Q: Trying to Get Pregnant.   For the last six months, my husband and I have been trying to have a child. I’m 33 and my husband is 36. My husband thinks I should go to a doctor, but I think we should wait a few more months. We’ve actually been fighting about this. What would you recommend that we do?    –Christy 

Dr. Linda: One in six couples today is faced with the increasing problem of infertility. Although it’s officially defined as “failure to conceive” after one year of trying, you could lose precious time by waiting any longer to consult with a fertility specialist .

Statistics reveals that men and women are about equally likely to be the source of infertility problems. Often, both partners contribute to the problem.

In really weird cases, it can turn out that you’re allergic to your husband’s sperm, but not to another man’s.  Don’t worry–ways to circumvent that particular difficulty do not require bringing another man into your bed.

It’s a humbling irony to spend your early years feverishly trying to avoid pregnancy only to be faced later on with the reverse problem.  Please, don’t go into denial about this if you and your husband are seriously interested in having a family. Instead, ask your family physician for a referral now.  This may be scary, but book that  appointment and go as a couple.


Q: Snip or Slip.   My wife and I already have three children and don’t want any more. I’m thinking about having a vasectomy, but have a few concerns about how it could affect my sexual performance. I keep trying to imagine what it would be like to have an orgasm without anything to “show” for it. How long does it take most men to get used to that?           —Harold

Dr. Linda:  First, kudos to you on your receptive attitude.  A desire to share the responsibility for birth control reflects genuine care and often increases sexual trust and pleasure in a relationship. Women who carry all the responsibility throughout childbearing years can become resentful toward their partners.

There’s a common misunderstanding about the effects of a vasectomy. Cutting the tubes leading from the testicles cuts off the sperm supply, but not all the other little goodies that make up semen. The prostate gland and a pair of glands called the seminal vesicles supply the lion’s share of semen. Since the sperm represent only 5-10% of the seminal fluid, most men don’t even notice a difference in the amount of ejaculate after a vasectomy.

The procedure should be regarded as permanent, in spite of a reversal procedure that re-establishes fertility for some men. Your time will be better spent carefully weighing the risks and benefits in this light.