Red Light Therapy for Egg and Sperm Health: How It Works

Red light therapy for egg and sperm is a promising treatment for improving egg and sperm health and can be a beneficial addition to a fertility treatment plan. However, more research is needed to fully understand its potential benefits and optimal use.

Red Light Therapy for Female Fertility and Improving the Quality of Eggs

If you are reading this article it will mean that you are struggling to conceive. During your journey you might find that the majority of doctors and specialists would concentrate solely on the female factor. Historically if there was an issue with trying to conceive it would be a female issue, however in today’s society infertility can be attributed to either the male or the female.

Infertility is a difficult issue for many couple effecting 1 in 8 couples. Approximately 40% of the time this can be attributed solely to female reproductive issues, 40% of the time solely to male issues, and 20% to a combination of female and male issues to varying degrees.

With female infertility, it can be caused by a variety of issues. Two of the most common causes are thyroid problems and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is a condition that affects how the ovaries work; though they are both often under diagnosed.

When it comes to fertility issues, diagnosis isn’t always easy. Endometriosis, fibroids, and other internal growths are also a frequent source of infertility. 30% of women who have trouble conceiving have some degree of endometriosis.

Other potential causes of infertility include trauma to the ovaries, fallopian tube blockages, scarring from surgery including caesareans (C-sections), and ovulation issues such as anovulation (when an egg doesn’t get released from the ovaries), irregular cycles, fibroids in the uterus, or hormonal imbalances that can affect egg quality or follicle development.

In many cases, the cause of infertility is simply unexplained, which in those cases the cause is simply not known, but there will be a reason. Additionally, conception and egg implantation may take place but, in some cases, will end in miscarriage during early pregnancy.

Trying to conceive can be a frustrating and emotionally challenging process, and it can take a toll on all areas of life. Understanding the various causes of infertility can help you make informed decisions and seek the right help

As fertility issues become increasingly prevalent, infertility treatments and research have been on the rise. Japan, in particular, is facing one of the worst fertility crises in the world and has one of the highest rates of IVF use. But this country is also at the forefront of a new type of research that could give hope to many – red light therapy for egg and sperm as a way to improve female fertility! It’s an intriguing concept, so let’s take a closer look at how it works.

With the goal of augmenting female fertility, the organs of interest are all deep structures (ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, thyroid, brain). These are not located at the surface like the male testes, and thus it is more important for the quality of light being delivered to be such a wavelength that enables deeper tissue penetration. For this optimal penetration, the led light wavelength should be higher, around 720-840nm, which corresponds to the infrared spectrum of light. 

LLLT increases production of Nitric Oxide (NO) which can help widen your coronary arteries and improve the blood flow to your heart muscle.

When it comes to improving female fertility, the deep organs such as the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, thyroid and the brain are the ones that need the most attention. These organs are not located at the surface of the body like the male testes, so it is important for a light to be delivered in such a way that it can reach these deeper structures. The wavelength of light that is best for this is in the infrared spectrum, specifically 720-840nm. This wavelength is able to penetrate deeper and provide the best results is 830nm.

Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) on the Neck Treatment for Women

Early Japanese studies were based on the “proximal priority technique”, which is that the brain is the “master hormonal regulator” of the body. The proximal priority technique targets the central application of LLLT to have downstream release of hormones and effects.

Early Japanese studies have found that low-level light therapy (LLLT) may be a viable option. A study conducted by Oshiro used 830nm near infrared light on the necks of 701 infertile women with severe infertility and that were unsuccessful through traditional methods of assisted conception. Over an average of 9.13 years and 21 sessions of 830nm LLLT, 156 of the 701 patients achieved pregnancy (22.3%) resulting in 79 live births (50.1%). Even more encouraging, there were no noted adverse effects from the treatment.

Following on from the successful studies using light on the neck, researchers were interested in whether or not light therapy might improve the success rates of natural pregnancies and IVF.

