Erin Andrews is opening up about her journey to motherhood and wants others with similar experiences to know they aren't in it alone.
In a personal essay posted to Bulletin on Aug. 25, the NFL sportscaster, 43, shared details about her in vitro fertilization (IVF) journey, revealing that she's currently undergoing her seventh round of treatment. In her moving narrative, Andrews shared the feelings she has experienced during her process, explaining that it has been "time-consuming" and "emotionally draining."
"This is my 7th one, and I've been going through these treatments since I was 35 years old," she wrote. "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. Every cycle is different in a woman's body, so some months are better than others."
Explaining the complications of juggling time between her treatments and the demands of her professional career, Erin continued, "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?"
In 2017, Andrews opened up about undergoing another difficult medical procedure, revealing that she had undergone successful surgeries as a result of battling cervical cancer. The Dancing With The Stars alum, who married former NHL player Jarret Stoll in December 2012, explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2019 that the experience made "conversations about babies very real."
Touching on the toll the process can take both physically and emotionally in her essay, Andrews wrote, "You feel like s--t. You feel bloated and hormonal for a week and a half. 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."
Andrews said she wanted to go public in order to break the stigma surrounding infertility.
"I think that's why a lot of people choose to be quiet about it," she added. "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."
Concluding her open letter with a silver lining of strength, Andrews continued, "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? Instead of feeling ashamed, we need to give ourselves more love."
"It freaking sucks," she added. "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. I'd love to help change the conversation here so people feel they can be more open."