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Laser therapy for female and male infertility

By Arne Grinsted

This invited article constitutes an empirical study assembling and summarizing a body of practical results with laser therapy and fertility.

Background
One of the most basic instincts of any mammal is to procreate and make sure that its genes are carried forward to the next generation. Closely related is the urge to build a nest and create your own little family unit. In humans, this structure is interwoven into the very fabric of society. So when a young, assumingly fertile couple fails to produce offspring, it is easy to understand how deeply devastating the situation is. And, potentially, ruining to the relationship.

Personally, I am blessed with two daughters, who came without further ado. But I have friends who have struggled with this problem, and I sympathize deeply. So when I met one of our customers at the WALT Congress in Bergen 2010, and she told me about some exciting results with fertility, I was all ears. Our customer had recently treated a female patient for some neck and shoulder pain with her GigaLaser - with good results. During the session, the patient shared that she and her husband had been trying to get pregnant for the last 6-7 years - without any luck. Our customer had recently heard about good results with laser therapy and fertility, so she offered the patient to try out the GigaLaser. The patient agreed, and after 6 treatments over 4 weeks – she got pregnant! Without doing anything different from what she and her husband had been doing for the last 6-7 years.

Expansion of the discovery
Being aware that a single incidence does not in any way equal scientific proof, I still found the result compelling and worthy of further investigation. So I shared the experience with several others of our GigaLaser customers in Denmark and encouraged them to try out this new application. Soon they started treating other women with fertility challenges, and soon positive results emerged. More women got pregnant!

In Denmark and Norway, 8 GigaLaser clinics regularly treat infertile women, but one clinic in particular has gone all the way and started a designated fertility clinic. It was founded by physiotherapist Anne Marie Jensen (Copenhagen) in 2011, and as of 2016-11-04, she has treated a total of 171 women – and 116 of them have become pregnant. That is a success rate of 68%. For many of these women, the laser treatment has been the last resort, having gone through several IVF’s etc. – and being told that they had no chance of conceiving their own child. On the other hand, a growing number of couples select laser therapy as their first option, when the pregnancy is not on time, and out of the 116 pregnancies around 40% are natural.

All of Anne Marie’s fertility patients go through a thorough physical examination. If needed, they are given physiotherapy treatments for releasing muscle tensions, correcting postural problems and softening of any scar tissue. In addition, they are coached for stress and life style issues.

Results
Results from the 8 GigaLaser clinics is shown in the table below. Anne Marie Jensen’s clinic is no. 8.

The protocol

The GigaLaser protocol is straightforward: starting on the first day of menstruation, 6 treatments are applied over 2 weeks. At this point (when the ovulation is expected), an insemination – natural or otherwise – is attempted. Since the woman now might be pregnant, and laser therapy during pregnancy is said to be contra indicated, the laser therapy is put on hold. If the menstruation then reemerges, the treatment is started all over. When the result is positive, it typically happens within the first 3 months, and very often after the first 2 weeks of laser therapy.

Each treatment lasts 23 minutes and the total dose is 20,000 Joule. The treatment screen covers 500 cm2 and is placed over the (naked) abdominal area. The wavelength is 808 nm for deep penetration and 660 nm LEDs for superficial microcirculation and serving as indicators. There are no side effects or any discomfort associated with the treatment.

Other applications
From all the GigaLaser clinics, we get a lot of feedback about other positive side effects from the GigaLaser therapy. Irregular or missing menstruations are normalized, pain and discomfort from endometriosis is relieved, as well as pain from PCOS. This will, of course, increase the odds of getting pregnant, but the clinics receive many clients for non-pregnancy related problems, as well. One clinic in Denmark, run by physiotherapist Johnny Andersen, specializes in female conditions and has treated hundreds of younger women with PCOS, endometriosis and menstrual problems.

How does it work?
We do not know exactly how laser therapy increases the odds of getting pregnant, but we know a lot about the effects of laser therapy on the cellular level. First of all, laser therapy will stimulate the mitochondria to produce more ATP (= energy) in the cells. This in turn improves the cell’s ability to 1) proliferate, 2) migrate and 3) adhere – which is exactly what a fertilized egg is supposed to do. Further to that, the increased energy level in the cells will improve blood circulation, relax muscle tensions and reduce inflammation. These factors are all beneficial to the general environment inside the female reproductive organs and to the ovarian mucosal lining in particular. Laser therapy is also known for its ability to normalize and soften scar tissue, and scar tissue is a large contributor to fertility problems.

