Monthly Archives: August 2014

Fertility Boosting Foods

Fertility Boosting Foods


Some couples get pregnant easy, but for others it’s much harder. For men oftentimes the problem is a low sperm count. For women, it can be a blocked fallopian tube. This can be countered by insemination or in vitro fertilization.  For some couples struggling with fertility problems, the issue may not be so cut and dry.  Reproductive endocrinologist at the Montefiore Medical Center’s Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Health Staci Pollack, MD says, “Often, problems are subclinical — meaning we know something is wrong, it’s just not showing up on the radar.” Standard treatments often do help these couples. But there are a number of low cost things one can do to boost their fertility, eating certain foods for example. Be sure to see your doctor however and get a full fertility workup. There may be causes that your doctor should know about. Also, your physician is a good source of lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, exercise, losing weight and many other things that can boost your fertility. Your primary care physician may need to refer you to a urologist or fertility expert. Take note that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says if you try for 12 months with no results seek out a fertility specialist.


For men it’s all about boosting your sperm count, and you will want to eat foods that do that. Make sure to eat lots of foods that are full of vitamin C, and all the other antioxidants. This will help with sperm motility and help avoid defects. Motility is the sperm’s ability to swim vigorously for long periods, which it will need to do to reach the egg. Oranges and other citrus fruits, orange juice, tomatoes, pineapples and many other foods are full of vitamin C. A lack of zinc can lead to infertility. Oysters, beef, dark meat chicken or baked beans can give you what you need. Folic Acid is another important nutrient for sperm production. Legumes, oranges, fortified breakfast cereals, and leafy green vegetables will give you this essential B vitamin. What’s more, a supplement may be recommended. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Taking a multivitamin everyday may be the trick to getting all the nutrients you need to get things moving. The jury is still out as to whether caffeine affects sperm production or not. Men who are trying to conceive should steer clear of alcohol, having only one to two drinks per day as alcohol can negatively affect your sperm count. As for performance, one study found that watermelon was just as potent as Viagra.

How your Underwear can lift your Sperm Count

How your Underwear can lift your Sperm Count

50% of couples with fertility problems find the cause is a low sperm count. But simple changes, even what type of underwear you wear can lift or decrease your sperm count. The reason the testicles hang away from the body is that sperm production occurs at a few degrees lower than body temperature. In fact the scrotum does temperature control to make sure sperm production can be at its maximum, lifting the testes when it’s cold and lowering them when it’s hot.When a man wears briefs it brings the testicles far too close to the body, making them warmer. Though providing a secure feeling this is not the optimal temperature for sperm production.  Director of clinical maternal-fetal medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Weill Medical College Amos Grunebaum, MD reminds us that it takes 10 to 11 weeks for a full cycle of sperm production to occur. Grunebaum told WebMD, “You can’t just wear boxer shorts the night before romantic date, and expect it to work. Anything you do that damages sperm will affect them for the next 10 to 11 weeks.” Women for a long time have been cognizant of their lifestyle and how it affects their reproductive system. But when it’s time to conceive, a man has to step up and do what he can to contribute to the process. Changing the type of underwear you wear may be one simple step in the right direction.


So get rid of the jockeys, the boxer briefs and the regular briefs. It’s boxers for you from now on. What’s more avoid skinny jeans or really any type of tight pants. Wear looser pants. The scrotum is its own temperature control mechanism and it’s pretty good at it. Just give it the room it needs to do its thing. If you are committed to boxers, you can’t wear tight pants anyway. It’s especially important not to wear tight pants while you exercise, as when the body gets overheated your sperm production is down to a sloth’s pace. If you like the sauna or the hot tub, that’s all well and good. But stay away from them if you and your lady are trying to conceive. Grunebaum said that when you are home, you should take your pants off. “It will not only help reduce testes temperature, but it might also turn her on.” If you are worried about your sperm count, get it tested. It may feel like a slight if it comes back negative, but it isn’t. It’s just like any other medical situation. There are lots of reasons and options. A change in lifestyle can help tremendously as well. Grunebaum said, “The first test I suggest is a sperm count. It’s a simple test, cheap, it doesn’t involve anything invasive, plus, it’s the only test I know that guarantees an orgasm.”

