You Give Me (Spring) Fever
Spring Brings Changes in Hormones continued...
Our long-ago ancestors chose to procreate in the fall, he says.
"Given the fact that mammals have a longer gestation period, it's best to
conceive in the fall and deliver in the spring, when the supply of nourishing
food supplies would be supportive of offspring. It may be a naturally selective
thing that became ingrained in the genetics of human beings."
However, our more recent ancestors created Valentine's Day
"as a pagan ritual whose sole purpose is to celebrate sexual activity,"
Smolensky tells WebMD. "Was this society's primitive way a means to
stimulate sexual interest in a time when interest really wasn't there?"
Spring breaks and vacations may have evolved similarly, he
says. "Given enough alcohol and nudity, sex is a normal response that can
occur at any time of the year."
Just take note: There are more unplanned babies conceived
during spring months, Smolensky tells WebMD. He's analyzed studies in which
IUDs and birth control pills were used and found that unintended conceptions
occurred twice during the year -- in May and in September/October -- "even
though the women claimed they were consistently adherent to birth control.
There likely are seasonal biological factors at work, but what they are, we
Another word of caution: "Sperm counts are higher in
spring," he says. "In sexually active males, sperm count is affected by
two factors -- environmental temperature and sexual activity. When they are
sexually active, sperm count goes down somewhat. When they're not sexually
active, they're not using it, so it goes up."
Ease Back Into Exercise
If spring break isn't your speed, you're likely to be working
in the yard -- or taking a jog around the block. Just be careful, Smolensky
"Take it easy if you've been a couch potato all
winter," he tells WebMD. "People get out on weekends, trying to get
things done outside after the long winter season, try to get their body weight
down, but they overdo it."
A lot of heart attacks happen in the springtime. "It's real
important that people realize they are vulnerable -- especially the more mature
person with compromised cardiovascular or lung function."
It's happened in his neighborhood. Someone collapsed and needed
CPR. "We almost lost him," says Smolensky.