Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diodes improves sperm motility in men with asthenozoospermia
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Sperm motility is an important parameter of male fertility and depends on energy consumption. Photobiomodulation with light-emitting diode (LED) is known to stimulate respiratory chain in mitochondria of different mammalian cells. The aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of photobiomodulation with LED on sperm motility in infertile men with impaired sperm motility—asthenozoospermia. Thirty consecutive men with asthenozoospermia and normal sperm count who visited the infertility clinic of University Medial Centre Ljubljana between September 2011 and February 2012 were included in the study. Semen sample of each man was divided into five parts: one served as a non-treated (native) control and four parts were irradiated with LED of different wavelengths: (1) 850 nm, (2) 625, 660 and 850 nm, (3) 470 nm and (4) 625, 660 and 470 nm. The percentage of motile sperm and kinematic parameters were measured using a Sperm Class Analyser system following the WHO recommendations. In the non-treated semen samples, the average ratio of rapidly progressive sperms was 12 % and of immotile sperm 73 %. Treating with LED significantly increased the proportion of rapidly progressive sperm (mean differences were as follows: 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 decreased the ratio of immotile sperm (the mean differences and 95 % CI were as follows: 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) for groups 1–4, respectively). All differences were highly statistically significant. This finding confirmed that photobiomodulation using LED improved the sperm motility in asthenozoospermia regardless of the wavelength.
KeywordsLow level light therapy Sperm motility Human sperm
The authors thank all patients for their participation, laboratory technicians in the Andrology Laboratory for their additional work that enabled this research, Votan who donated LED for the purpose of this study and Erik Margan for sharing his knowledge of experimental physics with us.
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