At What Age do Guys Have the Best Sex?

At What Age do Guys Have the Best Sex?


It’s a question that’s been asked for a long time from a lot of different men. Some say it happens in the late teen years, others when a man in financially secure but right before he gets married. But what does science say? At what age do most guys have the best sex? According to recent research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine men generally get it the most between the ages of 25 and 29. Men in their late 20’s on average have sex three times a week. After 50 years of age the amount of sex the average man receives drops off, averaging 1.22 times per week. But that doesn’t mean the best quality sex is behind you. In fact, your sex life can be robust up into the golden years. Urologist J. Stephen Jones, M.D., F.A.C.S., at the Cleveland Clinic says that the strength of a man’s relationship, physical and mental health are far larger determining factors than how many years a man has under his belt. A stale relationship, higher stress, and physical ailments are often what get in the way. To ensure a good sex life at any stage in life follow this advice.


The first thing to ensure is penile health, and that is generally the same as staying heart healthy. Exercise, eat right and limit alcohol intake. If you do smoke, quit. Also, maintain a healthy bodyweight. European Journal of Endocrinology published a study in 2011 that found the more abdominal fat a man carried, the higher his chances of developing erectile dysfunction (ED). According to Dr. Jones, “And if you want to ensure sexual dysfunction early in life, smoking is the way to do it.” Healthy sexual function is all about blood-flow and testosterone levels. Making sure you live a heart-healthy lifestyle will keep you fit but also keep your sexual health in tiptop shape. As a man ages his equipment changes. It is not something to freak out about. But he may not wake up with a morning erection like he used to. It may take longer to get erect. It may not be as hard as it used to be and it may take more time after orgasm to be ready to go again, what is called the refractory period. Instead of focusing on how things have changed, incorporate more foreplay and more digital and oral play before moving on to the main event. Make it not a means to an end but an enjoyable time to be had together. Another problem is lack of sexual confidence. Talk about this with your partner, your doctor, or if it is significant perhaps a therapist.

A No-Scalpel Vasectomy Coming Soon

A No-Scalpel Vasectomy Coming Soon

Some couples decide they don’t want a family. Others have had enough children. Whatever your reason there are two solutions, either effectively using a form of birth control or one of you undergoing a sterilization operation. Implants, IUDs and the pill all have risks. Many men and some women don’t really like condoms. So an operation may be a good option. The issue now is someone has to undergo surgery. Usually in America it is the woman who does so. Sterilization procedures are done 2.5 times more to women than to men. But having the tubes tied is more risky and expensive. Luckily, today we have no-scalpel vasectomies, making the operation a whole lot easier.  Still, experts wonder if more men will opt for this surgery. Nathaniel M. Fried, PhD interviewed by WebMD said, “With the current incisionless approach, one still has to make a puncture in the skin,” Assistant professor of urology at Johns Hopkins University Nathaniel M. Fried, PhD tells WebMD “We are trying to take things one step further. We want to completely avoid bleeding and scrotal pain.” Though it’s not a procedure which is available yet, animal studies are currently being conducted. A company has also stepped in with a desire to see human studies in the near future.


