Fifth Estate # 83, July 10-23, 1969

QUESTION: I think my girlfriend and I have been screwing too much. The reason I believe this is lately I’ve been almost continuously tired.

photo, Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969
Dr. Eugene Schoenfeld speaking at Community Arts Auditorium, May 28, 1969 at a benefit for Open City. Photo: Alan Gotkin.

Could it be that too much sex is wearing me out? We only screw once a day, six or so times a week. As far as I know, I’m getting a balanced diet and plenty of sleep.

What do you think?

P.S. 1) I’m 20 years old; 2) we’ve been living together 4 months; 3) I’m six feet tall and weigh 130 pounds.

ANSWER: “Too much sex” for one person may be too little for another. But newly coupled couples sometimes feel they must have sex every day, even if they’re not in the mood, just to prove to each other they’re in love.

Anyway, sex is not as lethal as we’ve been led to believe.

Perhaps you’re not really eating a proper diet. Six feet tall and 130 lbs? Eat! Eat!

Chronic fatigue may stem from any one of several causes. Have a physician give you a thorough physical examination.

QUESTION: I’ve been married for five years now. A little over seven years ago, my husband, he was 18 then, had a vasectomy (clip job, he calls it) in order to make him sterile.

He has been sorry that he did it but what was done was done. We decided we would adopt a couple of children next year or the year after.

But believe it or not, I am pregnant. Missed last March but didn’t worry. Finally, my doctor insisted on a test at the end of May that proved it.

My husband won’t believe that he is the father. I have no reason to lie to you—I don’t know you nor you me. Another man hasn’t touched me in 6 years. My doctor told him it was possible for the vasectomy to heal and asked to examine him but he thinks my M.D. would lie (I think maybe he suspects my doctor).

Now he has said that he does not blame me for wanting a child but insists on knowing who this “mythical” man is.

It would make him the happiest man on earth if he just knew it was his baby.

ANSWER: A vasectomy is a simple surgical procedure often performed in a physician’s office. Two small openings are made in the scrotum in order to cut and tie off both vas deferens, the spaghetti-like tubes which transport sperm from the testicles. Vasectomies ALMOST always cause permanent sterility. Since attempts to reunite the severed ends of the vas deferens are usually unsuccessful, few physicians would perform a vasectomy on an 18 year old.

Rarely, the severed ends reunite spontaneously and this apparently has happened in your husband’s case. Any family physician or urologist could examine your husband’s semen microscopically and assure him he could father a child.

Ed. note: The Medical Association of Hawaii has recently passed a resolution to ban the sale of smoking materials and tobacco products in Hawaiian hospitals and clinics.

DEAR DR. HIPPOCRATES is a collection of letters and answers published by Grove Press. $5 at your favorite bookstore.

Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your letters. Write to him c/o P.O. Box 9002, Berkeley California 94709.