Posting in Healthcare
A new kind of male contraceptive uses ultrasound technology to 'zap' away sperm counts.
For the sake of limiting the risk of pregnancy, condoms, the male pill and vasectomies could be something of the past.
Researchers are currently working on a new means to lower a man's sperm count -- by using ultrasound technology. Using sound technology in the medical profession isn't a new concept, as it is used to detect fetal growth, repair muscle tissues and to image tumors. However, a recent trial on rats has suggested that ultrasound may also be used as a means to lower sperm counts.
Studies published in the 1970s began to hint at the potential ultrasound technology could have in relation to fertility control. However, it was not taken much further. This new study aims to see whether there is a commercially viable option in using ultrasound as a male contraceptive.
An assistant professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, James Tsuruta, together with his team reported that commonly used doses of ultrasound can lower rats' sperm concentrations to 3 million per milliliter of semen.
Human males are considered infertile if their sperm count is anything less than 15 million sperm per milliliter, according to WHO (the World Health Organisation). In normal conditions, fertile men have at least 39 million sperm when they ejaculate.
"When we treated the rats in the study, it only took two weeks to shut down a process that is essential to the survival of any species," indicted Tsuruta. "Males produce millions of sperm every day. So it's a very, very robust system. To be able to turn that off -- we are really excited to learn how this actually works."
The current findings of the research indicates that treatment works best when delivered two days apart. It was discovered two 15-minute doses were enough to "reduce significantly" the number of sperm-producing cells. High frequency ultrasound (3MHz) is rotated around the testes, which therefore induces uniform reduction of germ cells.
However, it will no doubt be some time before we see men queuing to have their genitalia zapped, as more extensive tests are necessary to determine whether it is a 'safe' method of contraception, and if it can be used multiple times without causing lasting damage to men.
The study is available in the journal of Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.
Image credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Cyborg rats created to target brain damage
- Sperm tails reveal clue to non-hormonal contraceptives for either sex
- Can science end the contraceptive wars?
Jan 30, 2012
Does ultrasound technology really work in this case. My friend wrote a article in http://n69t.com about this once but he was also confused.
OMG!! 39 million sperms??? This count will definitely decrease to 9 million after this zap!! [url=http://www.genericcialisrx.com/tadalis-sx.html]Tadalis[/url]
Hey you researchers out there you have better not be of any faith particularly those which developed in the past few thousand years or so. According to the Pope (that Catholic leader you know) the sole purpose for sex is to impregnate the female side of the human animal species and nothing else. Therefore those opposed to such things as abortion, birth control and sex for enjoyment do not want the development of this anti-human animal stuff and if a Republican ever gets reelected then you had better stop this research all together. So let it be written, so let it be done! Remember that?