Are you a “white lie” guy? Do you tell your mother that her meatloaf is delicious when it really isn’t? Have you ever said, “No, officer…I have no idea how fast I was going…” or “Things would have gone so different if I had been there…”? How about, “Oh yea, I remember you…” As long as we aren’t hurting anyone or breaking the law, are these innocent little lies all that terrible? Often, they just stretch the truth a little and serve to cushion the many points of friction that arise in our lives. But they can also hurt your fertility.
Here are some of the most common and unhelpful white lies I hear in my men’s health practice:
- “Nope, never got a girl pregnant.” Although often a scary experience, prior pregnancies are an important indicator of male fertility and a valuable piece of medical history to know.
- “Can’t remember ever having had an STD.” Sexually transmitted diseases are enormously common and treatable. But they can cause inflammation and leave scar tissue that impairs male fertility. Kind of important to know.
- “I don’t really like airport food.” A good diet is fundamental to good overall and reproductive health. You are what you eat so choose food wisely.
- “I probably exercise three times a week on average.” Any level of exercise is better than no exercise. Extreme levels of exercise (>2 hours/day) are not good for fertility either.
- “Not a big fan of alcohol (or pot, or tobacco).” Less is much more when it comes to these gonadotoxins. Treat your body like a temple to be reproductively healthy.
- “You know, I don’t feel stressed.” A classic line from men travelling all the time, working all hours and getting terrible sleep. And with testosterone levels in the tank.
- “Can’t remember the last time I took a sauna/hot bath/tub.” Now who doesn’t soak after a long day skiing? Who doesn’t love a sauna after working out? The effects of hot, wet heat on the body are well described and terrible for fertility.
- “Oh, I thought that testosterone was just another health supplement.” No, my friends, it’s actually a pretty effective contraceptive. Taking testosterone drops your sperm count faster than a falling brick.
Please be honest when you sit in front of me. I want what you want: a healthier, long-living, fertile you. Don’t believe me? Try me.