Dame Laura Kenny has revealed that she suffered a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy in the last five months.
Posting on social media, the five-time Olympic gold medallist said that "life doesn’t always go to plan", and that it was the "hardest few months" she has ever had to go through.
She returned to track racing this week, winning silver in the team pursuit on Thursday.
In an Instagram post (opens in new tab) on Friday, Kenny wrote: "I’ve always known I was tough, but sometimes life pushes you to an unbearable limit. If it wasn’t for Jason [her husband] and Albie [her child] getting me through the day to day I’d have been broken."
She said that she suffered the miscarriage in November, and then caught Covid in January, before her ectopic pregnancy was then found and operated on.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.
As a result, one of her fallopian tubes was removed in an operation.
"Back at a bike race!" Kenny posted. "I didn’t expect to be back at a race any time soon but life doesn’t always go to plan does it.
"Since the Olympics we haven’t had much luck and it’s been the hardest few months I’ve ever had to go through. Jason and I fell pregnant immediately after the games and we were absolutely chuffed to bits.
"But unfortunately in November when commentating at the track champions league I miscarried our baby at 9 weeks. I’ve never felt so lost and sad. It felt like a part of me had been torn away."
"I grabbed for my safety blanket, bike riding!" she continued. "I found myself back in my happy place training again. I then caught Covid in mid January and found myself feeling really very unwell. I didn’t have typical covid symptoms and I just felt I needed to go to hospital.
"A day later I found myself in A&E being rushed to theatre because I was having an ectopic pregnancy. Scared doesn’t even come close. I lost a falopion tube that day. I’ve always known I was tough, but sometimes life pushes you to an unbearable limit. If it wasn’t for Jason and Albie getting me through the day to day I’d have been broken.
"But here I am, with the support of my family, friends and team mates, on the podium of a nation’s cup ."
Kenny later posted on her Instagram story: "It feels 'brave' talking about miscarriage and baby loss. But it shouldn't be.
"Jason and I felt lonely going through it and like we had taken the happiness away from our families by not telling them.
"They didn't get the joy of thinking another baby was on the way, only the sad.
"Miscarriage is a lot more common than people realise which is why we have decided to share our heartbreak, to help support others."
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