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Gabrielle Union Claps Back at Doctors Who Treat All ‘Period Issues’ With Birth Control

If you’ve been prescribed birth control for “period issues” that treated your symptoms but not the root cause of your condition, you may relate to Gabrielle Union’s clap back at doctors who prescribed birth control instead of digging deeper into her health challenges.

The actress, who starred in “Bring It On,” “Breaking In” and the BET drama “Being Mary Jane,” spoke about her struggles with infertility at the BlogHer2018 Creators Summit conference on Wednesday. She revealed that she recently found out her infertility issues were due to adenomyosis, and, as she explained, “There is nothing you can do about adenomyosis.”

Adenomyosis is a condition in which tissue similar to that which lines the uterus grows into the muscular wall of the uterus causing chronic pain, heavy periods and difficulty getting pregnant. The only way to definitively diagnose, as well as cure, adenomyosis is with a hysterectomy, though it’s unclear if Union had a hysterectomy.

“The gag is, I had it in my early 20s,” she explained. “[I]nstead of someone diagnosing me they were like, ‘Oh you have periods that last nine or 10 days, and you’re bleeding through overnight pads?”

Despite her troubling symptoms, Union said doctors didn’t look into the problems she was having when she was younger, they just prescribed birth control:

Every doctor I saw was like, ‘Let me put you on birth control.’ Right? The catch-all? Note: if you are on birth control for anything other than birth control, to address or treat any sort of period issue, you are not actually treating or addressing a period or reproductive issue. You are masking it. The pill can mask all kinds of things. It is amazing at preventing pregnancy; not so great with addressing adenomyosis.

Some people find that hormonal birth control helps lessen symptoms of reproductive health conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) by regulating hormones and reducing the frequency of periods. However, birth control does not cure these conditions, so people may still experience flare-ups and complications.

Union also shared a message of support for others experiencing fertility challenges: “Just know if you are out there having fertility issues — you are not alone.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Nick Step

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