12 April 2011

Time to ditch the waterbed

Medallions, tight trousers, a waterbed and a spliff: all things regarded as indispensable to that oh-so-retro seventies look. But some of them could keep you childless.

Hugh Hefner might have cornered the market for seventies chic, but some of things regarded as indispensable to the lifestyle he epitomised could keep you childless.

The whole pre-Aids, pre-global warming, pre-boyband thing had a kind of clueless freshness about it.

  • Smoking’s bad for you in every way. The good news is that the body begins recovering from it as soon as you stop.
  • Oysters, long regarded as an aphrodisiac, may contain high levels of mercury and are best avoided.
  • Many people maintain that sex with marijuana is the best sex ever. But if you’re hoping for a baby, dope’s a bad idea for both of you.
  • A number of other aspects of modern life have been identified as being bad for baby-making: the increased use of pesticides has been linked with decreased sperm counts and birth defects. In the early 1990s, researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark pooled data from many worldwide studies of sperm counts and fertility. They found that the increased use of pesticide could be linked to a global decline in semen quality, the increase in testicular cancer rates.In Denmark, the use of pesticides has been linked to a 300 percent increase in the disease, which has been linked to the exposure of pregnant mothers to pesticides.So it may be an idea to let the insects be, or to use flypaper instead of a huge tin of bug spray.
  • But there’s another, unexpected villain in the onslaught on your little swimmers: your waterbed. Waterbeds have a long history: the UK newspaper The Telegraph reports that water-filled beds make of goatskins were used in Persia more than 3 500 years ago (Medallions may have been around too, but probably not mullet haircuts or moustaches). The waterbed bounced back in the late 19th century, when it was used at St Bart’s hospital to prevent bedsores in invalids. In the ’60s and ’70s the waterbed became an essential part of the playboy’s kit. By then they were being made out of vinyl, not goats. They (waterbeds, not goats) could be found in the honeymoon suites of many hotels, as well as aboard the private jets of oil magnates.


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.