The cost of IVF and other forms of assist conception can be extremely high with tens of thousands of pounds per round, this is just not possible for many couples, some even resorting to loans to fund their dreams. Along with the Financial costs it’s the mental costs that is involved, it can be very draining and the success rates can be very low, especially in women aged over 35 years young. With the high cost and low success rates involved with IVF the possibility of a non-invasive treatment that will either assist the chances of being successful with IVF or even possibly not needing IVF at all was even more appealing.

Implantation rates of fertilized eggs, critical for both in vitro fertilization (IVF) and natural pregnancies, are thought to be influenced by mitochondrial function. Lower performing mitochondria hinder the functioning of the egg cell. The mitochondria found in egg cells are inherited from the mother, which can be hindered by DNA mutations in egg cells, especially in older women. The Danish study looked at women who had previously experienced failed IVF cycles, and found that two-thirds of them achieved a successful pregnancy, either through natural conception or through IVF, after undergoing red and near infrared light therapy. This included a 50-year-old woman, which is a remarkable example of the efficacy of this technology. With no known side effects, light therapy may be a beneficial tool to improve fertility and increase the chances of successful pregnancies.

Red Light Therapy & Infrared Therapy on the Abdomen Treatment for Women

Alternative to the “proximal treatment technique”, a group out of Denmark has explored the application of LLLT to the lower abdomen for women. In this study by Grinsted and Hillegass, they evaluated their treatment protocol in over 400 women.

With this study, treatment starting on first day of menstruation, totalling 6 treatments over the course of 2 weeks with attempted insemination occurring at day 12-14 (with ovulation).

If unsuccessful the next treatment can resume on the first day of the next menstruation.

The treatment consists of 23 minutes of 20,000 Joules (15k Joules of near infrared light at 808nm plus 5k Joules of red light at 660nm) placed 1-2 cm above the skin with an area of 500cm2.

In a study with 400 participants ranging in age from 34-50 and a diagnosis of infertility who had already tried dietary changes, exercise, hormonal treatments, IUI, IVF, and/or ICSI, no adverse effects or discomfort was reported. A staggering 65% of the participants achieved successful pregnancies with the protocol used in the study, that was 260 pregnancies out of 400 people. This, combined with emerging evidence of the effectiveness of NAD+ therapy, suggests that declining egg quality with age may not be a lost cause.

In the study by El Fasham et al., a protocol utilising 635nm wavelength of red light range was applied to the abdomen in two different treatment intervals of 16 minutes. Group A received 4.27J/cm2 of energy per treatment, while Group B was subjected to three equal sessions. Results showed a statistically significant improvement in the number of endometrial cells and gene expression in comparison to the control group. It is suggested that this LLLT to the lower abdomen can improve the proliferative and functional capacity of the endometrial cells of the uterine lining, which could lead to increased success with embryo transfer.

The ways in which these benefits can be achieved have been elucidated by the restoration of egg function due to improved mitochondrial function in the aging process. Without proper mitochondrial functioning, egg cells are unable to produce adequate amounts of ATP for the necessary processes, resulting in an inability to develop, divide, or implant. It is possible that unexplained infertility could be attributed to a key factor, which is further evidenced by the decline in fertility rate with age. Red and near infrared light (<850nm) both improve mitochondrial health. The cells in our body may benefit from red and infrared light therapy, but egg cells may gain the most from this form of treatment.

Red Light Therapy for Male Fertility and Improving the Sperm Quality

Male factor infertility is a condition where a man is unable to conceive due to a number of biological factors. These can include a low sperm count, poor spermatozoa motility, and a high percentage of abnormal sperm. While there are a variety of treatments to help address these issues, it is increasingly becoming clear that red light therapy for egg and sperm could also be used to improve male fertility.