Men
Lately, the GigaLaser clinics have been treating a growing number of men with low semen quality. We have not yet assembled the statistical data, but the effect of laser therapy on the testicles is dramatic. Time and time again, we see numbers rise from 2 million/ml to more than 40 million/ml. From one day to the next. The protocol is 2 times 5 Joules on each testicle with a 500 mW laser pen, in this case the PowerLaser.

Literature
The most well-known scientist working with laser therapy and fertility is Dr. Toshio Ohshiro, Japan. In 1995, he started developing a method for treating infertile women with a 60 mW laser probe. He would treat certain points proximal to the abdominal area; hence he coined the method Proximal Priority Laser Therapy, PPLT. In 2012, Dr. Ohshiro published an article, “Personal overview of the application of LLLT in severely infertile Japanese females”. By that time, he had treated a total of 701 women, and 156 had become pregnant. That is a success rate of 22.3 %.

Conclusion
Out of 239 infertile women 66% (158 women) have become pregnant using laser therapy. This is considerably higher than Ohshiro’s results. A possible explanation could be that we are working with a much higher energy level, and that the laser therapy is applied directly to the area of the reproductive organs. Furthermore, the laser therapy is combined with manual physiotherapy when needed.

Future research
We find the results compelling and worthy of further investigation. We will continue to explore and to gather practical results from the field with even deeper levels of details. In time, it is our hope that this method will find its way to the thousands of couples who still are waiting for their dream to come true.

Copenhagen, 2016-11-26

Arne Grinsted
Founder & President
PowerMedic Lasers
ag@pmlas.com

Terminology
In this article, “laser therapy” refers to the generally accepted term: Low Level Laser Therapy, LLLT. Other terms are “photobiomodulation therapy”, “Cold Laser”, “Soft Laser” and many others.
IVF: In Vitro Fertilization. PCOS: Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome.

Arne Grinsted has a Bachelor in Economics and a Master in Electronic Engineering.
He founded PowerMedic Lasers in 1982 and he has designed and developed several therapeutic laser devices through the years. He has trained and educated a large number of physiotherapists and other practitioners in the theoretical background and practical use of laser therapy. He is working closely with visionary health care professionals in the never-ending pursuit of new applications for laser therapy.

 

References

Hasan, P. et al: “The possible application of low-reactive laser level therapy (LLLT) in the treatment of male infertility”. 1989.

Bartmann, A. et al: “Why do older women have poor impanation rates? A possible role of the mitochondria”. 2004.

Iwahata, H. et al: “Treatment of female infertility incorporating low-reactive laser therapy (LLLT): An initial report”. 2006.

Fujii, S. et al: “Proximal priority treatment using the neck irradiator for adjunctive treatment of female infertility”. 2007.

Taniguchi, Y. et al: “Analysis of the curative effect of GaAlAs diode lasertherapy in female infertility”. 2010.

Kara, T.: “Lasers in infertility treatment. Irradiation of oocytes and spermatozoa”. 2012.

Ohshiro, T.: “Personal Overview of the application of LLLT in severely infertile Japanese females”. 2012.

Ohshiro, T.: “The proximal priority theory: An updated technique in low level laser therapy with an 830 nm GaAlAs laser”. 2012.

Firestone, R. et al: “The effects of low-level light exposure on sperm motion characteristics and DNA damage”. 2013.

Salman Yazdi, R. et al: “Effect of 830 nm diode laser irradiation on human sperm motility”. 2014.

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Ocaña-Quero J, Gomez-Villamandos R et al. “Biological effects of helium-neon (He-Ne) laser irradiation on acrosome reaction in bull sperm cells.”. 1997.

Montag M, Rink K et al. “Laserinduced immobilization and plasma membrane permeabilization in human spermatozoa.” 2000.

Corral-Baques M, Rigau T et al. “Effect of 655-nm diode laser on dog sperm motility.” 2005

Corral-Baques M, Rigau T et al. “Effect of 655-nm laser at different powers on dog sperm motility parameter.” 2006.

Corrral-Baqués M, Riveira M et al. “The effect of low-level laser irradiation on dog spermatozoa motility is dependent on laser output power.” 2009.

Bianchi-Alves M, Celeghini E et al. “17 testicular histopathological characteristics of rams treated with low-level laser therapy: preliminary results.” 2013.

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