A vasectomy performed today is when the vas deferens, a tube running from the testicles and into the semen, is snipped and either tied off or cauterized.This blocks the sperm from entering the semen. There are two tubes which must be snipped. Semen production and sexual functioning carry on as normal. The no-scalpel method Fried is developing uses a water balloon with chilled water running through it over the skin in order to cool it. Next a clamp is used to hold the vas deferens steady. Ultrasound waves are then applied to the sperm delivering tube. Fried says, “The idea is to heat up or cook the vas. It immediately cooks the tissue so that the vas closes. Then healing of the tissue creates scar tissue that further blocks the vas.” A regular vasectomy is usually a same-day procedure. There may be a little pain, bleeding, swelling and tenderness. But a man can take a weekend to recuperate and go back to work Monday. What’s more, he can take part in physical activity a week after surgery. For most men it’s the fear of the unknown, and the fear of pain that inhibits their desire for a vasectomy. But take the negative side effects out of the equation and a lot more guys may have this procedure done.

Technology Changing Masturbation

Technology Changing Masturbation


It used to be that masturbation was thought to be a shameful practice. Today, it’s generally thought of as a normal, natural act when participated in privately. Scientists have found that the practice doesn’t just occur in humans but across many species. Other species stimulate themselves too for the purposes of personal pleasure.  Another find on the anthropological front, there is evidence that masturbation took place in the earliest of civilizations. Though it was once thought of in a negative light, psychologists today see masturbation as a healthy, safe practice; a big change over the course of a few decades.  Masturbation is here to stay. Yet the future may see a hands off approach to the act of a different kind than we’ve encountered in the past. Today technology is changing masturbation in interesting and perplexing ways. Technology is changing the act right before our very eyes. Today, it seems that there are lots of hands off technological aids on the market. For instance there is the Fleshlight, a flashlight sort of device with a vagina attached. It can be mounted on a shower wall or another wall giving the user a more natural experience and seemingly taking one’s self completely out of the equation.


Today there are many other such hands-free devices, some which are even motorized with speed controls. In fact, one doesn’t have to do much of anything besides insert one’s self. The device takes one to orgasm all by itself. Another interesting option is the Real Touch Interactive. This hands-free device is not only hands-free, it is connected to a screen which depicts adult movies so that a male user can experience for himself what is happening in the film. Today, many men still have anxiety when it comes to masturbation. Though some believe these devices can be liberating, some psychologists wonder if in fact they will lead to more elevated forms of worry and consternation. Certainly technology in all realms is seeing meteoric growth like never before. One of the most interesting is a statement from a recent study out of the Pew Research Center, entitled, U.S. Views of Technology and the Future: Science in the Next 50 Years, saying the American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage…overall, most Americans anticipate that the technological developments of the coming half-century will have a net positive impact on society.” Though the report did not focus specifically on masturbation and sex, one wonders what the next breakthroughs in these areas will be and how they will change masturbation and human sexuality

Slow Down in the Bedroom for Optimum Performance

Slow Down in the Bedroom for Optimum Performance

Lots of men rush into sex. But the problem with this is that it often takes a woman longer to get heated up. In this sense men are like microwaves, hot in seconds, where women are like toasters, it takes a little longer to warm things up. What’s more, as a man ages, it may take his equipment longer to get where it needs to be, and the refractory time or the time it takes from orgasm to be able to produce another erection is extended as time goes on. These aren’t problems necessarily. It means instead that you need to switch up your repertoire in order to deal with the situation at hand. Experts say that men and women can have satisfying sex up into the golden years of life. Here are some techniques to help you to slow things down in the bedroom and ensure optimum performance. One of the advantages of opting for a slower pace is that you will elongate the experience, and increase your chances of giving your partner an orgasm. Joel Block, Ph.D. a licensed sex therapist says, “Research suggests that, on average, men orgasm through intercourse in about 2 minutes of active thrusting.” The average is 14 minutes for women. Says Block, “There’s a 12-minute problem!” Slowing things down, incorporating other forms of stimulation such as oral and digital, and giving extended foreplay before penetration can equal out this discrepancy. What’s more, some use a technique called edging, holding off on your own orgasm by pausing just before ejaculation, can make your orgasm stronger and make you last longer.


