Do not ask your wife for sex if you are drunk, never take medication to improve your virility and if you have had two children you should be sterilised. These are just some of the snippets of advice offered on a pack of playing cards handed out to thousands of households in Beijing to promote family planning and increase awareness of sexual health and hygiene. So far 6,000 packs have been given out free in the Haidian district. Each card carries a cartoon and a message. The pack is divided into four sections according to the suit. Hearts covers sexual health and hygiene, clubs looks at sexually transmitted diseases, diamonds focuses on methods of contraception and spades explains government family planning policies. 'It has been a very effective form of propaganda,' said Zhang Li, the director of the local family planning committee that devised the project. 'We used to print books and pamphlets but no one was interested and they just piled up in our office. But these cards have flown out.' The cards present some facts and a lot of advice on a range of issues - from the menopause to the morning-after pill. People are urged to adhere to the family planning rules, better known as the one-child policy, and warned away from a promiscuous lifestyle. Some unusual advice is also on offer. On one card, women are told that they should not have sex while they are pregnant. On another, couples are urged to use contraceptives on their wedding night. The card says it is best not to get pregnant on the wedding night because the man and the woman will be tired after a stressful day, a large part of which was probably spent in a smoky environment, so the quality of the sperm and the ovum will not be as high as usual. The card concept - modelled on the United States' ploy of printing the '55 most wanted' in Iraq on a pack of cards - has stirred controversy. 'Most people still have a problem uttering words about sex,' said Ms Meng, of the Haidian family planning bureau. 'But these days we teach sex education to primary school students, so why can't they accept this?'