New Male Birth Control Treatment Involves Blasting Sound Waves At Your Testicles
Let's face it. Male contraception in form of a pill doesn't sound very appealing now does it? But now, scientists from the University of North Carolina has a non oral form of male contraception in the horizon. The researchers say all it takes is a couple of blasts of high frequency sounds waves directly aimed at the testicles.
The procedure will use ultrasound equipment typically used for physical therapy. UNC's James Tsuruta showed that exposing the testes of rats to two 15 minute "doses" of ultrasonic radiation could reduce sperm counts in the rats to level that in humans would lead to infertility. If the treatment proves to be reversible, and deemed safe, it could soon become a common form of male birth control.
Preliminary tests and studies run showed that the treatment isn't painful at all. Though the thought of blasting sound waves aimed at your balls does sound intimidating. The treatment, would be cheap. The equipment that is used to do the treatment is already ubiquitous in sports medicine and physical therapy clinics. Plus no drugs to further the cause.
Tsuruta and his team tested the treatment on rats, though it only lasted two or three months, so a few short visits a year to the clinic would suffice.
There's still a lot of questions to be answered here. Does long term treatment cause any long term damage, and to what extent does a single treatment last for.
"It's a nice idea, but a lot more work is needed," said University of Sheffield's Allan Pacey in an interview with BBC News, claiming it was likely that sperm production would recover, but that "sperm might be damaged and any baby might be damaged," as well.