WHO estimates that 186 million people live with infertility. Low sperm motility, their inability to move effectively through a woman’s genital tract is a common cause of low male fertility.
Australian scientists from Monash University have found that high-frequency ultrasound can increase sperm motility, thereby increasing the chances of a couple to conceive.
Researchers have found that spermatozoa treated with high-frequency ultrasound move 30% faster through the fallopian tube in a woman’s body. Also, after a 20-second exposure to ultrasound, the number of motile spermatozoa increased by the same 30%.
This is an amazing discovery and that’s why – currently, the only alternative way to correct such male problems was invasive (associated with penetration into the body) treatment using pentoxifylline. Such a procedure in itself carries risks, in addition, cells treated with this chemical quickly die.
Ultrasound treatment can help couples conceive a child – either by increasing fertility during natural reproduction, or by avoiding invasive interventions in the case of assisted reproduction.
“We found that high-frequency ultrasound increases the rate of metabolic activity of spermatozoa. In fact, we increase the ability of spermatozoa to swim to the desired destination, that is, to the egg. This is a very exciting development in the treatment of infertility, and we are looking forward to moving to large-scale clinical trials,” said Reza Nosrati, one of the authors of the study.
Scientists claim that the ultrasound method offers not only non-invasiveness, which means safety, but also time savings for patients. Sperm motility can be significantly increased in 5-50 seconds of high-frequency ultrasound. Sperm is supposed to be processed during IVF procedures — such treatment is easily integrated into standard medical protocols.