Scientists have found chemical compounds that increase the swimming ability of sperm cells and are using them to create a new gel to help couple’s chances of conception.
The research, conducted at Birmingham Univeristy, has looked at male fertility and how sperm swim, and enabled them to spot possible new treatments for male fertility.
“Fertility treatments basically involve helping sperm to reach the egg. The majority of these involve doing something quite invasive to the women, often even though she may be perfectly healthy,” said Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham and director of the centre for Human Reproductive Science in Birmingham.
“If you can give the man’s sperm a little more va-va-voom, you could help fertility in a far less invasive way and it would be far cheaper. We now have some compounds, that are in the early stages of testing, which can make more sperm swim through the cervical muscous, which means you would get more sperm into the uterus. This should increase fertility,” said Dr Jackson.
About 3.5 million people in the UK are believed to have trouble conceiving, reports The Telegraph. While many do end up falling pregnant naturally, every year 50,000 couples have fertility treatment.
“Sperm have to make their way through quite a difficult environment,” said Dr Jackson. “If you can give them something that makes them swim better, then you can give nature a helping hand.”
“We are still in the early stages but it showing a lot of promise,” he added
What do you think about the idea of a fertility gel for men?