Intimacy is created and deepened by slow, meaningful sex. That doesn’t mean a quickie can’t be satisfying now and then. But a long, meaningful period of time to revel in her will not only get and keep you both satisfied, you are sending a certain message to her through your actions. “It’s more suggestive of giving her time and allowing her to enjoy the pleasure,” says Block. Kiss her all over. Use a little dirty talk. Tell her how you want to shower her with affection and pleasure. What’s more, for a man of a certain age where it takes a little while to get things going, instead of wallowing in self-pity for how things used to be, revel in the act, focus on your partner and her pleasure and give her the time of her life. Nothing boosts a man’s ego like a satisfied and happy woman. Furthermore, this slowing things down and saving sex not only will give a more pleasurable experience and make you a better lover, you will be turning a situation from a negative, slower operating equipment, to a positive, putting the focus on her and on weaving a sublime experience together. This can also help decrease performance anxiety. Lastly, try Kegels. These exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, allowing you to stave off orgasm and making the experience for both lovers more pleasurable.

Stress is a Serious Health Hazard

Stress is a Serious Health Hazard

A certain amount of stress is necessary. It motivates us, keeps us active and engaged and helps us grow by learning to be flexible, resilient and in developing our problem-solving skills. Medical scientists and evolutionary biologists believe that a certain amount of stress is expected and the body is able to manage it. It’s long-term, chronic stress that is a serious health hazard, and that’s the kind the modern world places upon us. A recent NPR poll conducted in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states that 25% of Americans experienced a lot of stress in the last month. 50% of Americans, about 115 million adults had a major stressful event within the past year. Psychologist Eldar Shafir of Princeton University told NPR, “Everything I know suggests that this is a pretty massive underestimate.” The reason is the poll only measures the stress that people experiencing it are aware of. There is also “hidden” stress which we experience subconsciously. This has to do with cognitive capacity, the amount of input the human brain can handle and juggle at the same time. Shafir says, “We have very limited bandwidth. There’s only so much you can attend to at any one time.”


When we are trying to deal with multiple situations at once Shafir explains, “It’s like driving on a stormy night. You’re focused completely on the thing that’s capturing your attention right now, and other things get neglected.” Chronic stress then can start to chip away at one’s financial well-being, relationships and health. Executive director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health Robert Blendon who conducted this poll says, “These are not just the people who say they have some stress day to day. These are the share of Americans for whom it really makes a big difference. It affects their ability to sleep and to concentrate. It leads them to have more arguments with family members. It affects their health.” The problem is many Americans don’t know how to properly cope with stress. Says Shafir, “The notions of self-reliance, self-sufficiency, which are so strong in the American culture, sort of lead you to say that if you have problems you should take yourself by the bootstraps and start working on it.” Some of the best ways to manage stress are to ask for help. Talk to friends and family. Set aside a little time to relax each day, even if it’s only 25 or 30 minutes. Yoga, meditation, counseling, exercise, playing an instrument, taking up a relaxing hobby such as woodworking or model building, reading, and listening to music are just some ways to alleviate stress.

Deciphering Common Penis Pains

Deciphering Common Penis Pains

The male reproductive organs are amazingly complex. That complexity of course means that a lot of things can happen. There are lots of different kinds of pains that can occur down below. There are guys that freak out about every little thing and keep going to the doctor’s office. Most though avoid going in and ignore the problem. But how do you know when a pain is serious and when it isn’t? Here are some ways you can decipher common penis pains and other problems.  Do you have a sharp pain or a burning sensation at the tip of your penis? If it happened while showering, a little soap or shampoo getting into the tip might be the issue. Usually you feel it the moment it occurs. But sometimes you only notice it when you begin to urinate. However, if this pain fails to subside in a couple of days, make an appointment with your doctor. You could have a sexually transmitted infection (STI). A white or greenish discharge means it’s even more likely you have an infection. If you have a pain in the lower stomach or back in the days just before this penis pain, you may have kidney stones. This is another serious condition. Make sure to see your physician. Give it a couple of days. If the pain in the tip doesn’t subside see your doctor.


