If you’re experiencing infertility you are not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that one in eight couples will have trouble conceiving. These staggering statistics “don’t even touch the LGBTQ community. The one in eight number is probably underestimating how vast the problem is,” Dr. Brian Levine, one of the nation’s leading experts on men’s fertility, says. In his own words, Dr. Levine helps “people who have trouble getting pregnant, people who have trouble staying pregnant, and people who want to freeze eggs, sperm, embryos or learn more about their fertility.”
His expertise was a guiding influence in the development of our new Men’s Multi Support Pack and Dr. Levine recently went live on our Instagram with Miles Garber for a Men’s Fertility 101. In the conversation we learned that when it comes to infertility, “40 percent of the time it’s male factor; 40 percent of the time it's the female factor; and 20 percent of the time it’s combined or unknown. If you look at the big picture, it’s really 50/50.” This realization—and the lack of discussion surrounding it—fuels our discussion to #Go5050 on fertility and parenting.
Here are Dr. Levine’s top 6 tips for boosting male fertility.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
“For men, number one, maintain a healthy weight. Being sedentary and sitting down more will increase the temperature of the testicles and that will cook your sperm and lower your sperm count,” Dr. Levine says.
“We know that increasing your caloric intake and not burning it builds fat, and when you build fat you can also end up becoming very inflamed and get into an inflammatory environment.”
“Exercise is so important for men. I cannot say enough how important exercise is. And it needs to be varied. A mix of high intensity interval training or cardiovascular is great. Don’t be an elliptical guy. Don’t be just a lifting guy. You need to blend the two, especially as you get older. My favorite thing for people to use is on the New York Times’ seven minute workout. Everyone can find seven minutes,” Dr. Levine suggests.
Beyond maintaining your weight, why does working out matter? “Exercise will increase your testosterone levels. This increases your body’s metabolism of your own hormones, allowing for changeover and fighting the bulge,” Dr. Levine suggests.
“Third, manage stress. Think about, how do we get our few moments of zen throughout the day? Unplug, take a break, disconnect. Do something for yourself, so that you can do something for yourself.”
“Fourth, don’t smoke. It's not cool. It’s actually counterproductive to getting pregnant. We know that men and women who smoke have demonstrable fertility issues. In sperm it affects how the sperm gets into the actual ejaculate. We know that it messes with the most subtle aspects in the body—the transportation of cells,” Dr. Levine says. Does this apply to marajuana? Unfortunately, yes. “If you really need to have marajuana, eat it. It’s the act of inhaling combustion that’s terrible,” Dr. Levine concludes.
“You might go to work and be in an environment where there’s chemicals and you might think, ‘oh I'm young and healthy, I don't need to wear a mask.’ Well, sperm are the smallest cell in the human body. Sperm are the most sensitive cells in the human body to environmental toxins. Removing yourself from an environment that’s toxin-rich can have a huge improvement in fertility. So when in doubt, protect yourself.”
Want some extra support? Our new “Men's Multi Support Pack has been thoughtfully designed to help support the most critical and delicate steps in spermatogenesis (the production or development of mature spermatozoa),” Dr. Levine says.
“Because the name of the game in making sperm is making high-quality DNA, The Men's Multi has L-5 Methylfolate (activated format of folate), which is critical in DNA synthesis. This is coupled to vitamins C and E, and selenium; which aside from its antioxidant activity, selenium has been shown to have significant protection against DNA damage by increasing the activity of DNA repair enzymes!
The Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) not only improve the antioxidant activity in human seminal fluid (the liquid the sperm swim in), supplementation of DHA have been shown to increase testosterone levels in some men, thereby increasing libido (which is important for reproduction).
Lastly, CoQ10, also known as Ubiquinone, is a ubiquitous substance that is made by your body and stored in the mitochondria (the battery packs of cells). CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant on its own, but most importantly, it is critical in generating and transferring energy within cells. In short, it helps the swimmers swim by charging them,” Dr. Levine explains.
Guys, we love to hear from you. What other fertility questions do you have for our experts? Tell us on social or by dropping us an email. Plus, shop the Perelel Men’s Multi Support Pack to boost your partner’s fertility now.
Written by Jessica Lopez. Jessica Lopez is a freelance writer, digital content creator, and new mother. She has covered all lifestyle topics ranging from bridal to beauty for publications including Brides Magazine, Byrdie, THE/THIRTY, and more. Walking wide-eyed into motherhood has inspired her to connect with other parents through her writing and shared experience. You can follow more of her journey @Jessica.H.Lopez.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.