Fertility has always been the most important quests for knowledge since the start of the human age. Humans have always tried to be more fertile and even invoked gods and rituals for that purpose in earlier centuries. Nowadays, most of us rely on science to give us the answers we need. However, in the study of fertility, one of the biggest hurdles has always been that studying male sperm is never 100% reliable due to the fact that sperm will die off if they are exposed outside of the penis which makes their analysis difficult to say the least.
In this past month however, a new study was able to give hope to all infertile couples and fertility specialists. Led by scientists at the University of Sheffield, the study used a new technique called Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy that looks directly at molecules in live sperm. It does this through the use of powerful magnets that shoot controlled energy pulses at the sperm which will always cause a reaction from the sperm molecules in the form of echoed signal. This signal is different when coming from either good sperm or weak sperm.
- Due to the fact that the amount of energy directed at the sperm can be controlled and kept as low as needed, the method does not pose any danger to the sperm cells therefore eliminating the risk of their death and loss.
- The same technique was used in the past among the different ways of analyzing cells and tissue when dealing with diseases such as cancer. This study, however, marks the first time that this technology is used with sperm.
The discovery means a lot to the medical and scientific community. For starters, the fact of being able to distinguish good sperm from bad sperm before killing the cell is great opportunity for the inception of a new diagnosis method for male infertility. It also means that research in ways to reverse or help with male infertility can now be accelerated.