Mica Odom’s life plans were on track, but then she learned she need premature ovarian failure treatment
An MBA from Colombia landed her a job making a difference by advocating for what she considers to be the greatest challenge of her generation—climate change. However, she would face an even greater challenge. Learning she needed premature ovarian failure treatment.
She’d always embraced wellness and led an active lifestyle, and the timing was right to start a family. Like many women, she thought getting pregnant would come naturally.
But, in the summer of 2013, Mica stopped having her period. It actually became slightly irregular in her 20s. Testing at Texas Fertility Center showed she had premature ovarian failure. Therefore, she had less than a five percent chance of getting pregnant on her own.
Dr. Thomas Vaughn on premature ovarian failure
“Premature ovarian failure can be caused by a genetic disorder, autoimmune disease or exposure to chemotherapy or radiation,” explained Dr. Vaughn, a founder of Texas Fertility Center. “In Mica’s case, there was no family history and she simply had the condition for unknown reasons. There was nothing Mica could have done to prevent it, but our job was to give her options for building her family.”
Mica got a second opinion. With financial assistance from her organization’s fertility benefits, she decided to attempt to freeze her eggs with Texas Fertility Center. During the process, she and her husband divorced.
It was an extremely difficult time in her life, but Mica says Dr. Vaughn was supportive and a straight shooter. “He cautioned me that egg freezing, in my case, was probably not going to work – but I wanted to try. He was compassionate and empathetic. Both Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Lisa Hansard were realistic, but in a caring way. They believed in me.”
After several cycles, half of which were unsuccessful, Mica had five eggs cryopreserved.
The next chapter for Mica and her fiancé John: wedding and (future) baby plans
Mica has since met the “love of her life,” a nursing student, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute instructor and all-around “incredible man” who wants children, too. The couple is getting married next October and hopes to create an embryo (or two) to bring the egg freezing process to a happy conclusion.
“If it works, we will be thrilled, of course. If it doesn’t, though, we’ll support each other through another difficult time, then move forward with Plan B: Adopting children or using my sister’s eggs if possible. Thankfully, these options now exist.”
“What I should have done …”
Her advice to women: Think about family planning before you turn 30, and do everything you can do to increase your chances.
(Click here for more information about maternal age and infertility.)
“I wish I’d had the foresight to factor family into the financial planning process for business school – viewing egg freezing as an investment in my future just as important as my education,” says Mica.
She says infertility was the hardest thing she has ever had to deal with, but feels thankful because she now knows and appreciates her own emotional strength. Also, Mica says she’s “not into perfection anymore—the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect plan. Life is unexpected and adversity builds character and resilience.”
In other words, Mica says infertility was the worst … and best … thing that ever happened to her.
If you are experiencing irregular periods or have a family history of premature ovarian failure, schedule an appointment with Texas Fertility Center for ovarian reserve testing. We can help with premature ovarian failure treatment.
Mica Odom works for Environmental Defense Fund, where she serves as the Communications Director for the organization’s clean energy policy initiatives.
She is enjoying her 5th year as a mentor for Explore Austin and enjoys traveling and spending as much time as possible outdoors.
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