Do you experience scrotal pain under certain conditions? Some guys experience a dull ache in the scrotum after moving heavy items or lifting weights. It can happen if you’ve had to stand for quite a while as well. Usually it goes away on its own after a while. Enlarged veins within the scrotum causes blood to collect in that one area, warming up the testicles and causing pain. Urology chair at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois Tobias Köhler, M.D. says “A lot of guys describe this as having blue worms in their sack.” Though this is not a medical emergency, you should see your doctor as this condition could affect testosterone and sperm production. Have you ever had an erection that is terribly painful and won’t go away? An erection lasting more than four hours is called priapism. This is where blood cannot escape the penis. When the blood becomes deoxygenated pain comes in. This condition can occur when erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs such as Viagra are mixed with recreational narcotics such as cocaine or ecstasy. It also occurs when ED drugs are injected directly into the penis. Go see a doctor or go to the hospital. A prolonged erection can cause damage to the penis. Have you ever felt an intense, shooting pain in your testicles, followed by vomiting or nausea? You have a twisted testicle inside your scrotum. It isn’t getting oxygen. Go to the E.R. If it isn’t handled right away, you could lose it. Lastly, a dull pain at the base of the penis where the penis meets the testicles is likely epididymitis. That’s an infection of the epididymis. See your doctor if you have this. Usually it’s a pain that keeps getting worse.

How Exercise Helps Us Tolerate Pain

How Exercise Helps Us Tolerate Pain



Regular exercise may alter how a person experiences pain, according to a new study. The longer we continue to work out, the new findings suggest, the greater our tolerance for discomfort can grow.

For some time, scientists have known that strenuous exercise briefly and acutely dulls pain. As muscles begin to ache during a prolonged workout, scientists have found, the body typically releases natural opiates, such as endorphins, and other substances that can slightly dampen the discomfort. This effect, which scientists refer to as exercise-induced hypoalgesia, usually begins during the workout and lingers for perhaps 20 or 30 minutes afterward.

But whether exercise alters the body’s response to pain over the long term and, more pressing for most of us, whether such changes will develop if people engage in moderate, less draining workouts, have been unclear.

So for the new study, which was published this month in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers at the University of New South Wales and Neuroscience Research Australia, both in Sydney, recruited 12 young and healthy but inactive adults who expressed interest in exercising, and another 12 who were similar in age and activity levels but preferred not to exercise. They then brought all of them into the lab to determine how they reacted to pain.

Pain response is highly individual and depends on our pain threshold, which is the point at which we start to feel pain, and pain tolerance, or the amount of time that we can withstand the aching, before we cease doing whatever is causing it.

In the new study, the scientists measured pain thresholds by using a probe that, applied to a person’s arm, exerts increasing pressure against the skin. The volunteers were told to say “stop” when that pressure segued from being unpleasant to painful, breaching their pain threshold.

The researchers determined pain tolerance more elaborately, by strapping a blood pressure cuff to volunteers’ upper arms and progressively tightening it as the volunteers tightly gripped and squeezed a special testing device in their fists. This activity is not fun, as anyone who has worn a blood pressure cuff can imagine, but the volunteers were encouraged to continue squeezing the device for as long as possible, a period of time representing their baseline pain tolerance.

Then the volunteers who had said that they would like to begin exercising did so, undertaking a program of moderate stationary bicycling for 30 minutes, three times a week, for six weeks. In the process, the volunteers became more fit, with their aerobic capacity and cycling workloads increasing each week, although some improved more than others.

The other volunteers continued with their lives as they had before the study began.

After six weeks, all of the volunteers returned to the lab, and their pain thresholds and pain tolerances were retested. Unsurprisingly, the volunteers in the control group showed no changes in their responses to pain.

