Letters From Japan: 'Is there anything at Japanese drugstores that can help me conceive?'

By Hilary Keyes

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to with a subject "Ask Hilary."

Trying To Conceive

Hi Hilary. I’m in my early thirties, married to a Japanese man, and we are trying to have a baby. I have two hormone conditions which make it difficult to conceive. I’ve been to the doctor, but I was wondering if there was anything at the drugstores in Japan that could help me. Do you have any recommendations? – Waiting For Those 2 Lines

Dear Waiting

A lot of news reports focus on the scores of younger people shunning marriage and the demographic time bomb that Japan’s low fertility rate is causing. However, there is also an incredibly personal side to the situation. There are a lot of young married couples that can’t conceive — whether by working themselves to exhaustion, poor nutrition, health issues that their lifestyles have worsened, or out of no explicable reason, really.

You mention that you’ve already seen a doctor. Did you see an infertility specialist? I strongly recommend making an appointment for you and your husband with an infertility specialist. After talking with my own OB/GYN, I was shocked to learn that infertility rates for Japanese men (based on age) stand at about 40 percent for men in their late twenties to thirties, (based on clinical studies in Japan and overall rates reported by major fertility/urological centers across Japan). So even with your own medical issues, your husband may also be suffering from infertility issues that are compounding the problem.

If you have a standard OB/GYN now, they may be able to give you a referral to a clinic that will be best suited to your medical needs. If you don’t already have a regular OB/GYN, then you should consider booking an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible.

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Strong Zero?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have 3 sons with several years between them. The first one came too easy. The second one I took Vitamin C and Zinc to make my soldiers more robust, the third one was during a time I was training for a marathon and in great shape. Believe it or not the man's health is probably key in many or mast cases. Get the hubby off cigarettes, cut down the booze, exercise more, and have more sex.

I also heard from friends that the female tracking her most fertile day the having sex works well. A teaspoon of Benadryl by the lady is rumored to thin the mucus and help the invaders make it too the target.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The pharmacist.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seriously, the writer thinks you can buy fertility treatments over the counter?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The best therapy is to keep your husband out of baths that are hotter than 35 C. Public baths as well as home baths are often hotter than body temperature (37 C.) which is detrimental to the sperm in the testicle. Sleep in a cool bedroom, exercise by walking (both people) and try to conceive when your temperature is at the ovulation maximum. Finally, do not use any artificial lubricants. They are sterile in nature and kill sperm. Good luck.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@noriyosan73: Finally, do not use any artificial lubricants. They are sterile in nature and kill sperm. 

No astroglide?!!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

kawabegawa: "Strong Zero?"

Har! Or any strong chu-hai, or, heck, beer, lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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