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Dr. H, Column Writer

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Dear D. H,

What if I pass out after sex?

Dear student,

Hm… is this a hypothetical question, like, you have, in fact, never actually passed out after sex, but you worry that you might? Or, is this to say you do, in fact, actually pass out after sex and you’re wondering if that is a problem?

If it’s the former, I’d say that if you are really concerned about passing out after sex, you should tell all of your future partners that if you do pass out, they should call 911. If this situation isn’t hypothetical and you, actually, passed out after sex, I recommend taking a break from sexual activity—whatever it is that causes you to pass out—and speak with a doctor about that. Doctors hear all sorts of things, so make sure you are open, honest and you provide as much detail as you can.

With any strenuous exercise, there is risk that individuals can faint (or “pass out”) as a result of the brain not getting enough oxygen via blood. Usually it’s nothing serious, a temporary diversion of blood to the brain because blood is going elsewhere. But if this happens regularly, like every time you have sex, you should speak with someone who can get more into the details of your health history and current health status, which could uncover some reasons why you’re experiencing this. Good luck!


Dear Dr. H,

Is painting your nails negatively affecting the strength and longevity of them?

Dear Student,

After diving into the empirical evidence on the health effects of nail polish, I think the strength and longevity of your nails is the least of your worries. The agents that help prevent brittleness in nail polish contains the toxins dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), chemicals that have been found to disrupt the endocrine system. The endocrine systems is responsible for many things, but not the least of which is the regulation of reproductive hormones. Similarly, nail polish remover contains potentially health-harmful toxins. Although it doesn’t appear that more natural—or organic—nail polish is widely available, you should be able to check labels to see whether DBP is in the particular brand you use. Avoid it. Because inhalation is one of the most effective routes of exposure, avoid breathing the fumes of nail polish and polish remover and perhaps go a few days or weeks without nail polish altogether.

For more information, check out:


Dear Dr. H,

How do you recover well from the acid you get from working out too much?

Dear Student,

Rest and recovery are important parts of any workout plan. If building strength or increasing endurance is the goal of a multi-phased plan, you should have schedule rest periods. Even if you work out consistently at the same intensity, taking one or two days off per week, is recommended. This time allows your body to heal from the physical trauma it endures during workouts, so it can allow you to do the things you want it to do and avoid injury in the process.

So how do you recover well? You rest.

You take a day off after a particularly strenuous work out day or several days off after a strenuous workout phase (generally, a “phase” is 7-10 days long). Sometimes we hear the term “active rest” and a long walk or gentle jog on your rest days can help balance the strength training you do. If you’re an endurance athlete, your rest may include a non-primary activity (say, swimming, if you primarily run) or yoga. Rest days can/should also include some foam rolling or massage stick to sore or stiff areas. Splurge on a massage, if you can, and of course, drink plenty of water.

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Ask Dr. H