UFC Champ Katlyn Cerminara Admits Miscarriage and Infertility Struggles Are 'Harder Than Any Fight'

The UFC fighter is getting candid about her struggles to get pregnant, and how trolls painfully mocked her weight gain while she was doing IVF

<p>Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty</p> Katlyn Cerminara in March, 2024

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty

Katlyn Cerminara in March, 2024

UFC star Katlyn Cerminara is used to winning — in fact, she's been so successful in her fighting career that she's tied for most wins in UFC Women's Flyweight division history.

But when it comes to getting pregnant, Cerminara, 35, has faced endless struggles. On the Friday, May 10 episode of the Infertile AF podcast, the fighter got candid with host and book author Alison Prato about how painful the process has been, noting, "It's been harder than any of my fights."

“I had an IUD, and I was like, the week after my fight, I thought 'I'm gonna take it out, and I'm gonna get pregnant the next week," she explains, of deciding with her husband Kyle Cerminara to try for a baby — and assuming it would be easy.

Related: Infertility Podcast Offers Support for Women Trying to Conceive: 'It's OK to Talk About This'

"I went into it very naively and hopeful...we tried for like three months and it didn't work."

She says that they went to a fertility doctor who told them everything looked great and to just keep trying. "They kept saying, ‘You're so young, you're so young, you're so young.’ I was like, ‘You keep saying that, and it's kind of pissing me off because I’m not getting pregnant.'"

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<p>Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty</p> Katlyn Cerminara punches Maycee Barber in a flyweight fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty

Katlyn Cerminara punches Maycee Barber in a flyweight fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024

Related: 12 Celebrities on Dealing with Infertility

She says she decided to get more answers from a different fertility doctor, who suggested intrauterine insemination (IUI).

“We did IUI four times, and it didn't work, and that's when I was like, ‘Wait a minute. This isn't working? I thought for sure this was gonna work.’ That was the first time I was like, ‘Wait, this might be harder than I thought.’"

When IUI didn't work after the fourth time, she and Kyle decided to take the next steps and try in vitro fertilization (IVF).

"I don't want to waste any more time," she says.

Unfortunately, after three rounds of IVF, the athlete still didn't find success — she also experienced a chemical pregnancy and a miscarriage. She says despite the pain of miscarriage, they are continuing with the journey and are about to do a fresh transfer again.

Related: Adrienne Bailon Reveals All Her IVF Treatments Cost 'Easily Over a Million': 'Not Realistic' (Exclusive)

Despite the angst of not being pregnant yet, Cerminara says glad she's sharing her story.

“The day I opened up to the media about it, two other girls who work in the UFC came up to me crying and were like, 'Oh my god, I'm doing the same thing.’ And even just that one little moment of having that camaraderie, feeling like you’re not alone, is very helpful. I even had a girl I've competed against before reach out, and she was in the exact same situation as me," Cermanara says.

"I thought, ‘If I can help anyone else...' And it is kind of hard lying about everything all the time with my career," she says, of not explaining why she took a break from fighting.

She did say that one of the worst parts of the entire journey was the public shaming over the weight gained from IVF.

"I don't want to be superficial, but the hardest part about it for me was the comments... I had people be like, ‘Wow, you look so heavy.' Or, ‘Are you pregnant? She's definitely pregnant. She hasn't fought, and look how heavy she looks.’"

She adds, "Obviously this is while you’re pumped up with all these hormones and so emotional, going through all this stuff. For me, the hardest part was that. Not talking about it and hiding it almost made it harder. If I'd been able to say, ‘Hey, this is what i'm going through’ then people wouldn't have made those comments.”

She adds that seeing others go through a similar experience on TikTok has also helped her.

“I learned more from women who are doing daily posts on TikTok than I have from the doctors," she says. "Simple tips, tricks or even just seeing people doing it almost normalizes it more, so it's not so awful."

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