"Instead of feeling ashamed, we need to give ourselves more love," writes Erin Andrews, who says she's been doing in vitro fertilization treatments since she was 35

Advertisement
Erin Andrews
Credit: Al Messerschmidt/Getty

Erin Andrews is opening up about fertility struggles and why it's important for her to be candid about her journey.

The veteran sports broadcaster, 43, writes in a new personal essay on Bulletin about undergoing a seventh round of in vitro fertilization (IVF), which she describes as a "time-consuming and emotionally draining process" and she's been "going through these treatments since I was 35 years old."

"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," writes Andrews, who is married to former NHL player Jarret Stoll.

"Every cycle is different in a woman's body, so some months are better than others," she continues. "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 explains that in her line of work "women feel the need to keep things like this quiet," though she says 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 says, later adding, "I am not ashamed, and I want to be vocal and honest about this."

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

The star says she is "right there with all these other women" going through fertility struggles: "It's 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."

Speaking on the emotional and physical toll of the process, Andrews writes, "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. I think that's why a lot of people choose to be quiet about it."

"You never know who else is going through this; it could be another coworker or the person making your coffee every day. There are more people than you think," she says. "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, 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."

In 2016, Andrews was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent successful surgery.

Andrews told Bustle in March about family planning: "My husband and I missed the whole social circle where people commiserate about their kids, homeschool, all that stuff," she said at the time. "We're going to have kids in the next couple of years, so maybe we'll be in a different social scene."