"I felt very alone," Nancy Kerrigan tells PEOPLE of privately dealing with a series of six miscarriages

By Patrick Gomez
April 11, 2017 01:37 PM

 

Nancy Kerrigan spent eight years privately suffering through a series of six “devastating” miscarriages — but she refuses to be silent about her pain anymore.

“It’s something you didn’t talk about then. People didn’t talk about miscarriages, so I felt very alone,” says the two-time Olympic figure skater and current Dancing with the Stars competitor, who is featured in the upcoming issue of PEOPLE.

Kerrigan, 47, says she felt “ashamed” about her fertility issues and believes her problems — which occurred in between the 1996 birth of her son Matthew and 2005 birth of her son Brian — were made worse by keeping her struggle a secret.

Damian Strohmeyer /Sports Illustrated/Getty

“I think talking about any issue makes things less stressful. It helps you to realize you’re not the only one and that other people go through the same things,” says Kerrigan, who also has daughter Nicole, 8, with husband Jerry Solomon.

RELATED VIDEO: Highlights from Dancing With The Stars: Most Memorable Year

  • For more from Kerrigan — including how she coped with the media attention after she was clubbed in the knee just weeks before the 1994 Winter Olympics — pick up the upcoming issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“People don’t like to talk about being pregnant until later on but I think people should tell people early because it’s a very emotional thing, waiting to see if it works,” says Kerrigan, who relied on in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant with Brian and Nicole.

“I just feel like if you talk about it, people have more of an understanding what you’re going through and maybe can understand why you might be emotional or why you might be in a bad mood,” she continues. “No one should feel alone though that process.”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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