There are many environmental factors that contribute to male infertility such as smoking and heavy drinking, carrying mobile phones in pockets, wearing tight boxers and trousers, cycling, having hot baths and showers, having laptops on the lap, heated seats as well as a number of other factors. Good news is these are all things that can be stopped, also new sperm is created every 3-6 months so a bad sample today doesn’t necessarily mean a bad sample in 3-6 month’s time.

Heat to the testes is a major factor in poor sperm quality. The heat can kill sperm or cause abnormalities. Today infertility is just as much a male issue as it is female. There are occasions where it is both parties, but around half of all infertility related problems can be improved by boosting male sperm production and performance. Male infertility is defined as oligospermia (sperm density <20 million/mL), asthenozoospermia (<50% showing progressive motility), or teratozoospermia (<15% normal morphology).

Male factor infertility can be caused by a variety of medical issues. This includes varicoceles, a prior vasectomy, disruption of the vas deferens, autoantibodies against sperm, low testicular function, central hypogonadism, and other environmental or genetic factors. In addition, traumatic events, cancer, cancer treatments, and severe infections can all cause permanent damage to the testes and reduce their ability to produce sperm.

There are supplements and the use of red light therapy for egg and sperm that can improve male reproductive parameters, which can help combat causes of male infertility. Carnitine and zinc are two common supplements that can be taken to help boost sperm production and function. Additionally, studies have been conducted on red light therapy as well. We’ll take a closer look at these studies below.

Red Light Therapy and Male Fertility Benefits

Sertoli cells are vital components of the male testes that are necessary for the production of sperm and the formation of testicular tissue. They provide the necessary environment for germ cells to develop into spermatozoa, therefore playing an essential role in male fertility. Additionally, these cells contain an abundance of mitochondria, as with healthy eggs, they are also necessary for healthy sperm function. In summary, Sertoli cells are the manufacturing plant of sperm in the testes, and their proper functioning is integral for normal sperm counts and concentration.

Red light therapy for egg and sperm has been extensively researched for its potential to stimulate the mitochondria of Sertoli cells in men. This therapy involves exposing the lower abdomen or testes to red and infrared light frequencies, which is believed to improve various parameters. Red light at 670nm is typically the treatment of choice for the testes, since they are relatively shallow organs and the light doesn’t need to penetrate too deeply to yield results.

Recent research has explored the effects of red light therapy on sperm quality, with encouraging results. In some cases, a single treatment was enough to produce a significant increase in sperm count, concentration, and motility. The findings have been quite remarkable.

Grinsted and Hillegas looked at the effects of red light therapy in men. Their treatment protocol is as follows:

  • A single treatment using the wavelength, near infrared at 808nm.
  • The LEDS are placed 1-2 cm above the testicle.
  • Each testicle received two 10 second treatments, for a total dose of 10 Joules per testicle

According to their study, the treatment can result in an increase of sperm concentrations from 2 million/mL to 40 million/mL. Although further research is needed to validate these results, the fact that the treatment is reportedly harmless has led many medical professionals to suggest that it should be implemented in all cases of male infertility prior to any sperm collections for IVF. Be careful not to leave the light treatment on for too long as if left too long the heat can have an adverse effect.

Another study by Frangez et al. looked at the effects of different wavelengths and how they impact sperm motility. In their study, they treated sperm directly after the sample was collected, as opposed to treating the sperm while they are in the testes. They treated donated sperm with several different wavelengths:

  1. 850nm
  2. 625nm, 660nm, and 850nm
  3. 470nm
  4. 625nm, 660nm, and 470nm

Following treatment, the researchers studied the percentage of motile spermatozoa and sperm kinetics. All the treated groups showed significant improvements. LED light significantly raised the amount of rapidly progressive sperm (mean differences were 2.83 (1.39-4.28), 3.33 (1.61-5.05), 4.50 (3.00-5.99) and 3.83 (2.31-5.36) for groups 1-4, respectively) and significantly lowered the percentage of immotile sperm (mean differences and 95% CI were 3.50 (1.30-5.70), 4.33 (2.15-6.51), 5.83 (3.81-7.86) and 5.50 (2.98-8.02) in groups 1-4, respectively). The results showed that photobiomodulation therapy using LED improved sperm motility regardless of the wavelength chosen.

