Showing sperm the light


Visible light may increase the motility of low functioning sperm. Researchers from Meir Hospital and scientists from Bar-Ilan University discovered the medical breakthrough that could easily help infertile couples achieve pregnancy more successfully when utilizing IVF. Since male infertility or low quality sperm comprise 35-40% of infertility cases, this breakthrough could have a real impact on fertility.

Visible light, aka radiation, at wavelength levels ranging from 400 to 700 nanometers, actually increase the healthfulness of sperm. After only three minutes of exposure the oxygen particles called reactive oxygen species or ROS containing oxygen ions and peroxides were found in the cells as a result of the administration of radiation. ROS is associated with increased motility of the sperm which causes the cell to advance toward the egg.

Sperm samples also had increased protein kinase A, an enzyme responsible for vital functions with the cell. Also, calcium ions with the sperm were increased as well after exposure to the radiation.

The cause for most cases of male infertility is substandard sperm quality, including a lack of motility due to irregular shape or a malfunctioning within the cell itself. Male infertility can of course also refer the amount of sperm. With this discovery, determining the type of male infertility is irrelevant since the light increases the chances of any sperm to propel itself successfully to the egg.

“Our hope is that the new method which was tested, much like the additional methods that are currently being researched, could improve the success rate and provide hope to couples who are not helped by fertility treatments stemming from low quality sperm,” Professor and director of the In-Vitro Unit at the Meir Hospital in Israel, Adrian Shulman stated.

Source:, Rebecca Bitton/Shalom Life


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