More than 20 years ago, former first lady Michelle and former president Barack Obama underwent fertility treatments to conceive their two daughters. This news comes out of her upcoming memoir. The couple also suffered a miscarriage along the way. The former first lady recalls feeling alone and devastated following the tragedy.

“We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Mrs. Obama, 54, writes in “Becoming.” Her memoir was released in early November with a slew of positive reception across the market. She goes on to describe their early attempts at starting a family, “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage, which left me physically uncomfortable and cratered any optimism we felt.”

After this, the Obamas opted to undergo IVF therapy. The process involves removing eggs from the woman, fertilizing them with sperm in a lab, and then implanting the embryo. Most couples need more than one attempt at the cycle, with each one costing thousands of dollars.

“I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” said the former first lady in a Good Morning America interview. “We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Her remarks are indeed in line with the overall lack of discussion surrounding miscarriages. For women around the world who have had a miscarriage, the pain is all too real. Yet, society as a whole seems to sweep the issue under a rug due to the uncomfortable nature of the situation.

After the miscarriage the Obamas successfully used IVF treatments to conceive their two daughters. Sasha (17) and Malia (20) are both healthy young women. Her accounts of their family’s beginnings and the struggles that were faced offer hope to the millions of couples dealing with infertility.

It is estimated that nearly one in ten couples deals with infertility. This can be caused by many different disorders, genetic abnormalities, or may have no specific reason. Regardless, almost all cases can be treated by fertility specialists.

Infertility can also affect both men and women. Either one in a couple can be the “cause” of the trouble conceiving and there are different treatments available depending on which it is.

Unfairly, there is a stigma surrounding the condition in many circles of society. However, this is slowly going away as people become more open-minded about the process and as more and more healthy babies are born into happy families all over the world thanks to treatments like IVF. Now, the former first lady’s memoir will add to the driving force that is encouraging couples to seek out treatment for their infertility and take control of their reproductive health and future.

Source – Newsweek