It sounds like one of the more extreme examples of birth control – but blasting a man’s most vulnerable area with ultrasound could be the ideal form of male contraception, say scientists.
Experiments showed that high frequency sound waves effectively cut sperm counts in rats.
The equivalent outcome would result in reversible infertility in men.
Sperm approaching egg: Scientists say research is needed to see if ultrasound can be used multiple times to cause reversible infertility
Study leader Dr James Tsuruta, from the University of North Carolina, said: ‘Unlike humans, rats remain fertile even with extremely low sperm counts.
‘However, our non-invasive ultrasound treatment reduced sperm reserves in rats far below levels normally seen in fertile men.
‘Further studies are required to determine how long the contraceptive effect lasts and if it is safe to use multiple times.’
The perfect male contraceptive would be cheap, reliable, reversible, long-acting and have few side effects.