Do you know what’s running through my mind when taking care of men every day? How about asset allocation, expense ratios, compound interest and amortization. Although not possessing a finance degree, I see myself as a financial planner of sorts… for heartbeats. Increasing the number of heartbeats that men have over a lifetime is my obsession. Funny how this occurred to me as I felt my own pulse rise while sponsoring the Los Angeles RESOLVE Walk of Hope this weekend.
Investing in Health
He came into my office looking fit as a fiddle. He was relaxed, rested and well dressed. All appeared in order, except that he reeked of tobacco smoke. He was having trouble conceiving and a sperm count showed his sperm to be low and slow. After a big ole’ visit in which I reviewed every detail of his life and also examined him, the only thing left on the table that could explain the infertility was tobacco use. He smoked like a New England chimney in the middle of winter.
I proceeded to explain how nicotine causes male infertility. The key word here is oxidation, a process that hurts sperm and also causes cancer. Not only can the semen analysis be affected, but sperm function is also altered, especially DNA fragmentation. I gave him a copy of a paper I published on things toxic to sperm that outlined the nicotine studies. And then I asked him to quit. Stop smoking for her, and for the family he wants so badly. And to start, I encouraged him to start taking antioxidant supplements.
A Lifetime Annuity
During this visit, the financial-planner-of-heartbeats within me was thinking about the following smoking facts:
- Life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.
- Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the US
- Quitting smoking before age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by 90%
If he stops smoking now, he could add years of heartbeats to his life. Simple as that. A much better value than the compound interest of diseases that will accrue if he continues on this path.
Honestly, as a men’s health guy helping with infertility and other sex-related issues, I have the rare and golden opportunity to give preventative medical care to men when they are most resistant to it…when young and immortal. Alas, the trick is to understand that this is one of the few “windows” into men’s lives, as men may not do it for themselves, but they will certainly do it for those whom they love, or want to love. I tell them that I am not only surrounding them with cute little new heartbeats, but also adding more heartbeats to their own lives. It’s amazing what a little walk on behalf of others can do for you.