Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.


I am a 30-something OBGYN, based in South Africa. I am married to my love, the aforementioned Charlie. This blog will share the ins and outs of my days with you, and you’ll get to hear all about my interests, medicine, cooking, crafting, reading. I have also been known to run.
And we have now hit a rather large speedbump – infertility. I have been diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and endometriosis, Charlie has teratozoospermia (ie dodgy swimmers) Thus far we have done 6 timed cycles, 1 medicated AI cycle, and are pregnant, finally, after our second IVF, with one very Tenacious embryo!
Our Tenacious embryo delivered, and is now a rambunctious toddler! We have been pursuing the dream of a second child…


  AD wrote @

Thank you so much for your blog. You have put into words a lot of my own fears, confusion and obsessions. I am a paediatrician in the neighbouring city you mention. It seems extra cruel to be in a our line of work and have to battle infertility. We have had 2 failed IUIs (I was at work both days when I got my BFNs!) and today is day 2 of our first IVF cycle. It’s tough hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I’m praying that we will also have our happy ending. I hope your last weeks of pregnancy and the delivery will be uncomplicated and baby bouncing and healthy!
Best wishes.

  charliesbird wrote @

All I can say is ‘Vasbyt’, you will emerge from this difficult time, when you feel incredibly isolated and lost. Know too that you are in great hands with the team there, they are so caring and gentle. I hope to hear news of a great outcome too!

  Kate wrote @

Hi Charliesbird
Former fellow south African here. I was wondering how thoroughly you’d investigated thyroid issues, specifically anti thyroid antibodies as the cause of your diminished ovarian reserve. I am sure you are also aware of the strong link between hypothyroidism and endometriosis. The ranges for TSH are so wide, when in fact the great majority of people with healthy thyroids have a TSH between 1 and 1.5.

  charliesbird wrote @

It hasn’t been investigated too fully, I have had a normal TFT previously, but we didnt persue it further. The crux really is for me though, would it change outcomes – sadly, probably not… I’ll chat to my FS about it though. Thanks and welcome to my blog!

  Kate wrote @

There’s some evidence that dietary changes (especially involving gluten) and thyroid medication actually reverse some of the inflammation and reduce antibody levels. There is some excellent medical literature on this site
Especially this paper about thyroid dysfunction and the pregnant patient
I have a paper somewhere on thyroid and infertility. Either way, it can only help, not hurt, to be treated if it turns out to be a problem.
Have you been checked for the mthfr gene?

  Kate wrote @

Re: mthfr. Sorry I suppose this probably wouldn’t apply since you already have a healthy child.

  fudgingood wrote @

Congratulations! You have been nominated for the Versatile blogger award. Please collect it at

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