A new treatment that boosts male fertility should increase the chances of couples conceiving naturally
A new gel containing chemical compounds that increase the swimming ability of sperm cells is being developed with the aim of improving the chances of natural conception.
Male infertility has often been overlooked with many treatments requiring women to undergo costly and invasive procedures such as IVF.
One in six couples have difficulty conceiving, yet only a third of all fertility problems are due to women. The rest lie with the male partner or are the result of an unknown cause.
Successful sperm cells flick their tails with a whip-like motion, due to calcium spikes and dips inside the cell. By using compounds that help increase this motion, the newly developed gel that can be used during sex as an alternative to invasive treatments.
‘Fertility treatments basically involve helping sperm to reach the egg,’ says lead researcher Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown from the University of 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.’