Is it true that you can change the taste of your semen by eating different foods? My girlfriend complains that I don’t taste good. -- Russell, 31, Lubbock, Texas

Semen normally tastes fairly sweet because it contains a sugar, fructose, that helps power sperm. But the flavor of semen can be affected by what a man eats or smokes.

If semen has a bitter flavor or strong odor, it could be because the guy is a smoker (of either cigarettes or marijuana), or because he’s been drinking a lot of coffee or alcohol. It’s also true that certain foods, such as asparagus and garlic, can give semen an off-flavor because they contain high levels of certain enzymes or elements. Semen might also taste bad if you have a low-grade urinary tract infection.

So if you’ve got bad-tasting semen and you haven’t been eating anything unusual or smoking or drinking too much, get checked out by a doctor.

Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He’s here to answer reader questions in an effort to get guys to “man up about health.”