According to a recent literature review, allergy medications may cause problems with sperm production and male fertility. (audience laughs) Hey, that’s not funny. (laughing) Not quite the reaction I was expecting. So, to help us out, allergist and immunologist Dr. Danica Schulte is in the audience to shed some light on this interesting development. So, Dr. Danica, is there any truth to these findings? This review article makes huge speculations on the association between fertility and antihistamine medication. The study is mainly taking different rat models and different animals studies and making sort of an association with what could happen in adults. They were using it as a jumping off point, I’m hoping, to suggest clinical studies are needed. However, I have a ton of people on antihistamines. Side effects I talk about are not fertility, but usually it’s over dryness, dry mucous membranes, kids that are prone to constipation, have them drink a lot of fluids, if you have trouble with your eyes, your eye doctor, if can use it long term. But usually, it’s a very well tolerated over-the-counter medication that controls symptoms and quality of life. Absolutely, I think the biggest take home point, I totally agree with you, is that number one, animal models don’t always translate to human models. We’ve cured a ton of cancers in animal models that have not translated to human successes. And number two, we as a society are very quick to think there’s a pill that solves everything, (audience murmurs agreement)
and are quick to look for medication,
(audience claps) so I think to think about the harms and the benefits, this is a good conversation to have, but not necessarily a reason why I would tell my patients to stop taking it. So, I completely agree with you Dr. Danica. I think it’s just important to know what you’re taking and why you’re taking it and if it works for you. And if doesn’t work for you, you stop it. I think we have to be careful when we’re putting these studies out there also, because infertility is already so hard and when you start saying you can’t do this, or this, and this and it’s not true, then it just causes unnecessary stress. Right. But we know that there are certain things that men can do to help their fertility, for example stop smoking cigarettes, avoid excessive alcohol, make sure your weight is under control, make sure you’re not just soaking in, you know, hot tubs all the time, (laughs) things like that.
And tight fitting underwear. Yes, tight fitting underwear, yeah. It’s a good life, but it’s not good for the swimmers. Yeah, exactly.
(audience claps) But you know, again, always, and thank you Dr. Shulte for sharing, but as we say on the show, you know don’t let allergies control your life, try to learn to deal with it and do the things you can do. Create an environment that’s, do the best you can do at eliminating those things that you’re allergic to and rinse your nose out with saline and wash your sheets and your clothes and don’t bring… And the main thing too,
allergens into the house. All those little things that you can do. Well remember, your histamine is a normal response of the body, to any sort of injury or allergy. And it’s meant to dump that chemical into your system. And one good thing is the neti pot, right, (murmuring agreement) where you wash out your sinuses. People love it. If you don’t know what it is, Google it, it’s not at all sexy, your significant other is (laughing)
never gonna say, ‘Let me see ‘that thing’
Shut the door when you do it! (light clapping) They’re never gonna say, ‘let me see that thing ‘you do with the neti pot’! But it’s good, people like it, it works. Do the neti pot in private. (laughing) You can start with the nasal saline. Start with just a mist in the shower at the end of the day, versus, because the neti pot is a little overwhelming, so you put the mist in your shower, take a shower, spray it in, blow it out in the shower. I can get kids to do it. So it’s a non-medication way to try to control the allergy piece, and I agree, if we can go without medication, it’s better.