Ultrasound May Cause Low Sperm Counts In Males

Ultrasound technology has now find common use in the field of medicine. Ultrasound equipment is largely being used in various means, including internal and for physical therapy. But new research suggests that the use of ultrasound can also cause low sperm counts in males.

A study conducted by researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine suggests that ultrasound equipment being used in physical therapy can also be used as a potential male contraceptive. The researchers used high-frequency ultrasound on rat testes and causing it to warm up to 37 degrees Celsius. The researchers discovered that two 15-minute sessions of this procedure set two days apart were effective to cause the rat’s sperm count index to go down to zero.

According to James Tsuruta of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, “Unlike humans, rats remain fertile even with extremely low sperm counts. However, our noninvasive ultrasound treatment reduced sperm reserves in rats far below levels normally seen in fertile men (95 percent of fertile men have more than 39 million sperm in their ejaculate).”

Tsuruta added that more research might be needed in order to determine the duration of low sperm counts as well as the safety of using such ultrasound equipment for more than once. It is also known that some studies involving animals does not necessarily produce the same results on human subjects. The study findings is published in the January 29 edition of the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology.

Source: Everyday Health


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