Sex & Love

Size Matters: Pregnancy and Fertility 101

Without a doubt, one of the most popular topics surrounding this book has been fertility. Ladies really want to know if their husband/boyfriend/partner is in proper working order when it comes to reproducing – and what they can do to … Read More

By / September 30, 2008

Without a doubt, one of the most popular topics surrounding this book has been fertility. Ladies really want to know if their husband/boyfriend/partner is in proper working order when it comes to reproducing – and what they can do to ensure that pregnancy happens quickly and easily. And yes, we have answers! Here are a couple of our more popular exchanges. Read on:

KARA: I’ve heard rumors that soaking in hot tubs and Jacuzzis are bad for balls—especially if you’re trying to get pregnant. Is this true?

DR. HARRY FISCH: Yup. If you’re trying to get pregnant, perhaps you should skip the balmy climes. Soaking in a hot tub for a half-hour or so is going to temporarily shut down sperm production. Not a big deal if it’s only done once in a blue moon, but if you’re having a hard time getting pregnant, avoid romantic interludes in hot water.

And, by the way, fever has the same effect—which is why guys going to get a sperm count are told to wait for up to 3 months if they’ve had any kind of cold, flu, or infection that results in a high fever.

KARA: Women who are trying to conceive are told they should take folic acid supplements. Are there any vitamins or supplements that would help a guy be more fertile?

HARRY: You’ve hit on an area of some current debate. Several years ago several studies strongly suggested that anti-oxidant vitamins such as C and E can reduce the amount of chromosomal damage in a guy’s sperm. Some more recent work, however, suggests that although some chromosomal damage may be reduced, high doses of such vitamins may actually hurt sperm chromosomes in other ways.

That doesn’t mean vitamins aren’t good for you. I always recommend that guys who want to be healthy take a daily multi-vitamin that gives them 100% of the recommended levels of required vitamins and minerals in addition to the anti-oxidants such as Vit C, E , selenium and zinc as well as L-carnitine. These are not the same as mega-doses of vitamins! Mega doses are most likely to be useless (your body simply excretes the excess) but in some cases they can actually be harmful. Vitamin C, for example, is ascorbic acid. Taken at high doses, the acid can really disrupt your stomach and make any predisposition to ulcers worse.

Fertility will improve as a guy’s overall health improves. Men (and women) should eat a healthy diet that is very low in processed foods, sugar, and refined starches such as white flour. The latest research shows that simple carbohydrates are what’s bad for you, not so much fat or natural carbs such as those found in fruits and veggies.

If you make your own food, as opposed to eating fast food or highly-processed frozen foods, you’ll not only enjoy eating more, you’ll be a lot more healthy.

Kara Baskin, author of Size Matters, is guest blogging on Jewcy, and she’s here all week.  Stay tuned.