Increasing the volume and quality of sperm present in an ejaculate can increase the likelihood of successful conception, either through natural or in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods. Specifically, a higher concentration of sperm that exhibit a higher degree of motility (movement) increases a person’s chances of successfully conceiving.

Red Light Therapy and Sperm DNA fragmentation

Sperm DNA fragmentation has recently become an increasingly important indicator of male fertility and reproductive health. It refers to the amount of damage done to a man’s sperm DNA, which can be the result of various factors such as age, lifestyle, and environment. High levels of sperm DNA fragmentation can make it more difficult for a man to conceive a child.

When a sperm cell is healthy, it carries a full complement of DNA, which is necessary for successful fertilizations of an egg. However, when a sperm cell is damaged, it can carry incomplete DNA, or even damaged DNA, which can make it difficult for fertilization to take place. Additionally, sperm with high DNA fragmentation can lead to increased rates of miscarriage, as well as the potential for genetic mutations in the offspring.

Fortunately, there are ways to test for sperm DNA fragmentation. It can be done through a simple semen analysis, or a more advanced test called a sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA). This test measures the levels of damaged DNA in the sperm and can give a more detailed picture of a man’s fertility.

If a man does have high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (Sperm DNA Damage), there are treatments that can be used to improve his fertility. These include lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking, as well as taking nutritional supplements. Additionally, there are treatments that can help to repair damaged sperm DNA, such as red light therapy and the use of antioxidants and vitamins.

ROS production or reactive oxidative stress directly links to Sperm DNA Fragmentation, oxidative DNA damage.

Reactive Oxidative Stress (ROS) can increase the amount of damage to the DNA in sperm cells. When there is an imbalance between the production of ROS and the body’s ability to neutralize them, the excess ROS can damage the sperm’s genetic material. This can lead to sperm DNA fragmentation, which is a condition where the DNA strands in the sperm’s genetic material break into smaller pieces. Sperm with fragmented DNA are less likely to fertilize an egg and may result in a miscarriage or birth defects if fertilizations occurs. Therefore, increased ROS production and sperm DNA fragmentation can both negatively impact male fertility and increase the risk of infertility.

The good news is that you can do something in relation to Sperm DNA Fragmentation. If you have had a test that shows that you have high fragmentation or high ROS or both, don’t be disheartened, there are steps you can do, I will go into more details on steps within your fertility journey that you can do in a separate blog. But remember that sperm regenerates and you can do things to improve it. Which include operations such as a varicocele embolization, supplements such as Proceed Plus and Red Light Therapy such as emit LEDS Red Light and Near Infrared Belts.

How does Red Light Therapy help Sperm DNA Fragmentation?

Red light therapy for egg and sperm can help reduce Reactive Oxidative Stress (ROS) and sperm DNA fragmentation. The therapy involves exposing the body to red or near-infrared light, which is absorbed by the mitochondria in cells. This stimulates the mitochondria to produce more energy, which helps to decrease ROS production and increase antioxidant activity, reducing oxidative stress. Red light therapy can also activate cellular pathways that protect cells from damage and help repair DNA. By reducing oxidative stress and promoting cell repair, red light therapy can help improve sperm quality and increase male fertility.

Red Light and Near Infrared Therapy for Fertility and Beyond: Exploring the Potential Benefits

Red light Therapy for Egg and Sperm

From Founder

Did you know that sperm regenerates every 3-6 months, so just because you have a low count, poor motility or morphology, doesn’t mean it won’t improve. That goes for sperm fragmentation and oxidative stress as well.
Egg quality can also be improved, have a look and see what you think. Give red light therapy for egg and sperm a go.
Eugene Emmanuel

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