Michelle Obama used in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive her 2 daughters after she suffered a miscarriage 20 years ago, according to her new memoir.
The former U.S. first lady opened up about her fertility issues in her new memoir, Becoming, which is set to hit bookstores on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
She also discussed her IVF procedures in an interview with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, that aired on Friday morning.
During the interview, Michelle, 54, told Robin that she had a miscarriage 20 years ago and felt “lost and alone” at the time.
“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” she said. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken… That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s important to talk to young mothers about the fact that miscarriages happen.”
Michelle, who surrendered her law license before her husband Barack Obama became President in 2009, added that she realized her biological clock was ticking at the age of 34 when “egg production is limited”.
So she underwent IVF to conceive Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17, long before IVF became a routine procedure for well-to-do women who seek to experience motherhood after 35.
“I realized that as I was 34 and 35, we had to do IVF,” Michelle said, adding that she hopes that her story will help other women undergoing fertility treatments.
“I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work,” she said.
She also shared that she and Barack, 57, turned to counseling when their marriage began to fail.
“Marriage counseling for us was one of those ways where we learned how to talk out our differences,” she told Roberts. “I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there’s something wrong with them. And I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage. And we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
“Becoming Michelle: A First Lady’s Journey with Robin Roberts” will air as part of an ABC News special on Sunday.
Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Image