But the volunteers in the exercise group displayed substantially greater ability to withstand pain. Their pain thresholds had not changed; they began to feel pain at the same point they had before. But their tolerance had risen. They continued with the unpleasant gripping activity much longer than before. Those volunteers whose fitness had increased the most also showed the greatest increase in pain tolerance.

“To me,” said Matthew Jones, a researcher at the University of New South Wales who led the study, the results “suggest that the participants who exercised had become more stoical and perhaps did not find the pain as threatening after exercise training, even though it still hurt as much,” an idea that fits with entrenched, anecdotal beliefs about the physical fortitude of athletes.

Because it did not examine physiological effects apart from pain response, however, the study cannot explain just how exercise alters our experience of pain, although it contains hints. Pain thresholds and tolerances were tested using people’s arms, Mr. Jones pointed out, while the exercisers trained primarily their legs. Because the changes in pain response were evident in the exercisers’ upper bodies, the findings intimate that “something occurring in the brain was probably responsible for the change” in pain thresholds, Mr. Jones said.

The study’s implications are considerable, Mr. Jones says. Most obviously, he said, the results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts, as did the cyclists here. The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer although the pain itself has not lessened.

The study also could be meaningful for people struggling with chronic pain, Mr. Jones said. Although anyone in this situation should consult a doctor before starting to exercise, he said, the experiment suggests that moderate amounts of exercise can change people’s perception of their pain and help them, he said “to be able to better perform activities of daily living.”physed_pain-tmagArticle

Sex Myths Debunked

Sex Myths Debunked


Most people by a certain age feel like they know everything about sex. But there are a lot of myths out there too that seem to persist even when someone is older. See how much bedroom knowledge you possess. Here are common sex myths debunked. Most men think that sex is more pleasurable when one is young. Though it may be more rigorous when you are a young buck, middle-aged and even older men report having far more physically and emotionally fulfilling sex lives. Melanie Davis, PhD, CSE a sexuality education consultant says, “There’s less emphasis on quick orgasms and more focus on sensuality, creativity, and emotional connection.” Lots of guys think condoms are no fun. But actually, they can help make it a more pleasurable experience for both parties. 68% of guys use the wrong condom size and shape according to a survey conducted by When they tried on a variety of condoms and found the one that was right for them, their sexual pleasure increased significantly. Some guys think the route to a woman’s orgasm is through intercourse. But 75% of women don’t climax this way. Generally, direct clitoral stimulation is needed to make her have the big O. Davis says, “If couples want to climax simultaneously during intercourse, the best bet is for one of them to use their fingers or a vibrator to bring some joy to the clitoris.”

Some believe that women are naturally monogamous, while men are not. But Deboarah Anapol, Ph.D a relationship coach says, “Women are heavily socialized to restrict their sexual attraction to one guy at a time, but women’s biology and personality are both well-suited to multiple partners—more so than men’s.” Others believe that men naturally have a stronger libido than women. Anapol says, “Women can become disinterested as a result of childhood abuse, unaddressed relationship issues, or demands of children and work, but a sexually satisfied woman is a happy, loving woman.” Many men think that they have to have an orgasm to enjoy sex. However, it is possible to orgasm without ejaculation. Tantric sex practices can teach you this. What’s more, many men prefer to orgasm without ejaculation. If your partner puts too much pressure on having you ejaculate, and you don’t feel the need, sit them down and talk with them about it. Tell them how you feel and why you feel that way. Lots of guys think an erection is necessary to enjoy sexual pleasure. But it may not have to be. There are lots of forms of play, and indeed foreplay that get her engine running before intercourse. Still, if you are having erectile issues be sure to see a physician or specialist as it may be a sign of a deeper issue. Lastly, most guys think the bigger their unit, the better. But it’s really not the case. “Compatibility of size is the real barometer,” says Anapol. “A big penis and a small vagina are not a happy combination. Further, knowing how to use the penis skillfully is more important than size.”