually, she was able to have daughter Brooklyn with her husband Marc Daly. She did say that she wished family members who would later reveal their own past issues with fibroids, would have said something much sooner when she was much younger.
“I really resented the fact that I couldn’t talk to family about all of this. No one had ever told me what fibroids were—but they’re hereditary so I knew it was likely that someone in my family was familiar with them,” she wrote in Women’s Health. “Many of the women had children young, so fertility was never a conversation. But when I finally did bring up my issue, I learned that a few of my kin developed fibroids later in life and needed hysterectomies. If we’d had those conversations when I was younger, maybe I would’ve gotten help for mine sooner.”
The singer revealed in 2017 that she had surgery, eight hours worth, to remove endometriosis, cysts and fibroids. She shared that information she said, to make other women more aware of their reproductive health.
“My reason for sharing is because we, as women, are built to be warriors and we will ignore something that seems so simple that can be so complex,” she told PEOPLE “Your uterine health is very important. I spoke up about it so people out there who are going through the same thing know that they’re not alone.”
“One thing I’ve learned throughout this particular journey is that you have to listen to your body, and you have to listen to your doctor,” she added “which means you have to know, respect and understand them; it’s a relationship that’s very important.”
The actress, who has been vocal about her struggles to conceive before choosing to have daughter Kaavia with help from a surrogate, said she found out not long ago that adenomyosis could have been what was holding her back all this time.
“Towards the end of my fertility journey I finally got some answers, because 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. The reality is I actually have adenomyosis,” she said. “The gag is I had it in my early 20s, and instead of someone diagnosing me they were like ‘Oh you have periods that last 9 or 10 days and you’re bleeding through overnight pads? Not a mere inconvenience perhaps there’s something more there.'”
Back in 2015, singer Chrisette Michele shared that she found out she was suffering from multiple uterine health issues, including PCOS, fibroids and endometriosis.
“My cramps were so bad every month that sometimes – this happened twice within a couple years’ span – I had to be rushed off of an airplane or an airplane had to land to rush me to the hospital because I was in that much pain,” she said to BlackDoctor.org. “So after some time I decided there’s no way this is normal. And so, so many of my sisters – by ‘sisters’ I just mean girls in the struggle – were like, ‘You know what? That happens to me,’ and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to talk to my doctor about this.’”
In 2019, the Married to Medicine star shared that she had a minimally invasive procedure done to deal with fibroids after she was diagnosed with 10 of them.
“I clearly saw and felt the changes in my body,” she said. “The lower back pain and lower abdomen pain, frequent urination, heavier periods. It was tough.”
Before she had the procedure though, the diagnosis shook her.
“When I first learned of that information, I cried. I sat right there and I cried in the doctor’s office and so much began to go through my mind,” she said. “I’m in my late 30s, I don’t have a child yet, I truly do desire a daughter and I don’t know how bad this is. It could possibly not happen for me. That’s what I was thinking.”
Love and Hip Hop Miami star Shay Johnson said she had to have surgery for a fibroid the size of a grapefruit that was making life very difficult for her.
“I had every last symptom X’s 10!” she wrote on Instagram in 2019. “Other symptoms included my anemia which increased because my iron was extremely low do to heavy long extended menstruals. My menstrual would last up to 14 days. When I was normal it was it six days. I was also advised at the rate my tumor was growing it would affect me having children. Not only that I started hemorrhaging and fainting which at that point I needed blood transfusions. This was the worst. I understand how common fibroids are in women but unfortunately I had a very bad case worse than average. I felt like something was growing in me bigger then a softball and it was growing monthly. I couldn’t sleep most nights as it got worst. Lastly as far as a Relationship well that was non existent for me because I was embarrassed and didn’t want to bring anyone into my situation. It took over my life at one point.”
In 2018, singer Ameriie revealed that when she delivered her son, she had to have a C-section because of a fibroid she had removed previously. When she first found out about her grapefruit sized benign tumor, she was shocked.
“I didn’t even know it was there, which is quite unusual because it was almost the size of a grapefruit,” she said.
She ended up having a myomectomy at the recommendation of her doctor, who said it would be necessary if she wanted to have children down the line.
“Because of the size and because fibroids get bigger when you’re pregnant,” she said, “it would get really uncomfortable and possibly cause early delivery.”
The singer and dancer revealed in 2018 that she had six large fibroids removed that left her in serious pain.
“I am a very private person as u all know and I have gone back and forth in my mind whether to share that this year I have been recovering from laparoscopic surgery to remove 6 fibroid tumours from my uterus,” she wrote on Instagram. “The tumours were pretty huge, the size of 2 cooking apples, 3 kiwis and a couple of [strawberries]. A fruit bowl of pain everyday. The nurse said that the weight and size was like being 6 months pregnant.”
Back in 2017, reality TV personality Toya Wright said that after some excessive bleeding and cramping, she found out she had a very large fibroid.
“I was nervous because at the time I didn’t know anything about fibroids,” Wright told PEOPLE. “My uterus is the size of the five-months pregnant woman.”
She opted to try and eat healthier to help with it, removing red meats, caffeine and fatty foods from her diet.
“I had to switch it up because I used to eat all types of stuff and I would just get bigger,” she said. “I had to scale back and eat healthier things like fish and salads.”