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Ultrasound Male Contraception

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Ultrasound Male Contraception

Ultrasound wave could become a new form of contraception…

A new study on rats has shown the ultrasound waves can be used to lower sperm counts to levels that cause infertility.

Should the technology prove successful in humans, it could offer men a simple and effective form of contraception, that’s completely reversible.

The idea is far from a new, it was first suggested in the 1970s, but lack of funding and interest put the concept on hold. But now, with a grant from the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, the procedure is once again being pursued.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that exposing the rats to 15 minute doses of ultrasound waves ‘significantly reduced’ sperm-producing cells, and that this was most effective when administered two days apart and through warm salt water.

ultrasound lowers sperm count 550x412 Ultrasound Male Contraception

Ultrasound Promising Candidate For Male Contraception

Image Credit: Bobjgalindo, 2005.

According to medical science, a man is said to be sub-fertile when sperm counts dropped below 15 million sperm per milliliter. The ultrasound technique was able to diminish sperm count in rat to just 10 million sperm per milliliter.

Experts acknowledge that much more work needs to be completed before it could be used; nevertheless the new findings have led researchers to describe ultrasound as a ‘promising candidate’ for male contraception.

Lead researcher Dr James Tsuruta said:

Further studies are required to determine how long the contraceptive effect lasts and if it is safe to use multiple times.

The team is confident that the technique is complete reversible and is now investigating whether repeated doses could be harmful.

The study was published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology


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