Researchers working on a new form of contraception reveal that a dose of ultrasound wave to the testicles may halt the generation of sperm. Sound waves could be used to diminish sperm counts to the levels which would cause infertility in human beings.
The ultrasound was depicted as promising contender in contraception and the hypothesis was first recommended in seventies. Now, it is being pursued by researchers from the University of North Carolina. They found that two fifteen minute, ultrasound doses significantly diminish the number of sperm producing cells and levels of sperm.
The dose of ultrasound wave was most effective when delivered through salt water and delivered two days apart. Men were considered to be sub-fertile when their sperm counts dropped less than fifteen million sperm per milliliter. Researchers carried out a mice study to examine the effects of ultrasound in lowering sperm counts.
The sperm count in mice dropped to below ten million sperm per millilitre. According to lead author Dr James Tsuruta, more studies are needed to find out how long the effect of contraceptive lasts and whether it is harmless to use multiple times.
The researchers need to make sure that the ultrasound produces a reversible effect, contraception not sterilization. In addition to that they want to examine if there would be collective damage from repetitive doses. The findings of mice study were published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.
It was probable that there would be recovery of sperm production, but the sperm might be damaged when production of sperm was resumed, explained Dr Allan Pacey, senior lecturer in andrology from the University of Sheffield. The last thing they would like is lingering damage to sperm.