Author: Sophia Ratilla
Infertility and low sperm count are becoming more common in both men and women worldwide.
Infertility refers to a couple's failure to conceive after 6 - 12 months of trying. Subfertility is a lower possibility of becoming pregnant than other couples.
It is believed that 12-15 percent of couples wish to have children but cannot do it. As a result, fertility treatments such as IVF, IUI, hormonal or pharmacological methods, surgical procedures, and others are becoming increasingly popular.
Light therapy (also known as photobiomodulation, LLLT, red light therapy,) has shown promise in enhancing the health of many different body parts. It has been examined for both female and male fertility. Is light therapy a safe and effective fertility treatment? This post will discuss why light can be all you need.
Male and female infertility is a worldwide concern, with fertility rates quickly declining. IVF and related reproductive technologies were used to conceive 10% of all kids born in Denmark today. In Japan, one in every six couples is infertile, and the Japanese government has lately intervened to pay for couples' IVF expenditures.
Light therapy is a revolutionary treatment option for infertility. While it comes under the same ART (assisted reproductive technology) category as IVF, it is considerably less expensive, non-invasive, and simpler to obtain treatment.
Fertility in Women
Thyroid issues and PCOS are two of the most common reasons for infertility; both are significantly underdiagnosed. Another major cause of infertility is endometriosis, fibroids, and other undesirable internal growths. Other common reasons for infertility include fallopian tube obstructions, internal scarring from surgery (particularly C-sections), and ovulation difficulties other than PCOS (anovulation, irregular, etc.).
Female fertility with Light Therapy
The fair treatment uses red light, near-infrared light, or a mix of the two. The best light for a particular task depends on the portion of the body. Regarding female fertility, the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and general hormonal systems are the key objectives (thyroid, brain, etc.). Because all these issues are inside the body (unlike male reproductive organs), the best penetration light is required, as just a tiny amount of light striking the epidermis will permeate deep into tissues like the ovaries. Even at the ideal wavelength for penetration, the quantity that penetrates is still very little, necessitating a very high light intensity.
Near-infrared light with wavelengths ranging from 720nm to 840nm has tremendous penetration into biological tissue. Because of its unique qualities of traveling deep into the body, this light spectrum is known as the "Near-Infrared Window (into biological tissue)." Researchers studying female infertility with light have predominantly chosen the 830nm near-infrared wavelength (1-6). This wavelength of 830nm not only penetrates well but also has powerful impacts on our cells, increasing their performance.
Abdominal Light Therapy
It is considered that fair treatment applied directly to the abdomen works in two ways. One is to optimize the reproductive system's environment, ensuring that egg cells are released after ovulation and may transit through the fallopian tubes. The other approach includes directly increasing the health of the egg cell.
Following near-infrared light therapy, 260 of 400 previously infertile women were able to conceive. Compared to other cells, oocyte cells, or egg cells, require enormous energy for cell division and development activities.
This might be the main reason for most unexplained fertility cases and why fertility falls with age — the egg cells can't produce enough energy. Decreased mitochondrial function can be harmful.
Fertility in Men
Male factors account for around 30% of infertile couples, with a mix of male and female variables accounting for the remaining 20%. Fertility issues in men are often associated with decreased testicular function, which leads to sperm difficulties.
Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol use have a significant detrimental impact on sperm numbers and quality. Environmental and nutritional variables can boost sperm production and quality, such as increased zinc status and red light treatment.
Male Fertility with Light Therapy
Light therapy (also known as photobiomodulation) is a well-studied treatment for sperm health that involves the administration of visible red or non-visible near-infrared light to the body.
So, which form of light is better, and at what wavelength? Is it red or near-infrared?
The red light spectrum at 650nm is now the most well-studied and effective range for boosting male reproductive health and sperm quality.
Accelerated and more powerful Sperm Cells
Studies reveal that sperm motility (swim speed) improves dramatically after just one session of red light therapy: Motility or velocity of the sperm cells is crucial for fertility since, without adequate speed, the sperm would never reach the female's egg cell and fertilize it.
With substantial evidence that fair treatment increases motility, it appears that utilizing a piece of suitable light therapy equipment is necessary for every infertile couple. Because the low concentration of sperm may still reach and (one of them) fertilize the egg cell, the enhanced motility from light treatment can even overcome the issue of low sperm numbers.
Millions of more Sperm Cells
Light treatment not only improves motility, but many studies demonstrate that it can also boost sperm counts/concentration, resulting in quicker and more sperm.
Almost every cell in our body has mitochondria, which focus on red light treatment. These are the sperm-producing cells of the testes, which is where sperm is produced. All elements of male fertility, including sperm counts, rely on the proper functioning of these cells.
Studies have shown that light treatment increases the number of Sertoli Cells in the male testicles, improves their function, and reduces the creation of defective sperm cells. Overall, sperm counts in guys with previously low counts have been observed to improve by 2-5 times.
The interaction with our cells' mitochondria is assumed to be the source of red and near-infrared light treatment effects. This 'photobiomodulation' occurs when specific wavelengths of light, between 600nm and 850nm, are absorbed by a mitochondrion, resulting in improved energy generation and decreased inflammation in the cell.
One of the significant targets of fair treatment is an enzyme called Cytochrome C Oxidase, which is part of the energy metabolism electron transport chain. It is believed that various additional regions of the mitochondria are also impacted. These mitochondria are abundant in egg and sperm cells.
Humans and animals require red and near-infrared light for proper metabolism and reproduction. Light treatment also changes the structure of the water inside our cells, making more significant space between each molecule. This alters the cell's chemical and physical characteristics, allowing nutrients and resources to enter more easily and removing poisons with less resistance.
The benefits of light treatment can be visible not just in the session's target location but also throughout the body. A session of gentle treatment on your hand, for example, can benefit your heart. A light therapy session on the neck can assist the brain, increasing hormone production/status and leading to substantial changes in overall health. Light treatment is critical for reducing cellular stress and restoring regular cell activity; reproductive system cells are no exception.
• For decades, light treatment has been explored for human/animal fertility
• Near-infrared light has been explored to boost female fertility
• It improves egg cell energy production, which is essential for pregnancy
• Red light treatment has been proven to stimulate energy generation in Sertoli and sperm cells, resulting in higher sperm numbers and quality
• All parts of reproduction (male and female) need significant cellular ener1gy.
• Light therapy assists cells in meeting their energy requirements
• LEDs and lasers are the only gadgets that have received extensive research
• Males like red wavelengths between 620nm and 650nm
• Female fertility is benefited by near-infrared light in the 830nm range