06 March 2007

Sperm Counts and Cold Showers

Sometimes I am amazed with the bulk of misleading information floating around. The other day, a neighbor of mine --- a man in his mid-30s --- approached me as I was entering my house. He was asking my advice on how to take sildenafil citrate, more popularly known as Viagra.

"Why?" was my puzzled question to him.

"My best friend told me to take this to increase my chances of having a child," he quickly replied.

"He told me to take one tablet before sleeping at night. Is this really effective?"

"Whoa! He told you that? Viagra is not a fertility drug. You must consult a doctor first before taking medications," I slowly said to him.

The rest of the conversation went on like a daily clinic consultation. I ended up interviewing him. I found out that he had no erection problems at all. His last medical consultation was when he was still a small boy. Like many others, he fears hospitals and doctors. He says I'm the only doctor he considers a friend.

My neighbor is a jeepney driver and has been married for more than ten years already, unblessed and worried why he and his wife has no children after so many years of trying. He said her wife had consulted a doctor once, was found to be normal, and it is his perennial problem how he can make up for his "inadequacy." He is tormented about this problem everyday, and is willing to jump at every opportunity which he thinks will lift this distressing burden from his shoulders.

I ended up referring him to my friend urologist for a complete work-up and consequent management. I assured him that only a thorough medical check-up can help see what's wrong with him. There is no need for fear because I said everything will be explained to him, and if the problem is minor (which I suspect), then there is a great chance that he will have a kid soon.

As I was surfing the net last night, I came across this article:
Sperm needs cool surroundings to develop best, which is why the testicles are outside the body.

Because of this, men who want to father a child are already advised not to wear tight clothing or underwear which causes too much heat to build up.

In a pilot study involving men with fertility problems, half of those who refrained from baths saw their sperm count rise by an average of 491 percent.

The others failed to respond but they were all smokers. Tobacco has long been recognised as a major factor in infertility.

[Daily Mail, 5 Mar 2007]

Wear boxers whenever possible. Take cold showers. Avoid tight pants. Quit smoking now. I will tell these to my troubled neighbor next time I see him.

6 reactions:

beajerry said...

I'll bet Viagra goes over-the-counter by 2015 or sooner.

JMom said...

There are many people who go around with tidbits of knowledge giving medical advice to others, but there are twice as many who do follow these fools! Doc, you really do have a lot of patience. :) Hey, when you said that about the heat, I wonder if your friend, being a jeepney driver and sitting down in a hot cab most days, if this has something to do with his problem?

Dr. Emer said...

BEAJERRY: I think so, too. But I don't think most people will know what its real use is for.

JMOM: Being a tropical country, the summer being just around the corner, his preference for pants and tight clothing, etc. The heat builds up, JMom. The sperms can't stand too much heat. ;-)

bayi said...

I am not surprised by the myths surrounding Viagra. These myths were probably perpetrated by Pfizer and most men fantasized themselves into believing the extraordinary feats they could do by downing a tablet or two. Judging from the talk I hear among my friends, many who have no problems still think that their performance can be enhanced by taking this magic pill. Talk about vanity!

I believe the advice you have given, Dr Emer, is the best there is for the situation faced by your neighbor.

And though Viagra needs a prescription from a doctor before it can be purchased, the authorities are deluding themselves. The profits are so good that doctors and pharmacies are selling them readily without issuing the proper receipts that could enable a trace back to their misdeeds. The demand is just overwhelming!

Dr. Emer said...

Thanks, Bayi. Viagra's reputation exceeds expectations. Misuse may lead to dire consequences.

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